I trust my child….even with a phone
Do you trust your child? Raised from your knees, learned to crawl, walk, talk. Started Kindergarten, learned to read and write. Helps with the chores and housework. For sure each has their personality, but we all have some faults; nobody is perfect. They do respect me and do as told, most of the time; especially my oldest child. He/she is always with me. So yes, I do trust them. We have many good discussions about how bad things can be today; the world with all its influences, television, and today the internet, and all that is on it. After all, at 14 years old, they are becoming quite responsible! Driver education now starting, and they have a driving permit. Hard to believe they have grown up so fast! Part time job, need to get them when they are finished, babysitting for the neighbors. I really think it is time they get their own phone. It would be so much handier and safer, especially when home alone with younger children or having to do chores by themselves. Life is so busy, there really is not a lot of time, especially when it comes to those new phones. I am glad the teenagers can figure it out, it is so frustrating that I don’t even want to mess with it. We have talked to them, and they know what is right and wrong.
So we reason, and possibly open up the whole world to our children, with one little useful (necessary), but dangerous device. Are not monitoring and restrictions necessary? Do you allow your child to start driving without taking drivers education? Also guiding and directing them from the passenger seat for some years before they are allowed on their own? We are concerned for their safety! One mistake can be the end of their life! The scriptures also teach us to “train up a child in the way he should go”. If you would train a young tree, then it involves bending, pruning, and restraint to form it as it grows. This also is what we try to do with our children; by our opinions we form theirs in a direction. Often we need to stop or prune something that is going the wrong way. Restraint is necessary to keep them so that they do not form wrong habits. Why is training necessary? Why is it so important when it comes to internet and phone use?
When a farmer has piece of ground that he plants, he is busy monitoring it. Why? To make sure it grows, but also to keep an eye on the weeds. The weeds always come because the seeds are there in the ground, hidden, but there. So it is also in the hearts of us and our children. The seeds of sin are there, hidden, but there. What do we read in God’s word after Noah had come out of the ark and offered an offering pleasing unto the Lord? “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Genesis 8:21a.
So if we trust our children without monitoring, controlling, and filtering their use of the internet, then we do not believe what the Lord has said “man’s heart is evil from his youth”. That evil heart, which we all possess, needs so much cultivating. We have promised it at baptism; to instruct them to the utmost of our abilities. Leaving their devices open and unmonitored gives the opportunity for seeds of sin to grow and be fed. Our heart goes out to that which is forbidden and evil. The devil is very aware of our weaknesses. I believe many parents regret being lax with the phones/internet with some of their children. These small beginnings can pollute our mind with many images, which will never leave us, and possibly lead to addictions, such as pornography, with all its grievous consequences.
May the Lord Almighty grant us much diligence in using the means to restrain, but also prayer that the filter of His blessed Holy Spirit may be applied to our hearts. Then sin becomes sin and we will flee from the appearance of evil.
If you desire to have help with your devices and/or advice how to monitor and control them. Please contact the SMMC. We are willing to help. Visit us at siouxlandmmc.com.
Elder Greg DeJager