“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”Ephesians 6:1-4 (NLT)
What does it look like to live out this command from Scripture on a daily basis? Some translations use the word “nurture” in place of “discipline. “ True nurture requires touch, feeling, and undivided attention. Nurture is defined as “the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.” It is easy to cater to the wants and desires of our children or to pacify them in some way. It requires much more of us to know and provide what our children “need” from us.
Have you noticed that when you are in a public place that families are totally disconnected from one another but connected to technology? My fear is that home is no different. As tempting as it is to stay in tune to all of the information that is available to us on a 24/7 basis by way of technology, it is critical that we refrain from allowing our valuable time to be spent more in gathering information from strangers versus knowing and investing in our family. Let us consider what God’s Word says in James 1:12-14 (NLT):
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
If we invest ourselves in our technology now and not our children, then we would hope that the technology will satisfy in our aging when our children don’t invest in us. God never intended for our “prized possession” to be wires contained in a metal case. I encourage you strongly to protect your family’s emotional connection by creating “no technology zones” and “no technology times” so that you do not forsake that which is most important to the Lord.
Don’t let technology rob you of your opportunity to invest in the lives of your loved ones. Technology is no substitute for the freedom to talk, listen, share information, touch, make eye contact, and etc. When we make the mistake of connecting more with technology than with our loved ones, we are more likely to miss the most precious opportunities to teach, laugh, and love.