As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. – 1 Peter 4:10
Exposing Parents to the Millennial Era
Our parents’ stories were filled with values they have learned from their parents and elders. They also talk about outdoor games and sports they were able to enjoy during the time of their youth. Although these things still do exist, the Children of the Millennial Era spend more time interacting on Social Media than in person. As young as a toddler, a child already knows how to play games on an android phone or a tablet. By the time this child becomes a teenager, this child is more influenced by online peers than parents and teachers.
A Millennial Christian Child
Jamie is sixteen and spends more of her home hours online than speaking with her parents. She was raised by Christian parents with values intact. She studied in a Christian school in her primary years. When there’s a lot of academic and peer pressure revolving in her teenage life, she chose to keep her everyday battles within herself until she cries herself to sleep. In this situation, you may ask, where has any of her parents gone wrong?
Although she is protected spiritually and guided by good values within the confines of her home, there’s no denying that her exposure to social media every day can confuse her views towards what is appropriate and not, what is acceptable and not and what should be. With one click online, she gets an easy access to the discussion about trending news, different views and comments alike. Jamie is not alone. There may be one out of twenty millennial teen that prefers to spend hours online than confront daily problems encountered in school, in a sports team and even within the ministry group.
Christian Parents as Stewards of the Lord’s Grace
In the midst of the chaotic online world, a child’s behaviour development still begins at home. Parents still function as the child’s first teachers. Being Christian parents, it takes a huge responsibility to serve as good stewards of grace to their child or children. Before a child gets to learn to tick the android phone or clicking on the laptop, it is the parents who get to observe whether the child is following the path to Christianity.
The digital generation of youngsters poses a challenge for guidance. What they read, they absorb. What they absorb becomes part of their outlook in life. Their views from adolescence will direct their adult life and the way they interact with others.
As Christian Parents, a simple act of kindness and compassion shows how the Lord’s grace is manifested within and outside the family circle. Instead of criticizing the child’s physical and intellectual defect, finding ways to encourage the child with what can be improved can be more comforting. And for what cannot be changed, the Christian Parents are responsible to help the child understand that each individual has unique qualities and talents for it is a gift from the Lord.
Jamie’s case showed signs of withdrawing from personal touch and diverting herself towards her online world. Jamie’s parents could have taught her while young that it is okay to tell them her thoughts and emotions no matter how petty it seems. They could have talked about setting a schedule for using the internet beyond necessary for studies or for the parents’ end, for work-related matters.
No Christian Parent is perfect. As much as life is a continuous learning process, the same principle goes on a parenting journey. And each day can be an opportunity to teach a child that the Lord’s grace is greater than human resources.
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