We know well the dangers of careless technology usage. I don’t need to over-stress the possible addiction to devices, exposure to pornography, and just wasted time and missed opportunities for family engagement. These are perilous times for children and parents. God forbid then that we impulsively treat our devices as “go-to babysitters” when pressured for time.
I love my children easily and naturally and of course there is nothing wrong with that. But I also have a heart that is desperately idolatrous and prone to leave the God I love. Whenever I place my full satisfaction in something created, whenever I wholly delight my mind in something made, whenever I wrap my value and identity in someone or something apart from Christ, I have molded an idol. And sadly, these self-made gods are easily made; evidence of the residual effects of sin that dwell even in the justified heart (Romans 7:14-25).
I often feel inadequate as a parent and I thank God for it! For it drives me to lower my head, bend my knees and seek His perfect strength in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). The blessing is not in the weakness or inadequacy itself but in the humility it offers that draws me nearer to God for help--which then increases my dependence and confidence in the One who works in me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow!
I have decided to choose my kids over Facebook. In reality the choice isn't just about Facebook but the many trivial distractions that take my focus away from my children. Picture the scene for a moment – it might be familiar to you – I’m sitting in the playroom of our home, my soon-to-be three-year-old is playing with her kitchen set and my seven-month-old is chewing on some toy nearby. I’m physically present with them but my attention is given to the 12 inch computer screen in front of me.
I love the book of Deuteronomy. Not necessarily for its copious detail but for the concept behind the book. Deuteronomy is essentially one big study hall. Moses is the teacher and the children of Israel are the students. The wilderness east of the Jordan River is their classroom. And there they assemble to review God’s expectation of them before conquering the Promised Land.
My expression of love for my daughter – while there might be some parallel – is minuscule when compared with God’s love for His children. The scale is simply not the same. As much as I love my daughter, I fail, I tire, and I even give up. But God is God! He never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:4) nor lacks for anything. He is perfect in His power and perfect in His love for and commitment to His own. Psalm 103:11 states: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”
The time was 10:00 PM on the night of July 9, 2011 and after 34 hours of labor, I was finally ready to push my first child into the world. The many hours leading up to this moment had become a congealed memory of pain mixed with excitement, pacing, scripture reading, singing, praying, worship and more pain!