Raising kids has always been hard, but I’m convinced it has to be a little bit harder in 2016.
Twenty years ago, as a child, I had three major influences in my life: my mom, my friends from school, and Disney movies. I won’t go as far as to say that my mother had it easier than I do when raising children, but I will say that the amount of outside influences that she tried to manage was significantly less before the internet showed up.
As a dad, I feel like I am a constantly trying to shield my children from the chaos of this world.
And it’s exhausting.
From commercials on TV, ads on Youtube, and lyrics on the radio, it can quickly feel like an impossible battle to win. And the truth is, it is.
You and I will lose the battle of sheltering our kids from the brokenness of this world. You can blindfold, ear-muff, bubblewrap, and shelter your child. And you will still lose.
Your kids will eventually be exposed to junk that no child should be exposed to.
But the war is deeper than what we see and hear. The war is not against pornography, video games, Pokemon, or rap music. The war is being waged for their heart. And that is a battle that Jesus can win.
My gauge for success as a parent is not how well I can protect my kids from the sinfulness of the world. Success for me comes when my children are convinced that Jesus is better than anything the world has to offer.
Jesus isn’t after changing your kids’ behavior, he’s after changing their hearts.
As parents, we must be diligent in protecting the hearts, eyes, and minds of the children God has given us, most definitely. But even more than that, we must raise our kids to believe that there is only one thing that can satisfy their souls: Jesus alone.
When faced with temptation and sin, I don’t want my kids to ask, “Is this wrong?” or “would dad be mad at me?”. Instead, I want my kids to ask “will this satisfy my soul more than Jesus can?”.
Friends, the war isn’t against technology, the war is against hearts. Monitor their internet use, limit their screen time, filter the content they consume. But above all, point them to Jesus and pray that God would capture their hearts in ways that nothing else can.