Now that we’ve examined a few ways technology can fuel or reveal “the big 3” categories of sin (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life), what should a parent do? Maybe you’re ready to throw every tech toy in your house into the trash can, but that may not be the best answer: After all, technology does not create sin in our hearts; it only feeds or reveals what’s already there (Proverbs 22:15).
Replacing Fleshly Habits with Spiritual Ones
Technology can be used for good, and we can learn and teach our teens to harness its positive potential. Instead of seeing technology as simply something that can be used for evil and avoiding it, we can use our freedom in Christ to serve other people (Galatians 5:13).
Social media and handheld devices provide unprecedented ways in which we can communicate encouraging, life-giving, gospel-soaked words of life both globally and immediately. As we mentor teens in using their developing abilities and relationships, they can accomplish many good things for God with their tech time.
Realizing Benefits of Tech-Free Time
While technology can be used for spiritual purposes, it can also be overused. Regardless of a person’s aims on Facebook, it seems that overuse of it produces negative results, overall. One study says, “The prescription for Facebook despair is less Facebook. Researchers found that face-to-face or phone interaction — those outmoded, analog ways of communication — had the opposite effect. Direct interactions with other human beings led people to feel better.”
This study about the comparative benefits of face-to-face interactions is far from unique; another scholarly study relating to students’ empathy also showcases the overarching detrimental tendencies of our tech-tied culture. It seems that the more likely our kids will be to reach out in loving, others-serving ways through technology, the less they’re using it as their go-to method of connecting with their world.
Removing Avenues of Strong Temptations
While removing or limiting access to technology won’t fix the problems of lust or pride in our hearts, God’s Word does mention that there’s wisdom in not providing for the flesh (Romans 13:12-14). While we need to guide our children to be able to make wise choices on their own, teens who lack the wisdom or self-control to limit technology use that’s taken a stronghold in their lives need their parents to help them break free of their addictions.
While taking that step may be painful, at first, it may be a necessary step in helping your teen learn to manage technology wisely and develop the spiritual and relationship skills related to a full and productive life.
The good news is that even teenagers can learn to think differently, renewing their minds and their ways of thinking, with God’s Word. Instead of being like the fallen world around us or giving in to our natural impulses, we can be truly transformed by a holy, loving God (Romans 12:2).