There’s An App for That! – Pop Culture & the Christian Family
“Something terribly important is missing from today’s families: a consistent dose of biblical truth mixed with God-given wisdom. By substituting the entertaining for the eternal, we have suggested a shortcut to happiness and satisfaction.” ~~ Chuck Swindoll, “The Strong Family”
In the summer of 2009, I was asked to lead a breakout conference at our state WMU meeting, one that covered the subject matter of parenting. After much research, prayer, and observation as a mom, I put together some thoughts that I believe to be timely, relevant, and convicting to all of us as parents. Because of the whole iPhone app craze at the time, I entitled my conference “There’s an App for That!” … kind of catchy, huh?! I’ve decided to share these issues in a blog post, because I feel we need to, again, continually ask ourselves some vital questions as parents. I will cover this information in 2 separate blog posts — the first from a biblical foundation, and the 2nd from a practical, applicable perspective. Below are some of the talking points from this session, which turned out to be a great informative time of moms coming together to give real conversation and attention to these issues.
How and when did the culture so quietly invade the family?
“Before urbanization, children were viewed as economic assets to their parents. If you had a farm, they toiled alongside you to maintain its upkeep; if you had a business, the kids helped mind the store. But all of this dramatically changed with the moral and technological revolutions of modernity. As we gained in prosperity, childhood came increasingly to be viewed as a protected, privileged time, and once college degrees became essential to getting ahead, children became not only a great expense but subjects to be sculpted, stimulated, instructed, groomed.” ~ Albert Mohler, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In a massive film project undertaken by the UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families, hundreds of hours of recorded middle-class family life show over and over again that many, if not most, parents see themselves as constant negotiators with their children. Their findings: Parental authority is replaced by constant power struggles, peace in the home is replaced by constant activity and frenetic energy, and the earliest years of a child’s life are increasingly filled with organized activity and institutional settings.
How did the invasion of the culture affect the fundamentals of the Christian home?
– We have become De-sensitized and Distracted from the stillness and strength of the Standard — God’s Word.
– We are substituting other resources for God’s Word.
– We compare ourselves to other “Christian” families, instead of to God’s Word.
– We use church activities and good works to determine our basis for right-ness instead of the Bible itself.
– We pray – but do we seek God’s Word as we pray?
– We have substituted God’s definition of success for the world’s definition of success – not based on the Bible but on the culture.
– We have fallen for a vast array of false gods instead of following the one true God of the Bible.
What are some of these false gods?
– Ego-ism — long live ME!
– Instant gratification – convenience is king; we want it NOW!
– Overindulgence – we spoil our kids by giving in to their wants.
– Media and Entertainment outlets – our kids have a constant need to be entertained.
– Technology Worship – we worship the convenience and status of technology.
– Celebrity Worship – our kids idolize and model celebrities and superstars.
What can we as parents do?
Help our children capture the culture by replacing its lies with God’s truth. We must train our children to rely on God and filter their moral decisions through the One True Way – God’s Word.
We Build Strong Families: “Through skillful and godly wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established and by knowledge shall its chambers (rooms) be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” ~~ Proverbs 24:3-4
We Build our Families:
with WISDOM: “The fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey His commands will grow in wisdom.” Psalm 111:10
with UNDERSTANDING: “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:5-7
with KNOWLEDGE: “… knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.” Proverbs 9:10
Think about these issues, and join me tomorrow as I introduce some practical steps we can take as parents to address these issues and raise a generation of kids who look to God — not our culture — for answers!!