Vol. 4 Issue 21 | May 25, 2018
Three Things This Week
1. Smartphone, Tamed
What it is: Our new FREE video series devoted to helping you and your family reclaim dominion over technology and learn to use it wisely.
Why you should watch rn: Over the 11 years since the first iPhone, we’ve seen amazing technology shifts that no one could have predicted . . . or kept up with! As a result, many parents find themselves wondering how to know when to give their kids phones, how to monitor them, and how to teach and model wise use of these ubiquitous devices. Our 3 videos are not only a deep-dive into how smartphones are good-yet-cursed and ready for redemption, they also look at the dangers lurking and offer practical steps for smartphone discipleship. Each of the 10-minute videos is only available to watch until May 31, so watch them before they’re gone!
2. Cosmo after Dark
What it is:Cosmopolitan’s new Snapchat channel that, in its own words, “is an X-rated weekly edition that goes live every Friday at 6 p.m. and is exclusively dedicated to all things hot and h*rny.”
Why it's a gateway: The content isn’t p*rnographic in the sense that it’s not videos or images, but the screenshots captured by Protect Young Eyes show offerings like “The 19 Best Sites to Binge-Watch P*rn On” and “The Steamiest, Most X-Rated Sex Party Confessions” (which is simply word-based p*rn). Also, Snopes' article features a screenshot from the channel that is itself a screenshot of P*rnhub’s “gay” section, simply with hearts over the “explicit” parts of the images. The content has been age-gated so that users younger than 18 can’t access it, but it’s not hard for a user to falsify their birthday to get around this restriction (remember, Snapchat doesn’t have parental controls!). We have to talk to our kids about this, reminding them why this version of sexuality is only settling for less than God’s best for us, and making sure they know they can talk to us about anything.
3. Tik Tok (aka Douyin)
Why it's notable: Similar to Musical.ly (both are owned by the same company), Tik Tok allows users to upload 15-second videos of themselves lip-syncing and dancing. And users are going to great lengths to gain views, likes, and followers, often putting themselves and others in harm’s way. Whether you’re in North America (where Musical.ly still reigns) or elsewhere (where Tik Tok is king), both apps present opportunities to talk with our kids about internet safety, yes, but more importantly about why tying our value to our “likes” is so easy and tempting and yet so damaging because it’s absolutely not true. (Check out our “Parent’s Guide to Musical.ly” for more!)
A Royal Sermon
The 600 A-list guests and over 2 billion viewers for Saturday’s royal wedding were taken to church by Bishop Michael Curry’s motivational sermon on the power of love. Instead of a sappy soliloquy about the romantic love of a young couple, Curry dug deep into Scripture and his African American heritage to re-introduce the secular world to Jesus’ redemptive, transformational love—a love that isn’t merely private or self-serving, but rather public and sacrificial.
About half-way through his sermon, Curry asked his listeners to “imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce where love is the way.” When the love of Jesus is the way, the whole world will be turned upside down . . . or maybe right side up.
In a culture where Christians are known more for what we are against than what we are for, Curry’s message of unconditional love was a welcome change. In fact, it trended on Twitter for several hours, and even caused Prince Harry’s stiff upper lip to respond “Wow!”
Watch the sermon with your kids and ask one another these questions: Does the unconditional love of God make you feel uncomfortable? Why or why not? What is love? How would unconditional love change how we speak to, and relate to one another in our home?
It’s been said we become what we worship, and if we worship a harsh, finger-wagging God, we’ll become harsh, judgmental parents. A CT reader and mom in California just told us, “If I struggle to accept God’s unconditional love for myself, I cannot model His unconditional love to my children, and they will grow up believing God is mean, harsh, and critical instead of gracious, good, and trustworthy.” Dare to trust in His unfailing love, and you just might find your family being transformed along the way.
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