Staying connected with one another and with Christ in this digital age is quite a challenge, not only with trying to get my two boys to put down the electronics for a few minutes but also admittedly for myself as well. Netflix is my downfall (next best thing since sliced bread), and it doesn’t take much before I find myself three episodes deep into my favorite series, especially after a long day of work.
Quite honestly, I feel like most days we are losing the battle rather than winning the war on electronics. Nonetheless, we are all able to see the positive benefits to our family relations, our personal relationships with God, and our growing faith in our Lord and Savior when we do finally manage to unplug.
At a relatively young age, my boys (now ages 15 and 11), were able to make the connection between less time on electronics and overall better well-being. When I’ve noticed that we all have been spending too much time attached to our gadgets, at first my boys will be angry when I start setting limits. We talk about it, and as they stick to the limits and spend less time on TV and video games, they begin to realize they have more patience with each other, sleep better at night, and generally feel better after getting outside more. But that call to “get to the next level” and “see that new episode” is powerful, and I find myself needing to help my family hit the reset button by setting limits more often than not.
Several years ago, I bought each boy a copy of Egermeier’s Bible Story Book and put together a reading plan that took them through the book in a few weeks shy of a year. Reading the assigned story became a part of their daily to-do list, which needed to be completed before TV or time on electronics.
Now that they are older and can read the Bible on their own, I’ve installed YouVersion—the Bible app on all of our tablets and signed us up for a reading plan. In the coming months, we will be reading the Gospels and comparing and contrasting the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We can monitor each others’ progress through the reading plans and remind each other when we get behind. So far it has been a great way to embrace technology, yet at the same time remind ourselves the importance of spending time in God’s Word daily.
I’d like to say that I’m an organized mom who stays on top of setting limits and helping our family keep Christ at the center of our lives, but the truth is, I find myself hitting the “catch me up” button on our reading plans way more than I would like. But, instead of beating myself up with guilt, I turn to God’s Word for strength and remember that even though I’ll never be the perfect mom I’d like to be, I am perfect in Christ, and he has paid the price in full for each and every one of my imperfections (Hebrews 10:14).