The best thing I can do for Thomas is to live my life for Jesus openly in front of Him. And I'm not talking about playing spiritual games. Thomas needs to see a living, breathing, real-life relationship in his father. He needs to see a real faith at home and not just at church in the pulpit. He needs to see a real faith when the clerk at Wal-Mart short-changes me some money and when I'm on the softball field representing God & Mt. Olive Church.
Another 'best' thing I can do for Thomas is to love his mother. When a mother and father love each other, and model that before their children, it does so much for those kids! Hopefully Thomas is already somehow, someway understanding what real love is between a man and a woman....and how he should love his wife one day.
The last thing I need to do for Thomas is protect him; protect him from many things in this world. One area that is as important in protecting Thomas as any other concerns the area of the 'internet'! Maybe you read about this story...
In November 2008, a Los Angeles jury found Lori Drew guilty of three misdemeanor computer crimes and sentenced her a maximum of three years in prison. She is the "MySpace mom" who created a fake MySpace account under the pseudonym "Josh Evans" to lure a thirteen yr. old Missouri girl into an online relationship. This was part of a hoax orchestrated by Drew, her own thirteen yr. old daughter(who was friends with the Missouri girl), and an employer of Drew's. After developing a relationship with the girl through "Josh," Drew wrote in a message to the girl "The world would be a better place without you." Soon after, the Missouri girl committed suicide.
That was a terrible tragedy. But internet sites are being created today to intentionally spread gossip. One site provides a virtual bathroom wall for 500 college campuses. Users anonymously can post gossip, slander, racial slurs, and sexually explicit comments about any person on their campus without any fear of legal recourse. Another site lets a person pinpoint their neighbor on a map and post comments about their barking dogs and alleged domestic violence, or whatever they want. Pictures of the neighbor's house are provided through 'Google maps.'
That stuff and much more is why one of the BEST things I can do for Thomas is protect him from that smut. It's my responsibility. No one else's.
Are you protecting your child on the internet? Statistics tell us this...
34% of teens have seen illicit material online they did not want to see.
71% of teens have reported receiving messages online from people
they do not know.
14% of teens have met someone in person with whom they first
33% of teens say their parents know "very little" or "nothing" about
what they do on the internet.
Well...there are great lessons in all that for us. And the lessons? There are many, but the main lesson is that we have a responsibility to guide, teach, and protect our kids. Period. No excuses. And I don't care what society is doing. We're called by God to be different! Be in the world? Yes. But be of the world? No way.
What can we do to protect our kids from the internet? Here are a few things...
1. Do not allow internet access in the kid's bedroom. Make no
exceptions. It's a foolish choice to allow this.
2. Put internet access on a computer in a common family area
where all can see. Keep the computer screen facing the family.
3. Have you ever tried to limit TV for the kids? Then limit time
spent on the internet(internet surfing is like teens just driving around
town. Often we find trouble even if we're not looking for it – idle time
can be dangerous).
4. By all means, put adult content blockers on your computer. Let
the wife of the house set the PASSWORDS! Regina sets ours. Don't
give the devil a foothold.
5. Delete all e-mail from someone you don't know.
6. And most of all...stop talking that trash about not wanting to
'violate' your child's privacy! The things of this world can
destroy them. Quit being a computer coward(or a coward in general)
and take some stands and remind your child who's in control.
* And yes we want to trust our kids...but temptation is temptation to
all of us. Satan can get anyone if they don't take precautions.
Let's be God's people at all times, in all areas, and especially with our children. We're gonna answer for them, folks. Especially during their early years. Let's do our best with them. Don't give your childan 'open door' to sin!
God bless each of you.