This month in our church prayer email we have focused on resources for believers in regards to technology, family and purity. Here are some final thoughts, guidelines and challenges.
My thoughts: Technology isn’t going away. Technology isn’t of the Devil. Technology isn’t a god. As people created in God’s image, technology exists as an inherent by product of reflecting His image. Creating systems (technologies) for the betterment of the world both in function and enjoyment is something God did in creation and man does with the things God created. That said, sin twists good things and poisons the image reflecting efforts of mankind. Technology will have benefits and corruptions, and we are called as believers to evaluate our personal and family use of it, bringing it under Christ Lordship. Here are a few ways I do that (these aren’t rules for all, but I hope you consider some):
No New Technology Without a Conversation: Did you see the latest gadget everyone has and will make life so much better, easier, awesomer? Maybe these new things do all of those things, but in our house, we will not allow any new technology to come in to our lives without a conversation about how to handle it responsibly. Sometimes this means not getting it at all (there is a reason I do not recommend most men get iPhones). Kacey and I can track our marital connection or lack thereof to how much technology we allowed into our homes. It is recoverably when it slips, but will you have these conversation before recovery is necessary?
Stop asking Siri, Google, Alexa, KITT in front of the kids: We realized our kids were learning that any question you have, the first person to ask is your phone. “Just ask Google Dad.” We know inevitably they will search the internet for many questions in life, but we want to model a house where key conversations are discussed with people and hopefully parents.
Always Accountable to Someone Where the Stakes Matter: There will never be a time in in my life where I will not have accountability relationships in general, and I will also always have some form of accountability software on technological devices. I personally have Kacey be my accountability partner. This may not be best for you, but it should be someone who isn’t just peripheral to your life (church leader, parent, close friend of both you and your spouse). This isn’t just about porn. I will have accountability on how much media I take in as a whole.
Family Accountability: My children will not have unmonitored access to technology.
No Categorically Hidden Areas of Sin from My Spouse: Kacey and I don’t give each other every minute detail of every sin struggle, but she knows about struggles with lust, pride, etc. and how they specifically work against my heart and faith. She knows how to pray and even question very directly in regards to these types of struggles that I could keep hidden. I don’t want there to ever be an area that I think “I’ll get this under control first and then talk to her” that turns into “Kacey there is something I need to tell you that I should have talked with you about a long time ago.”
Challenges to consider (other than what you think of what I already said)
Get You and Your Family Accountable, Join the Salem Covenant Eyes Community: If you do not already, get some form of accountability service and possibly filtering for you and your family. We have a community on Covenant Eyes as a church that you can join with this link: http://bit.ly/2gWzFWi
If you are already a user, use this link to gain free access to the community resources: https://covenanteyes.com/myaccount/community/invitations/698075
Using this community helps us as church leadership see what percentage of the body is taking positive action in this area (we don’t see who is using it or see activity, just percentages). It also gives you access to an extensive library of resources for individuals, couples and families. Covenant Eyes has a cost, but that leads to the second challenge.
Make Faithfulness Have a Cost: Be willing to pay something to do well in this category. Remember that temptation is an opportunity to worship Jesus through victory. Be willing to set some stakes that will hurt to pay if pornography/sexual sin is a specific struggle. I promise not doing this will cost far more in the long run.
Talk to Children About Everything Early and Often: Talk about how to use technology well and model it in your own life. Know what is happening in children and youth culture and talk with your children about it.Talk with children early and often about God’s good design for sex and how to follow that plan. If these conversations are daunting, we have many resources available.
I hope this is all helpful. I could write much more, but feel free to pursue this conversation with me. Remember we aren’t running away from technology, but running with the Lord’s leadership in how we make image reflecting use of it.
Here are all this month’s Technology and Family resources in case you missed them:
- A resource from Covenant Eyes. A free, 18-page ebook called “Equipped: Raising Godly Digital Natives”
Get it here: bit.ly/2ykbzs6
- Protect Young Eyes. It is a website filled with resources for protecting your home from online dangers, while helping and encouraging one of the most important steps, communication with your family. If you aren’t talking about these topics from a Biblical perspective, your loved ones will only hear it somewhere else. free, Explore the website and let us know what you find most helpful:
- The Culture Translator https://axis.org/ct/ Gain weekly comprehensive insight in how pop culture, technology and media are influence children, teens and young adults.
- Youth Culture Window http://www.thesource4ym.com/ConnectWithUs/default.aspxSimilar to the Culture Translator but with a singular weekly focus on a current culture issue that always includes helpful tips to engage young people in meaningful conversations. This is Bryce’s personal favorite resource (the whole website to) for connecting with kids and teens.
- How to Binge Watch Like a Believer http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/april/how-to-binge-watch-like-believer.html An interview with Andy Crouch regarding our role in creating a spiritually formative home in a technology formed world. His book is great too and is linked in the article.
- VidAngel: www.vidangel.comVidAngel is a subscription based streaming service that allows you to filter your primary streaming services, modifying the content for your preferences.