Jon Payne – Wise Technological Parenting

It is the apex of foolishness for parents to allow their children to have free and unaccountable access to technology– smart phones, tablets, iPods, computers, etc. Before I explain the reasons why I believe this, I want to make clear, in no uncertain terms, that I’m not a Luddite. I’m not against the advancement and use of modern technological devices. Indeed, I have no desire to go back to the sixteenth-century! Quite the contrary, I’m profoundly grateful for the seemingly endless and valuable functions of iPhones, iPads, and computers. It’s wonderful to be able to stay in touch with family and friends around the world through FaceTime and Skype, as well as through social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. Even so, there is a dark and insidious side to our brave new world of information and connectivity; and, we would be exceedingly foolish to ignore it. Here are a few reasons why our children should not have free and unrestricted access to technological devices:

Internet Pornography. Internet porn is a pandemic of massive proportions. The statistics related to this wicked industry are staggering (see http://www.covenanteyes.com). The porn industry generates thirteen billion dollars of revenue each year in the United States alone. One in eight online searches is for pornography, and the same goes for one in five searches on mobile devices. Twenty-four percent of smart phone users admit to having pornographic material on their device. Fifty-six percent of divorce cases involve one spouse with a porn addiction.

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Michael Boling – Parenting 101: Dealing with Lying Lips

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. (Col. 3:9)

YHWH detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. (Prov. 12:22)

In the interest of transparency, I want to begin by stating as a child, I had a tendency to lie. Usually it was a string of lies sometimes carefully and at other times haphazardly thrown together in an effort to avoid trouble. Typically, the repercussions of those lies being found out was far worse than if I had simply told the truth at the outset. One thing was certain – the truth, regardless of how well my plan of deceit had been through out, was found out.

The temptation to lie, especially to share the incorrectly described “little white lie” is one I submit we all face. While we may have matured from our childhood days of lying about who broke the lamp in the living room, the urge to stretch truth resulting in falsehood remains a challenge for us all.

As a parent, the battle against lying lips has from time to time taken place in our home. We have a teenage daughter. With that time of life comes the temptation to lie, to go behind the back of those in authority, the desire to do what one wants, and the impulse to lie in order to cover up the tracks of the deception.

A recent occurrence of this deception resulted in a prime teaching moment for our daughter. I will not go into the details of what took place; however, let’s just say it involved the use of technology, the agreement that certain elements of technology would not be installed, the installation of said technology despite the established rules, and finally, the discovery of the deception and unraveling of the web of lies.

I remember what it was like as a child. The rules set down by parents seem like such a killjoy. What is the big deal with doing what they told me not to do, especially if it is just for a quick second? Nobody will be harmed by my actions in this one instance, right? Unfortunately, this line of thinking does not recognize the fact established in Scripture, namely that YHWH detests lying lips (Prov. 12:22) and lying is a work of the flesh, something we should be casting off and mortifying (Col. 3:9).

At its core, lying and deception is the oldest trick in the enemy’s playbook. Deception was part and parcel of what took place in the Garden of Eden. Did YHWH really say? Can’t I just divert off the path of righteousness just a couple of steps? It won’t harm anyone will it?

One could suggest the wrongdoing by our daughter in the grand scheme of harmful activities arguably does not rise to the level of being that monstrous. I would respond to such a suggestion that since YHWH detest lying lips, falsehood exists near or right at the top of that which we should also detest. While all sin should be abhorred, lying lips are repeatedly noted as an abomination to YHWH. Lying is like a giant snowball. It begins with a seemingly innocuous fib but ultimately keeps rolling into a giant landslide of destruction. In the case of our daughter, her actions of falsehood were akin to tossing a log onto an already burning fire.

We shared with our daughter how great a fire a lie can set ablaze. The second and third order consequences of lying are what is often forgotten when deception is embarked upon. Lying breaks the sacred bond of trust, something that takes a great deal of time to rebuild once destroyed. What we often think is no big deal and harmless is in reality rebellion against authority, in this case parental authority, and ultimately, it is rebellion against YHWH.

For parents out there who are also dealing with this issue in their home, be sure you set the example to your children by embracing a policy of honesty. Even those supposed “little white lies” should not be tolerated. Instruct your children in the importance of truth and the harm that occurs by deception. As the people of YHWH, we are to always tell the truth. YHWH detest lying lips and we should as well. Helping our children understand the importance of truth at the earliest age possible and addressing the urge and practice of lying with the power of Scripture is vital.

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Andrew Shanks – The New Eugenics: Can We Pick and Choose Our Children?

Eugenics had its heyday in the early part of the twentieth century. Eugenics theory taught that selective breeding among humans would eventually eradicate undesirable physical traits. Individuals and groups who possessed undesirable traits were to be forcibly sterilized to prevent their reproduction. The theory of eugenics (literally, “good genes”) enjoyed wide popularity in its beginning.

That is, until it was adopted as a major facet of the Nazi program in Germany.

The Nazis perfected the more brutal methods of eugenic theory, and the result was the attempted extermination of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other unwanted groups. Since then, eugenics has fallen into predictable disrepute. Recently, however, new developments in genetic science have resurrected some of the goals of the old eugenics projects.

Bright Side of Genetic Sciences

Currently, genetic testing is becoming a common tool for physicians and diagnosticians. The general idea behind genetic testing is that there are certain genes which predispose a person to certain genetic traits, including an array of hereditary diseases. In some cases, the discovery of these genes may give doctors an edge in fighting the diseases which will result.

