The most demanding, unpaid job, without holidays or vacations, on the planet is parenting!
It’s also the most rewarding, and yields the highest (eternal and generational) return on investment. What a whiplash! What a challenge!
Parents need a reliable, trustworthy, affordable daily babysitter. Both for our own daily sanity and for our children to learn as separate from us.
Unfortunately, many easily accessible babysitters are adding to our troubles.
What we’ve leaned on to help our children, to give ourselves some space, or simply fill the time is a root cause of their acting out.
It is. . .drumroll. . .
Media and technology.
Young children are highly sensitive and open in their minds, wills, emotions, and in their spirits. They are learning sponges which is wonderful, but it’s also harmful if they are filled in these spaces (minds, wills, emotions and spirits) with defilement or pointless (dare I say “stupid”) programming.
There’s the obvious witchcraft and darkness which infiltrates so much programming and is accessible on our technological devices.
May I draw your attention to a more subtle form of defilement?
By defilement, I’m referring to anything that assaults the purity of our children on any level. Adults have many layers of filters for, and thus often don’t catch, what profoundly impacts children in their precious state of innocence and God-given purity. These include, but aren’t limited to: common rudeness, unsavory language, emotionally gripping, or intense scenes.
Even when you, as the parent, are filtering their media and technology, they may still act out. That is because of how long they have spent on media/technology.
It actually impacts their brain and their spirit. The sound waves agitate their spirit, while the colors, sounds, motion, and activity grip them emotionally. Thus habits are formed, and they act out: 1. having been defiled and not having language for it 2. having spent too much time on it 3. having formed a habit or pattern which is a level of addiction.
What is a parent to do?
If your child is very young, start these good patterns for you and them now! If there’s already water under the bridge, it is redeemable.
Recognize you need time out to attend to your own needs. Breathe. As you adjust, take the time not just to do more work, but to do something that attends to your own needs, spiritual, mental, emotional and/or physical. I say “or” because you may only be able to attend to one level of needs at a time.
Repent for the defilement you allowed from these unreliable babysitters. Most, if not all, of us have allowed our children to see and hear media and take too much time on technological devices. Ask the Father to cleanse them with the Lord Jesus Christ’s precious blood, heal those places, rebuild them, and fill them with His Holy Spirit to restore them to their full purity and innocence.
Ask for the fire of God to burn up everything inside you, your children, your house that is not of Him that was allowed in through those media/technology gates, and to purify all that is Him.
Set limits for yourself and them. It’s not about rules—but about spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health for you and your children. The King James Version speaks of one of the fruit of the Spirit being “temperance,” Galatians 5:22. That’s known as “self-control” in the New International Version; it’s the ability to know when to stop, to be able to control desires and passions rather than their controlling you.
May I pray for you?
Father, I thank you for these parents and their children. Give them grace by the power of Your Holy Spirit to be connected with Your Spirit so that they have the ability to control the flow of their desires and passions rather than their desires and passions controlling them. Holy Spirit, give them grace to live with limits, and desire what it truly good, so that they can have the full abundant life that Jesus paid for, and time and energy available to be and to do what You have called them to, in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Choose healthful media, just as you try to choose healthful food. Here are some healthful suggestions.
- Audio Bible. Sound is so important. Whether they can read or not, listening to the Bible an hour a day gives you the break you need as it simultaneously builds their spirit health and strength. I do suggest that you edit it, as some of the Scriptures are intense and our children will take those to heart in their purity and innocence just as they would the defilement on media. If you haven’t implemented this already, you will be amazed at how easily and quickly their personal spiritual growth accelerates simply from listening to the Word! An excellent side effect is that it increases their mental processing and understanding as well.
- Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood. The old episodes are available and are still relevant. His heart for their tender state really shines through. (Google this. Episodes are on Amazon Prime and PBSkids.)
- Veggie Tales, especially the early episodes (I don’t recommend “Where’s God when I’m Scared” for young children.)
- Let’s Wade In. Our family specifically created Let’s Wade In to address the needs for parents to have a reliable, trustworthy source to turn to in media-ville, and for children, tweens and teens to be built up in their relationship with the Father and trained to go with God, go for the gold in the race of their own lives.
- Engage, a course filled with experts and solid practical advice hosted by Kirk Cameron, 5 practical lessons for raising your kids in a social media generation.
For older tweens and teens, as you pray through this, and make changes on how you use media and technology, Father will help you. Sometimes, like Amy Grant sings, “It takes a little time to get the Titanic turned around.”
But, I leave you with one last thought. You pay the electric bill. The plug can mysteriously be disconnected to your Internet source at certain times of day, and you don’t have to know why when they ask. 🙂 That can begin the physical weaning process.
In the meantime, Father grant each one greater grace for we live in a time filled with greater sin. We thank You in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
by Crystal Wade, copyright 2018