There’s An App for That! Pop Culture & the Christian Family – Part 2
What fills the rooms in your home? Technology and materialism? Or family heirlooms and precious treasures? In order for us to fill the rooms of our homes with knowledge, we must first provide the moral warehouse for our children to store these precious treasures.
“By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4
For the past few weeks, we’ve been laying the biblical foundation for building strong families. But how does that really play out in every day life? Today’s blog is actually a repost of a blog I wrote as a result of sharing this information at a state women’s conference in recent years. Let’s look again at some practical steps to take as we raise our children to be confident and grounded as they deal with today’s culture. Yes parents, there IS an app — it’s called the APPLICATION of scripture in our daily living, decisions, and parenting!
What idols have invaded your home and family – maybe without you realizing it? I led this conference about 4 years ago, and at that time, smart phones had not invaded the innocent worlds of our children. Sadly, the same is not true today. Social media in all forms has launched an invasion into our homes and families that has taken all of us captive. We must decide if we will continue to allow all forms of media to influence our families or if we will take up our mama warrior swords and fight for the minds and hearts of our children!
* Media/TV Ratings are grossly innacurate. 63% of shows containing sexual content lacked the “S” descriptor. Many shows targeted to children portray disrespectful attitudes toward authority as humorous and laughable.
* Power of suggestion/Sexy too soon. There is a virtual onslaught of sexual themes pervading today’s pop music, TV, toys, games and books. Even before children are aware of their own sexuality, they receive cues to start dressing and talking in sexual ways. The American Psychological Association warns that “this sexualization of girls is harmful to their self-image and healthy development. Girls are experiencing teen pressures at younger and younger ages. However, they are not able to deal with these issues because their cognitive development is out of sync with their social, emotional, and sexual development.”
Don’t Feed the Need–Plant the Seed!!
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
* Teach children the difference between a need and a want. What do our children really need? In a recent survey of youth by the Center for a New American Dream, the average 12-17 yr. old who asks a parent for products will ask 9 times until the parents finally give in.
* Stop pushing our kids to over-achieve. We are a success-driven society, and we somehow have twisted the success of our children to reflect our own success as a parent. We push our kids in sports, dance, academics, etc., to the point that they have learned to thrive on attention and a false sense of success.
* Be proactive to teach our children character qualities such as: humility, gratitude, purity, compassion.
*Create appropriate stages and boundaries for new products and experiences. Our society says “have everything you want NOW! Don’t wait!” We should teach our kids that seeking instant gratification leads to long-term discontent.
Make the Connection — Measure the Media!
* Take a fresh look at what’s entering your home. The media’s assault on our kids’ innocence has become increasingly explicit and intrusive. Listen to the messages.
* Teach kids to step back and ask themselves, “What does God think about this, and what does that mean for me?”
* Be purposed in having daily conversation about media influences.
* Refrain from buying the latest gadget just because “everybody else has one and I’m the only one who doesn’t …!”
If we all stick together as parents, that would take care of the “everybody elses”!
Teach Moral Absolutes
* Counteract the false god of Ethical Relativism — also known as Situational Ethics. This is the disillusion of thinking nothing is really good or bad. Right and wrong is relative to the situation at the moment.
* Know the moral absolutes for yourself. Sometimes we react without thinking through the worldview implications of our moral choices. Know what we believe and why.
Train Diligently, Carefully, and Strategically
* Don’t settle for convenience parenting. It’s so easy to use video games, DVD’s in vehicles, iPads, iPhones, and TV to keep our children entertained. Avoid the overuse of modern technology as babysitters – instead, engage children in constructive activities.
* Teach our children to be content with what they have. Train our kids to budget well and spend wisely.
* Don’t allow the idol of convenience to fuel consumerism. Before entering the first grade, most children will have absorbed 30,000 advertisements, primarily from TV. Our kids crave the coolest toys, the trendiest clothes, the hippest music, and the latest technology. But parents can make matters worse by trying to keep up with playmates’ or classmates’ families.
Slow Down – Be Still
* Make deliberate effort to unplug. We could literally be entertained all day long — an many are. A 2006 Yahoo online poll indicated that the average U.S. family owns 12 tech devices. 3 TV’s, 2 computers, and 7 other gadgets (MP3’s, gaming systems, smart phones, etc.) I imagine that number has increased by 2013.
* Teach kids to be comfortable with noiseless time in their lives. Today’s children don’t understand the concept of being still because of our busy, fast-paced, technology-driven society.
* Provide a refuge from the chaos in your home and in your church. Cultivate a quiet atmosphere.
* Our children must see our relationship with God. “It is impossible for me to transfer to my child a principle I do not personally embrace, that is a love for God that permeates all my heart … it will be on your heart, not simply a nice-sounding religious idea washing around in your mind.”
Chuck Swindoll says there are 4 things we must do as parents:
* Hear the truth continually (Deut. 6:14)
* Love the Lord fervently (Deut. 6:5-6)
* Teach the young diligently (Deut. 4:9; 6:7-9)
* Fear the Lord greatly. (Deut. 6:10-15; Prov. 6:20-23)
“God’s desire is that there be a conscious, consistent transfer of God’s truth from the older to the younger in the family. If there is an unconscious mistake Christian parents make, it is thinking that our children automatically capture our zeal for Christ.”
The Edwards Family App:
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, pure, lovely, commendable; if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise, DWELL on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” ~ the words of the Apostle Paul