Monday, October 22, 2012

Priorities- Relationships

We are now on our second week with 'no electronics.' We had decided to set electronics aside for the week to check our hearts for a sense of entitlement. While this is such an important issue, and one in which we will continue to address, something else surfaced unexpectedly and more vividly.
Without electronics, our relationships flourished.
Without realizing it, electronics and television had stolen our time; the actual dimension of time and the time necessary to build solid relationships with each other. None of us would have stated that our relationships were unimportant, but the preoccupation with electronic devices, with their stealthy effect of stealing time, implied otherwise. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21) This verse applies most likely to money, but it certainly could apply to anything that garners our attention and distracts us from where our real treasure is; a relationship with the Lord and with our family. In a sense, we could consider, "Whatever your priorities are, there your heart and devotion will be also."
It is so obvious now, and I am ashamed that I didn't catch it before. Who would want to steal our time so that we don't have any left to spend with our family? Who would want to pull us away from investing in relationships, particularly since the Holy Word of God is the ultimate book of relationships? Certainly, it is the deceiver himself. I am sure he believes his scheme is brilliant: sneak in and erode relationships by stealing time. No, I will not let him use modern technology to steal my heart or time from my Father in heaven or my family. B.U.S.Y (being under Satan's yoke) is not the acronym I want to live by.
Our week without electronics was spent doing the obvious things a family would do without them; we played outside, took walks, played games or cards. Our attitudes were better toward each other. We said, "yes" to throwing ball and playing Monopoly. In the past, our response might have been, "Okay, but first I need to check e-mail." Sometimes, we might leave the computer and play with our children and sometimes not. Because we were 'too busy' our children would resort to their own corner to share life with a robot. We had not intended for our family to be this way. Electronics, without knowing it, can claim your biggest devotion and contribute to a gradual deterioration of a family.
I have often said, Rob and I are two sinners trying to raise three sinners to the cross; a family of five sinners living under the same roof. Without God's grace, that fact alone could cause a family to disintegrate. What I saw during our week without electronics was a lovely picture of redemption. Instead of the prevalence of sin, I could see Christ-like characteristics emerge. That week caused a shift in our children's attitudes and behaviors. They were nicer to each other. They were more respectful. They served in the kitchen and helped cook supper. They cleaned up willingly. Without the lure of electronics, we lived simply. We rested our brains. We read books. My older children sat for two hours learning songs on the piano and guitar and could perform a duet together. This never would have happened had electrons been bursting in their faces from a screen.

The Bible is a book about relationships. It is about the relationship with our Father, our spouse and with our children. It discusses our relationships with neighbors, friends and enemies. When asked of all the commandments, which is the most important, Jesus answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:29) Certainly, 'neighbor' is anyone else besides yourself.

Considering our family members as neighbors, what should 'love your neighbor' look like in our home? A personal interpretation of 1 John 3:16-18 would read as follows, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives (and the things that make us busy) for our (family.) If anyone has material possessions and (gives his or her devotion to such things) and sees his or her (family) in need, but has no pity (or time for them,) how can the love of God be in (them?) Dear (parents,) let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.'
Families are under assault from an ever increasing number of forces. I remind myself that God is bigger and that He can restore "the years the locusts have eaten." (Joel 2:25) We are now approaching our third week of 'no electronics or television.' Our family is not characterized anymore by a family devoted to electronics. We use them as needed, but mostly reserve them for weekends. When you remove such things, you will see the sweetness of freedom and the joy of precious relationships restored.

Thank you for joining my on this 'Life Lessons' Sunday!
 
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7 comments :

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

My husband and I were just saying that about the way the kids of the future spend more time with those silly electronics.
I applaud you and your hubby.Your kids will be better for it . Your family will be a family thatwill enjoy each other

. Even in church I see them being used. Awful. It must stop. Most churches do not carry bibles or read them. They have the headers on screen. It must stop.

Talking to my son who lives far away from us. their dishwasher broke. So he said he is not going to get it fixed.

So they all have hand washed dishes. And now they have a conversation with each other.

Oh the t.v issue. Watching t,v and the worse was bad words I heard continued in every chanel .

I am sure you have heard it.

Watched a commercial and I said to hubby. It will soon that small

children will soon be picking that talk up.

Your time my dear knowing you have your family and not the contol of a dial for your kids.

Good for you.

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Christie, I applaud you for this decision. We all need to step back and look at our relationships with a fresh eye at times. There have been seasons that God asked me to "fast" from tv or secular reading etc. Those are always times He's calling us to a closer walk with Him. Blessings, sweet friend, your children will thank you for this. xo

Denise said...

Christie, thank you for taking the time ti write this ~ and thank you for taking the break from electronics and noticing what all they were robbing your family of. I want to try this in our family, tho' it will be a little more challenging than for some ~ my son uses his ipad to tune out the extreme pain he is in from his recent 16th and 17th surgeries. God being my helper, I will try to read fun living books and engage him in some board and card games. Electronics are the easy way out for me with the addtional stresses of caring for him and my husband who is in the advanced stages of Young Onset Parkinson's. No battle worth winning is ever easy. Thanks again for the time, thought and prayer you put into sharing this very needed "sermon".

Carol Bennett said...

Thanks, Christie, for this excellent post. We can each learn something from this, regardless of our age. Carol

Christie said...

Thank you all for the responses of encouragement. Life is such a journey and I learn from falling down and skinning my knees. Denise, your plate is full. I am sure if my child had so many surgeries to endure, it wouldn't be a question. If he enjoys the time on his IPad, that is what he should do. Everything we do is certainly taken into the context of each individual situation. Your plate is full and you are in survival mode. And your dear husband; I am so, so sorry. I know you are on a difficult road right now and my prayers are with you. Whatever gives you freedom, that is what you do. Blessings, Christie

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

This is so refreshing to hear! It occurs to me while reading this, that not only do electronic toys disrupt relationships among our children but they also disrupt marriages right and left! We can all learn from this post!

Anonymous said...

I admire you for doing this for your family. I wish more families would just go back to the basics and what is wrong with that? I love this post; it is a big reminder of what can be...

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