Right before I left for vacation I spent the week working on the website, which meant I was updating it and teaching Pastor Mike and Pam how to update the website. The things we can do with technology is amazing. It is everywhere in our world and many kids are growing up plugged into the worldwide web. Many toddlers (38%) know how to use an Iphone/smartphone. I wanted to mainly talk about how parents use technology. The television was used and is still used as a babysitter(1/3 of families report leaving the television on nearly all the time). I’ve seen the smart phone take on this new role in child entertainment. Don’t think that I’m bashing you or I don’t understand. Sometimes you have chores or just need some quiet time so the dvd goes in or the smartphone is given up. I get that and it is perfectly fine in moderation. Though if we take a step back and look we can seen how sometimes we over use technology to entertain/distract our children. I’ve seen some parents that use the smartphone to keep their child quiet in church and some that use it every time they go to a restaurant and sit down. So I think it is safe to say some may be using it as a crutch. It may even be the parent who is overly using the phone, which makes it hard for you to stay present.
Parents have a vital role in the family and so I wanted to share this reminder of some key attributes the Bible puts on parents found in Deut 6:4-9 (NASB)
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
1) Parents are the Primary Spiritual developers
God is clear that it is the parents who teach children about God. The Church, youth ministers, pastor, and other believers have a role to play but it is the parents who are to lead the charge. Parents don’t give up your position to the Church, School, or to technology.
2) Parents have to be Present
The only way that parents can accomplish being the primary spiritual developers is to actually be there. Being present means more just being in the same room. What it takes is being intentional and having discussions. You have to be engaged. This means that we may have to put the phone up or use the phone to start a discussion. There are some great Apps out there. One is the Gospel Project (which we will be using the Gospel Project for kids starting in the Fall). You have to share your faith with your child.
3) Biblical Parenting is Perpetual
Don’t be overwhelmed. Deut 4 reminds us that what we teach our children is on going and a process done all through out the day. Don’t put on the pressure that you have to teach them everything about God at one time. Also allow them to grow in their faith. They won’t understand everything. Do understand that your job is never done and you are to continue to help your child learn about God.
4) Biblical Parenting is to be Public
The mention of the door post and the gate are very public places. Children learn from what is modeled for them. Anyone that knows me knows that I favor behaviorism. Your child must see your faith expressed publicly. When you are present with them do you pray with them? Do they see/hear you pray? Do they see you sharing Christ to others? How can we expect them to be future adults that are following Jesus if their role models(the parents) are not modeling it for them?
Parents you have a vital role. As we use technology and moped down the information super highway don’t allow it replace you because you are irreplaceable. Just know that I am praying for you, and I am here to come along side your family.