We live in a world where you can connect to technology pretty much anywhere. anytime. anyplace. Many places, like Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and even the ATT wireless store boast of free wifi access for those who carry a smartphone so you can be connected without having to pay data costs. Pretty swanky huh? I think this is great, fine, well and good. I have enjoyed a few times alone in Barnes and Noble on my Nook (that I won free because I entered an online contest), or Samsung Galaxy S3, because my amazing husband told me to go sneak a few moments for myself. I have appreciated being able to browse the bookstore on my nook while drinking coffee, without being charged.
However, when do these tools, or things we do to take a breather, become a time waster? When does it cross over into the line of this:
“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 10:4
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27 — (meaning we ARE being lazy, or idle, and not tending to the ways of our home or family as we should)
How often do we get online just because we can when there are other, more important things, we could be doing. How often do we hang out on Facebook while the children play, rather than playing WITH them, or watching them, admiring them, or enjoying them? How often do we use Facebook, or other things, to escape motherhood and the important job God has given us?
I have had some pretty strong thoughts and convictions that I have had recently that I want to share with you. This is not an attack on smartphones, Facebook, computers, or technology in and of itself, nor is it an attack on those who use it. They serve good purposes much of the time. They are helpful a lot of the time. What this post IS, is a challenge. I want to challenge you to look at how much time you are disconnected by connecting. When I say this I mean, how often are you disconnected from the world around you, your children, your family, etc, because you are connecting yourself to technology, or Facebook, or the television, or staring at your little smartphone screen without so much as looking up when someone tries to get your attention?
My focus today will be primarily on Facebook, because THAT is what I think I am connecting to TOO much, therefore disconnecting from those around me. From life. From my children. From my husband. From my community. From needs that need to be met. However, ANY form of technology has the power to do this. The Devil can use any and every single item that we use to connect to the WWW or disconnect from the “real world” so to speak, as a way to keep us from serving the Lord and fulfilling His will. In fact, that is what he WANTS.
I am a stay at home mother. I enjoy it. It is tiring, yes, but it is a wonderful job and a blessing. I am thankful to be able to do this. However, this does not give me an excuse to be at home all day, be a hermit, and use Facebook as my primary means to “get out there”, have relationships, and meet people. Yes, it can serve that. I am thankful for SO many I have connected with through Facebook. I am thankful for the mom group I am on. However, those relationships can only go so far. We were made to need real interaction. Eye contact. Face to face conversations. Hugs. Emotional connections. Physically helping, serving, and loving others. I think sometimes we use motherhood as an excuse to say we NEED Facebook because otherwise we would have no friends.
However, do we have no friends because we are on Facebook too much, therefore not getting out and meeting people? I think sometimes the answer is yes. I know it has been for me sometimes. I spend all my energy on Facebook, and then am too tired to meet needs of those around me. Yes, I have children. Yes, sometimes it is hard to get out. That is not an excuse though, I don’t think. We can still get out there, show love, serve others, help others, meet people, and share God’s love, and yes, even WITH our children. I think we should. I think we should be getting our children in on the action! Yes, our children are our primary ministry, but we can be getting out and about, doing daily tasks, and share the love of Christ, no matter WHERE we are or WHAT we are doing.
A wonderful example of this is with my 4.5 year old daughter. We were at the zoo one day and there were some special needs children. What did Katie do? She looked me in the eyes and told me that God made those people special, just like us. He loves them, and we should love them too. What did she do? She smiled, talked, and waved to each one of them. Those kids smiled back at her and she just smiled bigger. She showed God’s love. There was one little boy in particular who could not speak or make any sounds. He was talking to us through gestures. Katie (even Holly, my 2 year old) picked up on this and started talking to him the say way. They were giggling, the little boy had a smile ear to ear, and pretty soon, they were all pretending to be different animals together. It was amazing. When we left, Katie said. He was such a sweet boy mommy, God sure loves him. Yes, Katie. He does, and you showed him God’s love by taking the time to love on him. She did this again at the park when there was another group of special needs children. She told me no one was playing with them and everyone needs friends. She asked if we could go be their friends. She marched over, and started swinging on the swing next to a girl. She then went and talked to the other kids, and BOY did they love it! It was awesome.
How can we do these things if we are always at home, always on Facebook, or watching tv, etc? We can’t.
The girls and I were not doing anything special. We went to the zoo. Something we do many times. We just did our best to show God’s love no matter where we were, what we did, or who we came into contact with. THAT is something your children can do. Motherhood is not an excuse to sit at home because you think it is too hard to get out… and I admit. I used this excuse a lot. I didn’t FEEL like it. I didn’t FEEL like getting the kids in the car.
Now, I am not saying you have to go out EVERY. DAY. HA, that would kill me. However, I think we could do it more. I think we could spend more time with our children, getting out together, and being a light for Jesus.
Yes, we can share things on Facebook, and use it to talk of God’s love, but let’s be honest. I am not saying it CANNOT and I am not saying we should never take advantage of using it. It can be a TOOL. BUT… It really just does not work the same as talking with someone face to face. It is not the same as using your hands and feet and serving those in need in your community. In fact, Facebook can get us in trouble! You cannot read tone or someone’s heart, therefore arguments break out, debates start, people get angry, upset, and are pushed away, and that is not doing anyone any good, and it sure isn’t helping the efforts for the kingdom of God any either. In fact, sometimes I believe it can do more harm than good. I am learning this. I have been convicted of this.
If you have a heart for teen moms, great. Don’t simply post articles about them, get out there and find a way to love on one. Have a heart for those with depression? Don’t just post about depression, get out there and help those who are hurting. Have a heart for teaching girls about modesty and teaching them about purity? Awesome. Stop simply posting about it and get out there and be a light for it, help young girls understand their value. Have a heart for speaking out against abortion? That is great! Don’t just post anti-abortion articles (though they can bring awareness) get out there and serve. Donate money or time to a women’s home, donate money or time to a crisis pregnancy clinic, find a way to serve, even if it simply going to the place you have a heart for and praying over it (I want to do this with the girls) We can get our children involved in prayer, and I think we should.
This post is getting long. I will continue other thoughts another day. For now, that is my first thought and conviction.
We tend to hide away on Facebook rather than serving those around us. We can use motherhood as an excuse to say we NEED Facebook, therefore become addicted to it (yes, we can become addicted to Facebook), again, not getting out and serving those around us.
Facebook friends can be awesome. I have several, as I stated before. I love them and love keeping in touch with them, but folks… we are called to be a light. We are called to be that light on a hill for our communities. We need to get out there, IN PERSON. We need to get to know those around us, our neighbors, and see how we can love them, serve them, and help them. I think we can get our children involved! What better way to teach your children about serving as Christ did, than to get out, and do it together as a family?
More thoughts to come this week. Again, this was a challenge. I am challenging myself as much as you. I hope it made you think.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14