Mamas “In-The-Know”
know that:
A smartphone is a computer.

Have you noticed how many children have smartphones now days? When my boys were young, there was some wise advice that circulated in the “good mama” circles. You may be familiar with it…”KEEP YOUR COMPUTER IN A PUBLIC AREA. DO NOT PUT YOUR HOME COMPUTER SOMEWHERE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, AND FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE NEVER EVER LET YOUR CHILDREN HAVE A COMPUTER IN THEIR BEDROOM. ” (A computer in a bedroom was the unthinkable sin in the group I ran around with. Frankly due to the cost, it wasn’t even a consideration for our families. Besides the internet was a cord coming through the wall and plugged into one computer. We didn’t even know what a router was yet.)

A child with an iPhone, iTouch, iPad, or other smart gadget
has access to the world and the world has access to them.

The good mamas I know would never dream of dropping a child off in a seedy part of town (think adult stores, gang bangers, prostitutes, drugs, alcohol and pan handlers). No matter how much she trusted her sweet child, she would never do this. But…let’s say the child was a straight-A student, sang in the choir, volunteered in a nursing home and had never told a lie. Then do you think she would drop the child off downtown? No a good mama would not do this.

Friend, when we hand our children devices with internet access, we might as well drive them downtown, open the car door and say “Have fun!” Of course by the time our children are 18 (and likely earlier than that) they will be able to self monitor. But we have to ask ourselves as good mamas, “When will my child be ready to have a computer in their pocket?”

Come up with your own plan.

What characteristics will need to be present in my children in order to know that they are ready for the danger and responsibility of a smartphone or other smart gadget? Hint: It will vary with each child-it won’t be a magical age.

submitted by Carrie, March 2014

What’s the Agenda?

It wasn’t long ago that my eldest son (23), while home for a visit, was talking with my youngest son (16).  The eldest made a comment about the agenda of the media.  I sat back and listened to the two dialogue about the television program that our 16-year old was watching. The 23-year old brought up some great questions to the 16-year old: “What do you think the world view is of this network?” “Who do you think they are targeting with this program?” “What do you think they want the viewers to go away with?” As I pondered the answers to those questions, I was taken aback by the the thoughts that were forming in my mind. What is the world view of the TV networks or media in general? Hmmmm. It is with certainty that I can say it is NOT a Christian world view. But what is the agenda? What do they want us to think and how are they trying to shape our views of life? Is there an agenda? Maybe we all could do well by sitting for a moment and thinking of that for ourselves. We know that certain shows are targeted to a certain audience, ie: cartoons, sporting events, cooking shows etc. But are we really aware of the sometimes oh-so-subtle agenda?  Could they be masking the agenda under the guise of entertainment? And are we and our children swallowing it hook, line and sinker?

Just a silly little commercial…

Just yesterday, my 16-year old was watching golf.  I was at my sewing machine.  I could hear words coming from the TV but I wasn’t paying close attention. All the sudden my son burst out in laughter. Of course I turned around to inquire…What was so gut-wrenchingly funny? He explained that there were two commercials that had just aired back to back.  The first was a commercial proclaiming the need and benefits of testosterone. Right after that was a commercial for an attorney representing those who suffered severe side effects from taking products similar to the testosterone-pushing commercial that had just aired. It tickled his funny bone as he (a mere 16 years old) saw the irony in this.  I realized this was a great opportunity to dialog with him just like his older brother had done with him months earlier…

 Impress them on your children. Talk about
them when you
sit at home and when you walk
along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up…

We talked about the media’s agenda for several minutes. I couldn’t help but think of Deuteronomy 6:7 and how I am to talk about the Lord’s commands to my children at home, while along the road etc. It was amazing what came out of a five-minute conversation about what he had just seen on TV.  I didn’t feel the need to turn it off, but definitely felt the need to teach and train.  This is something I have been doing a lot more of lately with this last son who is still in “the nest.”  Because I now have three children out of the house, I can see where I was definitely lacking in the ability to have these sorts of conversations in the past. Back then I felt awkward.  I wanted to turn the TV off.  (Better yet, throw it in the yard!) But I now realize how IMPERATIVE it is that I teach my children to make decisions that would honor God and His plan for them for themselves.  I realize my “joy”  (job) as a parent is to teach my son to think for himself. I realize that a huge percentage of children leave “the faith” when they leave home to enter college or the workforce partially because we as parents have barked out orders, but have failed to intentionally teach them to think for themselves, suffer the consequences and work through them before leaving the safety of our homes.

So…What is the Media’s Agenda?

It is my hope that the next time we simply sit down to soak in a program or just pass it off as our way of “vegging” that we might pause a moment to ask ourselves:  Who is this honoring?  Who is it degrading?  Light and darkness cannot occupy the same home.  (Whether we are speaking about our houses where we live or our body where Christ lives.) Ephesians 5 has much to say about this. Enjoy pondering this with your children.

“Make the most of every opportunity…because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16

submitted by Denise, March 2014



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