The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 11 & 12 {Motherhood & Technology}

chapters 11 & 12 motherhood

Hooray!  We are at the half-way point. We have completed the first half of the book  Women Living Well - on Your Walk with God and Your Marriage.  Now we are up to the section titled: “Your Parenting.”

Let’s Discuss Chapter 11 – A Mother’s Influence

In Chapter 14, I write about the influence of a mother.

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.

The Statue of Liberty was said to be modeled after the sculptor’s mother. 

When Super Bowl football players look into the camera – they don’t say “Hi, Dad” –they yell, “Hi Moooooooooooooom!!!”

Children are sponges.  They soak up the influence of their mother.  And though your name may never be in lights – we must not forget the many many unnamed mothers who rocked the cradles of great men and women who changed the world.  They will forever be unnamed, but their influence is with us forever.

Do you wonder some days if what you are doing matters – changing diapers, kissing boo boos, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over and over and over.  We say night time prayers and tuck littles ones in bed and then they pop right.back.out.of.bed.  Oh! That is frustrating – I know!!!  And then there’s those moments when we lose our temper and feel like the worst moms ever.  We wonder if we are a failure or if our kids are going to end up in counseling forever. Lol!  The overflowing laundry baskets and sticky kitchen floors are enough to make a mom want to run away.  But you don’t. You are strong!  You keep going – loving, feeding, caring, helping and working hard for your family.

You matter.

You are priceless.

Don’t give up – don’t waste your influence. Call on the name of the Lord for help and keep going.

the influence of a mother

Let’s Discuss Chapter 12 – Parenting in the Digital Age

As I think about our influence as moms – I wonder how we influence our children through our use of technology.  Little eyes are watching.

One key, I learned from my parents, was to not hold a double standard.

For example, if a movie was unacceptable for me as a child because of violence, language or sexual content –it was not okay for my parents to see either!  They didn’t have an imaginary age when suddenly, we could watch more “adult” content.  Though some movies had a rating of PG-13 – my parents felt they were unacceptable for me at age 16 –and them at age 43!  If it was not good for me to see — it was not good for them to see either.

It is SO very important that we practice what we preach.  My parents were powerful role models and eventually their convictions became my convictions.

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.  The deeds of faithless men I hate. They will not cling to me.”
~Psalm 101:3

 Three of my main points summed up in this chapter are:

1.) Be aware of what your children are doing!  It is our job as parents to pay attention and know what they are doing on social media or on the web.

2.)  Know Your Child. Is gossip their weakness? Watch their texting. Do they have a thirst for violence? Monitor their video games.  Are they curious about the opposite sex – be on guard for porn. Are they lonely? Do not let them talk to strangers that could be predators.  Each child will have their own unique struggles that will require guidance.  That is our job – to impart knowledge and wisdom to our children – especially in their areas of weakness – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants you to not care or be naive.

3.) Teach them to think for themselves.  We will not always be able to oversee our children’s internet use.  As they grow older, they will begin to use the internet at their friends house or the library or on their phones when we are not around.  Train your child to have a godly conscience and a healthy fear of God – so they are convicted when they go outside the bounds on-line

Help your children have a godly conscience

 

On Friday, we skipped the webcast video for a special Valentine Video – so today’s video is that webcast.

This video was the Opening session to the Women Living Well Conference this summer.  I know that it’s long (42 minutes) but if you can sneak in just the first 10 minutes – it will be WELL worth your time!   I guarantee you are going to get a laugh out of Karen Ehman’s opening skit and laughter is good medicine – so don’t miss this!  Following her skit – I speak for 15 minutes about marriage and motherhood and then 6 of my blogging friends join me on the couch for a 20 minute discussion.

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

Discussion Questions:

1.  When you think of the concept of our children being sponges who are soaking in what they see and hear and observe in us spiritually, how does this make you feel?  Does this cause you concern in any area? If so which one?

2. Read Philippians 4:8.  How can this verse be used as a grid to determine what guidelines your family will have about using devices in this digital age?

