Vol. 5 Issue 7 | February 15, 2019
Three Things This Week
What it is: The next big tech platform isn’t text- or image-based. It’s not even screen-based. It’s actually a parallel world in which bytes and atoms meet, and it’s already being built.
Why it’s mind-blowing: Imagine creating a 3D, 1:1-scale map of the earth, then living in that map. That’s the mirrorworld made possible by Augmented Reality (AR). Its ancestors, the World Wide Web and social media, sought to digitize information and people respectively, so AR seeks to digitize “the rest of the world.” If the temptation to live our lives online is bad enough right now, imagine a future in which the entire world has a virtual twin—one that’s more exciting, fast-paced, and interactive than the “real” one. As immense and terrifying as it sounds, it’s only beginning, which means that, unlike with the Internet and social media, we’re not too late to teach the next generations how to use and shape it well.
2. What Is Love?
What it is: Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is the annual reminder to just about every teen that romantic love is the highpoint of human existence.
Why it’s much deeper: Through the latest movies (Isn’t It Romantic?), the Billboard Hot 100, and Madison Avenue’s incessant advertisements, pop culture preaches that love is easy, always centered in sex, and something we just fall in and out of based on our changing emotions. But is it? If you’ve been married for longer than four days, you know better. Love is hard. Love is sacrifice. It’s painful. It isn’t an emotion; it’s an action. Love is the daily, dogged determination to never stop pursuing the other while expecting nothing in return. Love does not complete you, but it will transform you. Ask your son or daughter to give you their definition of romantic love. Then, ask yourself if you and your spouse are modeling a healthy, loving relationship in your home. Because “what your kids see in your marriage often gets translated into theirs.”
3. Evangelism Is…Wrong?
What it is:According to new research by Barna, almost half (47%) of Christian Millennials believe it’s wrong to share one’s faith with others.
Why it’s eye-opening: Despite 94% of them agreeing that coming to know Jesus is the best thing that could happen to someone, many of them believe they shouldn’t share their faith. Talk about confusing! And though Gen Z wasn’t part of the study, it’s highly probable that they have similar sentiments. So why do they feel this way? Is it because evangelism has often been linked to colonialism or shouting street preachers? Do they have an incorrect assumption about what evangelism is? Or maybe they’re scared? It’s probably a combination of all the above. Simply put, evangelism is the “announcement of kingdom of Christ” in both word and deed, bringing salvation, redemption, and justice to bear now and eternally. Our just-released Conversation Kit on Evangelism could help you begin this complex conversation with your kids, as well as offer a helpful framework upon which to turn faith into action.
Parent Guide Spotlight: Even if you don’t understand the specifics, you’ve probably heard about the Enneagram at least a few times recently as it gains popularity. If you’ve wondered what it is, why people like it so much, and how it’s helpful but don’t know where to start, our brand new Parent’s Guide to the Enneagram can help. It offers an overview of the typology, briefly breaks down each type, and helps you understand how it can help you in your parenting/discipleship journey. Also, don’t forget! The Parenting Relationships Summit starts today, with 5 amazing interviews from people like Paul David Tripp available for a limited time. Sign up and start watching for free today!
Dirty (Baker’s) Dozen
Every year, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation releases their “Dirty Dozen” list, exposing entities that propagate and/or profit from sexual exploitation in one way or another. Their goal is to hold corporations to a higher standard by changing the way consumers perceive and interact with them. 2019’s list, which was released Monday, offers explanations for why each company found itself there, proof of their alleged actions, and action steps we can take as part of our demand for change. The following are the organizations on this year’s list:
2. Ebsco Information Services
5. Massage Envy
7. The state of Nevada
9. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
12. United Airlines
We highly recommend reading about each one’s offenses with your teenagers, asking them if they were surprised by any of the businesses listed. Do they agree with the accusations and/or the idea that a company is part of the sexploitation problem even if it only indirectly profits? Why or why not? Then ask them what they think they should do now that they have this information. Is there something the whole family can/should do?
And since this is incredibly serious, we thought we’d give you one more closer to home. So for the baker’s dozen, we add:
13. The Church
With new abuse allegations coming out of the Roman Catholic Church last week and the Southern Baptist Church this week, it’s clear we all have a problem. But that’s the thing about sin: It can’t be ignored or passively rooted out. It must be actively conquered, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. And that can’t be done unless we humbly and soberly face it and expose it to the light. Most of us have never actively participated in sexploitation, but have we supported a charismatic leader, organization, or company who turned a deaf ear to a victim? Have we blindly trusted those in authority? Have we encouraged demeaning thoughts or behaviors? Have we taught our children sexual education and empowered them with the tools to resist abusers? As hard and painful as it is, we must allow the Holy Spirit to convict us, lest we never stop being part of the problem.