Leave it to Beaver! Starring: Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver.
In a male commentator’s voice, these are the words that have echoed from television sets across America millions of times since this renowned sitcom’s first debut in October 1957. Even if one has not heard or seen it himself, he knows of it. It is familiar. This sitcom painted the picture of what it looked like to live in 1950s American suburbia. Almost 60 years later, its influence lives on in our country. While some people are appalled by this picture of family and suburbia life screaming “women’s rights!” or “end male domination,” many people lust over this ideal. For those who are attracted to the marriage and family of Ward and June Cleaver, what is it about their life that is so appealing? Is there an innate desire to live this way or is it merely an image or façade painted by our culture – a social construct?
We have almost been convinced that if we lived the way the Cleaver’s did, we would be safe and secure. Warm in our suburban home, surrounded by our white picket fence that formed the perimeter around our plush freshly mowed lawn, setting down to the table to eat a homemade baked apple pie served to us by our mother in a pearl necklace, we would be safe. Safe. Yes – safe – for a moment. A fleeting moment. Yet, life happens and sometimes we are not given that apple pie. In fact, many of us aren’t. Then, what do we do? Give up? Hang up the towel? No. There is something greater. We have never been promised comfort or security on this Earth. That is not the point of this life. This life is a journey and sometimes it is a difficult one. This life is a journey to becoming something greater if we allow ourselves to become it. One day, this life will end. Then and only then will we experience eternal glory, eternal security, and eternal comfort. Ward and June Cleaver do not determine where I spend eternity.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7