For extra discussion go to the forum and click on the thread that says Chapters 11 & 12.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 7 {Effects of Technology on Marriage}

chapter 7 marriage in the age of media

Let’s Discuss Chapter 7

In chapter 6, we turned our eyes towards God’s word to see who he created us to be.  In chapter 7, let’s consider how turning our eyes towards media is affecting our marriages.

I believe that movies, reality television, and all the many facets of social media, that speak into our lives, are causing many wives to be discontent in their marriages.  After all, none of these truly represent REAL life.  Movies are fiction, a lot of reality television is not reality and most of us put our best foot forward on social media and the nitty gritty reality, is kept behind closed doors.

The more we feed on media and the less we feed on God’s word –the greater our dissatisfaction with our husband will grow.

We need to flip this on it’s head.  We need more time in God’s word and less time on technology.  We need more time building our own marriage and less time looking at everyone else’s!

Gary Chapman marriage quote

So how do we do this?  Rather than saying the grass is greener elsewhere, water and fertilize your own marriage!

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1

Valentines Day is RIGHT around the corner. This is a fun time to plan something special for your man.  Next week we’ll talk about the marriage challenges in Chapters 9 & 10 only briefly.  So this week is the perfect time to peek ahead and take one of the challenges.

Let’s Discuss:

Here’s a brief video with a few more thoughts on this topic:

(if you cannot see this video- click here to view it)

1.)  What affect has media had on your marriage?  Are there any boundaries you need to put in place to protect your marriage?

2.)  Read Proverbs 14:1.  How does this verse pertain to media?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapter 7″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Bloggers:  Are you blogging your way through this book club with us?  Then link-up your blog post below.
**
Please note that this link up has changed for the next 5 weeks.{if your linked-up post is not about the book club it will be removed}

 



The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 4

Book Club header week 2 chapter 4

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!

Here’s the links from past posts:
The Weekly Reading Schedule
Chapter 1
Chapters 2&3
“Your Walk With God” webcast & Extra Resources

Let’s Discuss Chapter 4

The world is changing rapidly. It’s amazing for me to consider that my kids have no idea what a typewriter or word processor looks like.  They simply don’t know a world without tiny devices that both entertain and answer all their questions.

Changes from the Media Revolution

 

Our kids are not familiar with those thick JC Penney Catalogs or record players or phones attached to walls.  Remember when we had to purchase film for our cameras…and flashes!  Then we waited 7 days for the pictures to develop and half the pictures were of people with their eyes closed!  My kids can snap 100 pictures in an hour on their iPods, crop, twist and turn them and have them printed on our printer in 2 seconds flat.

The onslaught of the media revolution has changed the landscape of our lives.  So, we must ask the question – how has this affected our walk with God?

I make clear in chapter 4 that media is amoral.  In and of itself, it is neither good nor evil.  It is our use of it, that determines its morality.  Each believer must discern and follow their own convictions

“Jesus lived in a different culture and context than we do.  Never before have women carried access to ALL the world’s knowledge on a tiny device in our purses!”  pg. 36

And this is where the danger lies.  I admit in the book that I struggle with being an information glutton.  As I hop from blog to blog, and Facebook to Twitter – I tend to gather more information than I can process or use and all this information crowds out the voice of God in my life.

Information is a cheap substitute

 

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.

Here’s a 4 minute video of my answers!

(if you cannot see this video - click here)

1.)  Pause for a moment and list all the media you currently use in a week.  Now consider and sort through it, which of the media draws you closer to God and which of the media pulls you away from God.

2.)  God has not called His children to seek information; He calls us to seek Him.  Read Read Matthew 6:33 and Hebrews 11:6 {again} what are we to be seeking?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapters 4″.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

10 Ways to Protect Your Children On-Line

10 Ways to Protect Your Children On-Line

My computer vomited on me -

and my kids.

It was a big picture of a beautiful…naked young girl! {so unexpected and my kids were beside me!}

I shrieked in horror – quickly clicked away and held my breath – oh dear. What do I say?

So we had a little pow wow – me and the kids.

And after I was done talking with the kids about mommy’s massive mistake {face palm}, I went back to the computer.

