Our little “idolatry/enmity” game has simple but firm rules: delight me, humor me, comfort me, or love me, and you get closer to my “idol” pole; but annoy me, disregard me, disappoint me, or threaten me, and you get closer to my enemy pole. Whenever a relationship promises to deliver happiness, we scoot that person toward the “idol” pole of our line. And whenever a relationship threatens to obstruct our happiness, we push that person toward the “enemy” pole of our line.
I’ve had a few difficult conversations in my life. I wish I could say I’ve handled them all perfectly. But, as people close to me could tell you, I haven’t. Here are a few questions—informed by Scripture and some limited experience—that would be helpful to ask before going into a conversation you know will be difficult.
Had I just committed the unpardonable parenting crime? I had finished a conversation with my four-year-old daughter: “We are all sinners,” I looked her straight in the eyes as I continued, “And sin always hurts. It hurts us because we deserve to be punished in hell for it.” I had just told my daughter she was a sinner, condemned by God. Had I cruelly set time-bombs of depression and despair in her little heart by teaching her the doctrine of original sin?
It was a time of pressure for my wife and me. My evenings were filled with classwork, our small children demanded constant attention from my wife throughout the day, and challenges in the ministry weighed on us and occupied much of our conversation. It was the perfect storm for burnout and disillusionment.
Does your child own a phone or tablet? You might soon have a crisis on your hands if you believe these five myths about your children and their technology.