This new connected age we live in is absolutely amazing.
I love the ways I am able to connect, nearly instantly, with friends and family via my iPhone. I love the way I can share pictures and status updates with my friends on Facebook. I have fully embraced the technological advances of the Xbox, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and nearly every other innovation that has enabled me to bring information closer, enjoy life in a whole new way. Even this blog is a result of that digital revolution, allowing me to share thoughts on everything from faith to family to art and beyond.
But as a parent, the digital age can be rather daunting. There are so many ways to connect online, and so many ways kids want to connect, that it can feel like a parental minefield. What games do you let your kids play? What ratings of TV shows do you let them watch on Netflix? Do they get to play online via Xbox Live or Toontown? What about email? Cell phones? Texting? This is truly a “connected generation.”
Every week, I stand in front of the 700+ kids in my ministry and remind them that they can make the wise choice. I reminded them yesterday that even though they can’t see God, they can trust Him and know Him and have faith in Him–and that we can do what He asks because of it.
It’s a challenge. The digital age makes it that much harder for parents and kids to stay the course. To not grow weary of doing good. Because there’s just so many cool things we can do. On my Xbox alone there are just too many awesome ways to do things and have fun with other people. How do I navigate it?
So how do you weather it? How do you help your children stay strong, make wise choices, and do what God asks them to do when there are just so many awesome ways to connect, have fun, and enjoy the digital world?
For the next several days, I will be talking about just that.
Too many Sundays, I interact with kids–elementary age kids–who are dealing with more stuff than I even dreamed about when I was their age. They are being forced to grow up faster than they should, and many of them are struggling with very “adult” issues.
Kids struggling with pornography. Self-image issues. Parental abuse. Divorce, drugs, sex, stealing, lying, and stuff that I had no idea existed when I was in the 4th grade. It breaks my heart to see them struggle. These are good kids who need adults–pastors, parents, teachers, and friends–who will help them stay strong and follow the better way that God has created for them.
Adults who will help them find ways to enjoy this crazy new connected world without sacrificing their principles, giving up their core values, and staying true to the guidelines of scripture.
Which brings me to one of my favorite things.
See you tomorrow.