At age four she wanted to teach. God planted her home next door to Mrs. Goldsmith, the woman who would become her 4th grade teacher. So when the call came to invite the high school English teacher out of retirement and back into the classroom after a 7-year hiatus, she agreed. With a love of books, writing, discussion, and teens, she considered her year at a Christian school in light of Psalm 78:4. “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his powers and the wonders he has done.”
The door invited her to walk into student lives — post the tsunami of technological advancements. Hmm. Sports still framed student life for some. A few others devoted hours to fine arts they pursued outside of class. But the pleasures of mindless hours of playing video games and watching movies on iPhones, iPads, and laptops, changed the classes. Her. Classes. Her. Students.
Motivating tired students made her wonder why parents let theirs kids stay up all hours. Then she realized that many of the parents worked nights or fell into bed too exhausted to consider options. Still others took the Laissez-faire approach, sometimes not even knowing their kids were at game stores “trying out” new games released from 10 until midnight for free play before going on sale. Resourceful teens told their parents that they were at another home; sneaking into one house or the other, they could sleep in and arrive at school late, sometimes very tardy.
Today’s parents need to talk to each other and assemble working strategies for this age of technology. How about collecting the devices and charging them all in the parents’ bedroom? How about talking about social media or checking teens’ phones? Invasion of privacy, you say? There’s a reason scripture talks about growing, and trees planted that bring forth their fruit.
Ever think about a family tree? The growth intended requires the branches be connected, watered, pruned, grafted, even transplanted. Parents have the call expressed in Psalm 78. They may entrust parts of the training to others, but ultimately, parents need to teach the next generation God’s deeds, power, and wonders. Individuals on various electronics in separate rooms at home yield dying, exposed roots or plants that do not thrive, but slump as a blighted crop. Parents as gardeners could turn the soil, fertilize and prune. What a difference it would make at home, in school, and in the kingdom.