Where do you immediately turn when you need help?
In this digital age, many of us grab our phone or computer. We quickly Google a question to find out the answer.
My baby has a fever. Google will tell me what to do.
My child is getting bullied. Google will offer me advice from child development experts.
I need something gluten free to make for dinner. Google will give me delicious recipes to choose from.
And although technology can be a blessing, it can also be a curse. The curse comes when we turn to Google before we turn to God. We need God, not Google, first.
Consider the beautiful verse from Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Today’s parent, if being honest, might find the following statement more of a reality:
“I turn my eyes down to my phone – where does my help come from? My help comes from Google, the holder of all information.”
In this screen-driven world, we can get our wires crossed. The answers to your family’s problems aren’t found on homepages or search engines. The answers you need are found in the ancient pages of God’s Word and by speaking to the source of wisdom Himself.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” In other words, when your toddler is screaming or your teenager is rebelling, ask God for wisdom first. Have a conversation with your Heavenly Father and He will give you wisdom for your home life.
When you need help understanding your life, when you need patience for that child who gets under your skin, it’s time to pray. Don’t turn to the advice column or psychologist first. Ask God for a dose of wisdom. Scripture tells us again and again that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That fear doesn’t mean you’re scared to talk to God as if He were waiting with a lightning bolt to zap you. The fear of the Lord is a deep awe and respect for His name. You recognize that He is God, and you are not (and neither is the phone in your pocket).
Our phones are becoming increasingly important. A global study by Cisco Systems suggests that nine of 10 people under the age of 30 suffer from “nomophobia,” which is the fear of being disconnected from our gadgets. We rely on the data on our phones to make decisions, from where we should eat to where we should send our kids to school. I’m not saying it’s wrong to Google information. I’m just saying we must be careful to depend on God first, not technology.
What’s true of us becomes true of our daughters and our sons.
If we struggle with nomophobia (the fear of being without our phone), guess what? Our children will probably struggle with it too.
As information is instant and tailor made for exactly what we want, there is less that’s unknown. We check the weather, traffic, and school updates at our fingertips. We have more confidence and more control – and less need for God.
Think about it. Could you go a whole day without talking to God? Probably. Could you go a whole day without your cell phone or Wi-Fi? Ouch, that would hurt more wouldn’t it? We are ever dependent on our calorie trackers, social media posts, playlists, texts, and emails. Instead of nurturing a dependency on the Divine, we’ve nurtured a dependency on data. We talk to God once in a while at our convenience, but we need our phones and devices 24/7.
Living in a digital world can be frenetic, fast-paced, and overwhelming. Being online constantly throughout the day is not calming. Remember the words of the Psalmist: I lift my eyes to the mountains. You don’t have to wait until a vacation to experience the calming effect of being in nature. You can talk a five-minute prayer walk around your home or simply look outside the window as you talk to the Creator of it all. There’s a richness only silence and stillness offers but we seldom have the patience to wait on God in our Insta world.
Today our idols aren’t golden calves or wooden images. But maybe they’re phones and tablets and laptops and flatscreens. Of course technology should be used and can be used for good in your family life. But if you follow the culture’s growing dependence on technology, you won’t need God nearly as much as you need WiFi. It’s time for families to go against the grain and make sure God comes first, way before Google.
Learn more in Arlene’s video course, Technology and Your Girl. Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including 31 Days to a Happy Husbandand Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right. Read more at ArlenePellicane.com.