And I felt dirty. Dirty from the image that had vomited on my children.  It came in the most unexpected place – on a media platform I have used for 4 years without any display of nudity or such fowl words.

And I thought of my little homeschool bubble and Christian blogging world I live in. And I think of my posts where I talk about modesty and people get upset and call me legalistic.  And I giggle just a bit because if you knew me in real life, you would know that I am not the measuring stick kind of girl…at all.

But after my experience on-line that day – my eyes were opened.  Maybe instead of talking about modesty, I should be addressing nakedness!

I’m afraid we live in a desensitized culture where sexting or tweeting lewd photos is cool – or even more – a multi-Billion dollar industry.

24 million websites are porn

40 million Americans are regular visitors of it – eeeek!

70% of men 18-24 visit these sites at least once a month.

2.5 billion emails A DAY have porn in them -

25% of search engine searches A DAY – that’s 68 million are porn related

The average age a child first sees porn –eleven :(

**These statistics were posted here in January of 2013.

So what does God have to say about nakedness?

In the garden – after Adam and Eve sin – the very first evidence of their corruption was their awareness of their nakedness.  And God clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

One practical implication of this is that public nudity today is not a return to innocence but rebellion against moral reality. God ordains clothes to witness to the glory we have lost, and it is added rebellion to throw them off. ~ John Piper

And so – nakedness is rebellion.

And looking upon nakedness…rebellion.

And Satan – he’s a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8)

Nakedness inside of marriage is purity.

And so what is pure – the enemy likes to twist and make impure outside of God’s boundaries.

But then he deceives and desensitizes and lurks and lures and he prowls…prowls on our husbands, prowls on our children and yes – he is even prowling on us!

But in a culture of shack up and break up where men and women wait longer and longer to wed –and those longings burn inside of each teen…these images are literally one click away. And I’m scared…scared for the generation coming behind me who are so used to these constant images.

These images have consequences…some images will permanently stick in our children’s minds for decades…our brains are amazing like that.

And so what do we as parents do?

10 Ways to Protect Your Children On-Line

1. Be aware. If we don’t protect them who will?  It is our job as parents to know what our children are doing and to set boundaries.  We need to monitor their video games, movies, television, apps, twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube, texting and the list goes on! This is a TALL task…I admit that already at the young age of my kids (8 and 10) I find it hard to monitor it all perfectly.  We have to be vigilant and intentional – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants us to not care or be naive –assuming our kids are fine and trustworthy.

2.  Know Your Child. Is gossip their weakness? Watch their texting. Do they have a thirst for violence? Monitor their video games.  Are they curious about the opposite sex – be on guard for porn. Are they lonely? Do not let them talk to strangers that could be predators.  Each child will have their own unique struggles that will require guidance.  That is our job – to impart knowledge and wisdom to our children – especially in their areas of weakness – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants you to not care or be naive. (Oh! I think I already said that -but I needed to say it again).

3.  Know your children’s passwords so you can check in periodically.

4.  Keep computers and i-products out of their bedrooms and in a common family area where you can oversee their activity on-line.  Have all products charge in the kitchen or a main common room – away from their bedrooms at night.

5. Ask your children to show you their favorite games and things to do on-line.  You might just learn something from them and you will get a view into their world.  Play some of their on-line games with them.  During our last family game night, we ditched the board games and played as a family – an iPad app called “Minecraft”.  The kids LOVED that we entered their world and played with them.

6.  Join Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the places your teenagers hang out and check daily to see what your child is posting and who their friends are.  Parent them through this maze of social media.  I can’t imagine all the immature things I would have posted when I was a teenager – I am SO glad this did not exist back then.  Teach your children that what they post is permanent – words have consequences.  Have your teens study the book of Proverbs – this book of wisdom will help them navigate relationships both on and off-line in a godly manner.

7.  Warn them of dangers they would not imagine.  Some children are trusting – they would not ever think of predators who could be waiting to harm them.  Make them aware!

8. Teach them to think for themselves.  We will not always be able to oversee our children’s internet use.  As they grow older, they will begin to use the internet at their friends house or the library or on their phones when we are not around.  Train your child to have a godly conscience and a healthy fear of God – so they are convicted when they go outside the bounds on-line.

