Technology


The hyper-sexualized culture that our kids are growing up in is teaching and training our kids to be, think and act sexually at an earlier and earlier age.  In fact, there is a new marketing concept called KAGOY (Kids are getting older younger).  The impact that this is having on young boys and girls is a growing concern.  As parents, we need to engage with our kids in conversations that will help keep this in check and also will give them a healthier and more godly approach to their sexuality.  God is the author and creator of sex and of their individual sexuality.  He has given us clear guidelines about stewarding this incredible gift and we need to be delivering His message and His design of sex to our children.  If we don’t, the messages, the images and the expectations of our culture will lead our kids to believe that what they see and hear from the world is what is expected from them.

Read this article that was posted today with more on the fallout from the lies our kids are being told.

The powder keg of a porn culture.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NASB)

1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

 

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Most parents express concern, if not a feeling of helplessness, about their kids’ use of technology, especially mobile devices.  This is for good reason, of course; for all the benefits, the tools at the disposal of the average teenager carry many risks and temptations, as articles like thisthis, and this document well.

While there are many steps parents can take to monitor, limit, filter, and deactivate with respect to devices and Internet access, the most important remains cultivating open and honest communication between yourself and your kids.  Nothing replaces an ongoing,
grace-based dialogue that addresses the topics of sex, technology, expectations, purpose, boundaries, and consequences, all in the context of honoring and loving God in our thoughts, words, and actions (Romans 12:1-2).

To that end, we’ve created a simple document–a safe-use agreement–for parents to use as a communication tool with their teens.  By reviewing and signing this agreement together, parents and kids can arrive at a meeting of the minds regarding the privilege of tech use, the expectations and duties surrounding that privilege, and the consequences of abuse of that privilege.  In taking this one, simple step and following it up with consistent dialogue, parents are taking a giant leap with respect to equipping their kids to walk with wisdom, discernment, and integrity in the sexualized, technology-driven age they are living.

I wanted to pass along some links about how to track popular songs, movies, and videos so you can be up-to-date on what kids are paying attention to. For thorough reviews of movies, music, TV shows, and games, check out Plugged In (run by Focus on the Family). And when you’re in doubt, Google it!

Music

Movies

Online Videos

  • YouTube Charts – Browse most-watched videos for the day, week, month, or all time
  • YouTube Trends – Blog that tracks the latest trends in YouTube consumption

In addition to my role here at Chase Oaks Church heading up our Parenting ministry, I also head up the Parenting ministry for an organization called pureHOPE.  pureHOPE has just launched a new blog that I will be contributing to and I believe that it will be one of the most useful tools for Christian parents in navigating the challenges of parenting in a sexualized, technologized (is that a word?) culture.  I hope that in addition to checking out the Parenting at Chase Oaks blog, you will also regularly visit the pureHOPE blog.  There are already a number of great posts and links to check out.  You can find it here:

pureHOPEblog

Many parents today recognize the need to check up on their kids internet activity but lack the knowledge and tools to do it effectively.  There are a number of tools available to assist you in this effort.  Companies like Safe Eyes, XXX Church and my personal favorite, Covenant Eyes.  My wife and I have chosen to monitor our kids on-line activity as opposed to filtering it.  What’s the difference?  Filtering keeps you from going to a particular site; monitoring, on the other hand, allows you to go anywhere but, leaves a visible trail.  It is the difference between protecting your kids and equipping your kids.  As a Dad, one of my jobs certainly is to protect them.  However, a far more important job is to prepare them and equip them to live in a world where technology will always be a part of their life.  Monitoring my kids activity provides me with an opportunity to have on-going conversations about their on-line activity.

Check out this blog post from Covenant Eyes for more on these issues:

Article

Privacy settings have been an on-going challenge for parents with kids on facebook.  The newest challenge is facial recognition and it is an automatic opt-in for everyone.  Which means, if you don’t want it for your kids you need to change their privacy settings.  If you are interested in learning more, check out this article:

Facebook Photo Tagging: A Privacy Guide

I often find great information and resources on commonsensemedia.org.  Here’s another good tip for parents from them.

Be a Good Digital Citizen

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