For example, young children identified as having the gene mutation which leads to cystic fibrosis have sometimes been treated with a variety of preventative medications and therapies, aimed at reducing the severity of the condition once it surfaces. Now, were this type of diagnosis and treatment the extent of genetic testing’s influence (and were such preventative treatments shown to be beneficial with any consistency), then there would be no cause for concern.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

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Darren Carlson – Foster Care as the Way of Christ

He told us how many of them did not cry the first night.

In 2004 I learned about foster care from Perry Downs, a long-time professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife had taken in many children over the years. When he would check on them, they were screaming into their pillows. They had learned that they would be beaten if they cried, so he would only see silent screams.

Twelve years and a few kids later, my wife and I have opened our home to foster children. We have been part of a church culture that cares for orphans. During Sunday services we are graced with numerous racially mixed families (a little foretaste of heaven) as families are diversified through adoption and foster children. As pro-life Christians, we strive to care about orphans and neglected children who have made it outside the womb.

Caring for Children in Need

Foster care is a system run by the government where minors are put into the custody of the state and placed with foster parents to care for their daily needs. Staggeringly, there are 415,000 children in foster care right now, each staying in foster care an average of two years.

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Tim Challies – Be a Parent Worthy of Honor

For a number of weeks, I have been exploring the fifth commandment and, in particular, how adult children are to obey it. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” While heeding this command is relatively straightforward to the young child under the authority of his parents, it is much more difficult to know what it entails for adult children. Through this series, we have begun to learn some ways such honor can take shape. We have seen that all children owe their parents a debt of honor that continues past childhood. All children of all ages are to honor their parents. We have explored this from many angles and now, as we conclude, I want to explore it from just one more.

Children do not bear the full responsibility of the fifth commandment. If children are to extend honor to their parents, parents are to make it easy for them by living honorable lives. We need to repeat what we have said before: Children are not to wait until their parents prove honorable before extending honor, for the parents’ honor derives from their position, not their behavior. Yet there is still an onus on the parent to live a worthy and respectable life. And this is what I wish to consider today: How can we who are parents live lives that are worthy of honor? How can we make it easy for our children to honor us now and in the future?

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Tim Challies – The Commandment We Forgot: Honoring the Dishonorable

Today we continue this series on honoring our parents, the series that considers how we, as adults, can fulfill the fifth commandment. Behind it is the knowledge that few of us seriously consider the fifth commandment and how we can actively fulfill it, even after we have left our parents’ authority. We have been focusing on Deuteronomy 5:16: “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” We have already seen that this commandment is not only for children. At every age, we owe our parents a debt of honor and this can can be expressed in a number of ways: forgiving our parents, speaking well of them, esteeming them publicly and privately, seeking their wisdom, supporting them, and providing for them.

Well and good. That’s straightforward enough when we have a good relationship with our parents, when they raised us well, when they loved and respected us. But what about people who were adopted and never knew their birth parents? What about people who had difficult or absent or abusive parents? What about people whose parents behaved in utterly dishonorable ways? Does this debt of honor extend even to them? In all the feedback I’ve received from this series, more has focused on these concerns than any other. “Do you really expect me to honor my parents? Let me tell you about them…”

I have approached this article with caution, with prayer, with Bible in hand. All the while I have been thinking about people I know and love, many of them in my own church, who have had to navigate excruciating situations. And as far as I can see, all children are to extend honor to their parents. There are no exception clauses. I acknowledge that in some cases honor will be extremely difficult. I acknowledge that in some cases damage runs very deep. I acknowledge some past traumas cannot and must not be overlooked. And yet I still believe there is a debt of honor we all owe our parents.

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Tim Challies – The Commandment We Forgot

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It is a commandment of God. It is a commandment with promise, with divine blessings attached to it. It is a commandment positioned in a place of special honor and significance. It is a commandment pertaining to the whole life of every human being. It is a commandment with application to the home, church, and workplace, a commandment that provides a stable foundation to all of society. Yet it is a commandment that is sorely neglected today. It may not be overstating the case to call it the commandment we forgot. It is the fifth of God’s ten great commandments to humanity: Honor your father and mother.

Today I am beginning a short series on this commandment and mean to focus especially on an angle few of us have seriously explored: What does it mean to obey this commandment as adults? We understand that it applies to children and teaches them the importance of honoring and obeying mom and dad. But does the commandment stop applying the day we move out or the day we get married? Does it expire when our parents die or when they prove themselves unworthy of our respect? Does it apply to those who have been abandoned or abused? Does our adherence to this commandment change as we grow older and become independent? Maybe our questions are urgent and practical: What are my obligations toward my parents? Do I need to support them financially? Do I need to obey them even though I’m a full-grown adult? These are some of the questions we need to ask and answer if we wish to honor God by honoring his commandment.

I don’t mind saying that I have high hopes for this series. I want it to be biblical, to take the Bible as the ultimate source of truth and the only standard with the right to demand obedience and bind the conscience. I want this series to be practical, to answer real questions in real ways for real life. I want this series to be multi-cultural, to apply to people from different backgrounds and in different places in the world. I want this series to be convicting, to impact and perhaps even transform the way we live. This is true whether we are young or old, whether we are parented or parenting, whether we are dependent upon them or they are dependent upon us, whether we live under their roof or whether they live under ours.

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