9. Pray over your children daily.

10. Prepare to be unpopular.  If you set the above boundaries be prepared for some battles.  It’s easiest to have no boundaries at all. Don’t go the easy route…*

Friends, if you are too busy to monitor your children’s use of the internet…you are too busy. Period.

Josh McDowell writes:

Pornography is the number one threat to the cause of Christ, five times greater than anything historically in the last 2,000 years. It’s the greatest threat to young people, the greatest threat to marriage, the greatest threat to family, the greatest threat to pastors, oh, the greatest threat to youth pastors—this pervasive pornography on the Internet. And most people don’t realize. It’s five times greater than anything the church has ever faced in history, and it’s destroying kids right now.

Rise up mamas! Be aware!  Do NOT let the enemy get a foothold in your house!

**Chime In: What safety measures do you take in your home?

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

How is Media Affecting Us? (Final Media Monday)

 

Today the 8 week series titled Media Mondays comes to an end. The question I sought to answer in this series was:

How is social media and this digital world of ipads, iphones and ipods affecting our relationship with God, our marriages, our parenting, our homemaking, our friendships and our health?

8 weeks ago – we started here with these thoughts:

 Tim Challies, the author of The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion, writes:

“Our lives have become saturated with sounds and images flashing in front of our eyes, blaring into our ears…At work we spend forty hours staring at computer screens. at home we watch television or visit our favorite websites. Between work and home we check our route on the GPS and dash off a few text messages. Even at church we watch our pastors on screens before returning home to watch sermons on the Internet. Life is mediated by the screen.” p.89

Here are the links to the week by week posts if you missed one:

Media and Our Walk with God

Media and Our Marriages

Media and Our Parenting – Part 1

Media and Our Parenting – Part 2

Media and Our Homemaking

Media and Our Friendships

 Media and Our Health

The reality is times have changed. Jesus lived in a different context than we do. Never before have women carried access to all the world’s knowledge on a tiny device in our purse! Screens are everywhere – at church, work, gyms, in my homeschool room, on airplanes, in the car, and in our pockets. Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Youtube have become the new front porch affecting all of our friendships. In 60 years, we’ve gone from zero screen time to an omnipresent screen – they are everywhere and we don’t even notice them! There has been a massive pace change in the last 100 years.  It is affecting us! 

There are a few areas I never addressed in this series, that are affecting us:

1. Privacy - The use of social media has affected everyone’s privacy.  I’ve even seen private emails (of a well-known pastor I adore) leak into the hands of the wrong people and posted publically on-line to be used to harm him.  It made me realize that every email I send must be filtered through God’s word…and be potentially ready to be made public. 

2.  Photos – I have a cabinet full of photos that I’ve slipped into albums and into scrapbooks 5 years ago…but my photos from the last three years have remained jpegs.  Our digital cameras are able to take so many shots that it’s hard to keep up with the plethora of photos we are taking.  But the quality of our photos and the way we can tweak them with photoshop and other applications is truly amazing!  Never before have images been so rich for the eyes and again so public!

3. Creativity is at an all time high.  All you have to do is spend 10 minutes on youtube and you’ll see exactly what I mean!   I know that I may have never taken up writing if blogging did not make it so easy for me to get my thoughts out.  I’ve journaled since I was 15 years old and I have a feeling I’d still be journaling all my thoughts, for no one to see, if it weren’t for social media.

 

Media is amoral – it is neither good nor bad – rather it is the use of it that determines its morality.   We must filter it through God’s word and come to our keyboards ready to glorify God with every word we read or write.  We must remember – no matter what era we live in or how our culture changes:

 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

 

 So let’s get our final discussion of Media started.

What are your final thoughts or conclusions on this series and what can you add to the list – how else is social media affecting us?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below (right click – “save as” the button).

2. If you are not a blogger but are on Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser above on your status update and ask your friends for their thoughts.

 

3. If you have thoughts or questions you want me to address in this series, please leave a comment above. I will try to answer as many as I can either during the series or in the comment section.

Walk with the King!