by Toni Birdsong
I never thought as deeply about King David until I became the mother of a teenager. As a parent raising kids in a wired world, I can relate to David—only the Goliath I’m looking at is technology. I’m not as seasoned or as certain as I thought I would be at this point in my parenting career. In fact, some days, it’s as if someone changed out the script I thought I had aced then pushed me out on to the stage to perform anyway.
I sometimes wonder: Am I really anointed? Can I really take this giant?
I’m not imagining things. The past 5-10 years have seen more technological advances than the past 30. To say to a teenager, “I’ve been your age . . . I know what it’s like,” simply doesn’t apply. The gap became too large, too fast.
My kids don’t look anything like I looked at 16. They carry shiny gadgets like life support packs. They text and post in lieu of speaking and have little wire appendages growing from their ears. They log on to get their homework, email and text their teachers, and break up with their first loves in status updates. They journal out loud in daily streams of photos, song lyrics, inside jokes, and movie lines. They download their music, hunt down apps, and see little use for things like paper and pens. They make value judgments, form digital cliques, and grow up together as “profiles” in very public forums. They often ask Google before they ask me.
It’s easy to feel defeated before I begin. But taking a closer look at David, he did some key things going into battle that every parent can learn from.
You see, David took down Goliath before the battle began. Before he threw one stone, he knew whose power to tap.
Others doubted. David believed.
Others cowered. David ran into battle.
Others talked. David took action.
Others saw the giant. David saw God.
Our kids are digital natives and face emotional and social giants we can’t begin to fathom. As parents it’s our job to get in the game, stay on top of technology (social networks, mobile apps, web technology) and like David, put our giant on notice:
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,
but I come against you in the name
of the Lord Almighty . . . for the battle is the Lord’s, and he
will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-7, NIV (paraphrase)
The technology battle belongs to the Lord. As He walks with you, be confident that you are anointed to teach your children to use technology in a godly way. God will infuse you with skills that will surprise you and give you the victory just as He gave it to David when you:
• Trust His power.
• Get out in front of the digital conversation in your home.
• Come together as a family regularly and pray for protection over the family.
• Communicate family priorities, values, and expectations around technology.
• Communicate them again.
Here’s a great, free resource you can download and read together: Family Ground Rules for Living Sticky (and Safe) Online. For a printable, full-color PDF, click the red “download” button. Print the covenant, sign it as a family, and post it near the family computer.
Are you leading technology in your family or is it leading you? How do you manage technology in your home? Please share your tips!
Post/Tweet this today:
Get in front of the digital conversation w/ur kids. Family Ground Rules for Online Time: http://bit.ly/gbMtCs #LiveSticky