In the 1930s a series of rules and regulations called the Hayes Code were implemented to help censor what was acceptable in the film industry. These guidelines dictated that a man and woman could never be seen in bed together unless one of them kept a leg on the floor at all times. This censorship carried over to the early days of TV.
So then, who was the first couple to share a bed on television? You might guess Rob and Laura Petrie, Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, or maybe Ward and June Cleaver. While all of those are good guesses, none of those couples ever shared a bed on television. The first couple to share a bed together happened way back in 1947 and it wasn’t on the major networks. In 1946 DuMont Laboratories, a television manufacturer started the DuMont Television Network to compete with NBC and CBS (ABC first aired in 1948). In November, 1947, on the DuMont network, the first situation comedy (sitcom) aired on network television. The show starred the real-life married couple Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns, and the show’s name was Mary Kay and Johnny. This couple lived in an apartment in Greenwich Village and they were the first couple to share a bed on television. The show ran for about three years and aired on first Dumont then CBS and lastly on NBC.
And did you know that Barbara Eden in her genie outfit in I Dream of Jeannie and Dawn Wells wearing a knotted up shirt in Gilligan’s Island had to cover up their navels also due to the Hayes Code?
We have gone from couples not being able to sleep together in the same bed and women not being allowed to show their navels to what seems like “almost anything goes” in films and on television today. The line of acceptability sure has moved since the early days of motion pictures and television.
The same can be said of how we find ourselves trapped in sin. We draw a line in the sand, then we get right up against it, then we move the line just a little bit, and soon we are leaning over that line again. So what do we do, instead of retreating, we once again move the line, and soon we find ourselves in situations or circumstances that cause us to ask ourselves, “How in the world did I get here?” In 1 Peter 5:8 we read this warning, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
There is a metaphorical anecdote that states if you boil a pot of water and then throw a frog in that boiling water, the frog jumps back out because the water is very hot. But take that same frog and drop it into a pot of cool water and then turn up the heat until it boils and what you get is a frog that boils to death. Why? The temperature goes up little by little and the frog does not realize it, until it is too late. The same can be said of us. We are often times like that second frog, we don’t realize that the very thing we are doing is harming us, until the water is boiling.
Despite the situation or circumstances you find yourself in, or what messes you have made in the past, God is a God of unconditional forgiveness, and He is standing at the door waiting to pick you up in His arms and restore us to a beautiful shine. It is the enemy that says to us, “You are unfixable.” It is God who forgives you and then throws your sins as far as the eye can see. In Micah 7:19 we see these words, “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” Ask God to forgive you, and then receive His forgiveness, grace, mercy and love.
And always be like the first frog and get out of the hot water right now!