In 1986, a friend accepted an opportunity to get one-year advanced degree in lieu of being a victim of company layoffs. Upon enrolling in an MBA program, he learned that a lap-top was required for the courses he would be taking. Just five years earlier he had been programming Fortran cards for a room-sized computer to process part of his senior engineering project. Technology was moving forward on university campuses.
Today, lap-tops, tablets, smart phones and smart watches are almost givens among school-age kids. Some schools issue tablets instead of books, making technology integral to the education process. This is not a bad thing. Even the extension of technology into the social media front is not necessarily bad but it certainly can take a bad turn if parents are not tuned-in.
“‘Teacher, I brought You my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech… I asked Your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.’ … Jesus rebuked the evil spirit saying, ‘You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. … His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer.’” – Mark 9:17-18, 25-26, 28-29. There is a lot going on in this passage – a father’s love for his son; spiritual warfare; and Jesus tuned-in to His Father through prayer. The disciples either did not recognize the battle in front of them when they were approached originally by the father or they were not tuned-in enough to rebuke the evil spirit that had established control over the boy. As parents, it is a challenge to recognize the spiritual battle between good and evil that rages day in / day out. But recognize it we must. Technology is one of the battlefronts where evil is notching up victories. The charge is to be tuned-in practically – to be technically savvy enough to spot problem areas; and tuned in spiritually through prayer - to rebuke any control this technology is trying to establish over the kids.
Tips to stay tuned-in include:
- Limiting the use of cell phones to calls and texts, no data until age 15 or older;
- Not allowing any technology to be used or viewed behind closed doors;
- Establishing a ‘central docking station’ for charging electronic devices overnight;
- Attending technology updates put on by the schools or churches;
- Talking to each child about the good, bad and ugly dimensions of technology today with age-appropriate candidness;
- Knowing all passwords used to access your child’s phone/tablet and applications;
- Praying for your children daily by name.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for being tuned-in to my life. As You answered my mother’s prayers over my life, I trust You will answer those I lift up daily over my bride and children. Strengthen my relationship with You through time in prayer and scripture. Help me stay tuned-in practically to recognize the schemes of the devil for what they are, and tuned-in spiritually to rebuke evil in the powerful name of Jesus the Christ. Thank You Lord. Amen.
A faithful father stays tuned-in practically and spiritually to rebuke evil.