Recently, I stumbled upon a web site that sells cutting-edge products promising to spare parents from the drudgery of parenting. It wasn’t as blatant as that, but the implication was loud and clear.
Every product offered promises to function “just like parents do” in order to give a baby the false impression that they are being coddled, loved and nurtured – without mommy or daddy being intimately involved.
Are gadgets really God-honoring substitutes for human touch?
What can be said of a society where its people are too busy to do what matters most in all of life? It could be said that its people have perfected the art of idolatry. That’s exactly what we’re celebrating nowadays, and we don’t even realize it. God, however, mourns – and we should, too.
Is it a coincidence that depression and hard-core drug use are surging in our nation at the exact time when healthy families and the human touch are becoming increasingly scarce? Do we expect our children, and our children’s children, to value family and relationships if we treat them as inconveniences?
The industrial revolution promised to give us time to enjoy the finer things in life – but the finer “things” were understood to be people, not things. The idea was that by having tedious tasks taken care of by machinery, we would all be able to spend more time with family and friends. How in the world did family and friends become what so many are now seeking to avoid?
It’s A Blessing, Not A Burden
You know society is in deep doo-doo when parenting and family are seen as burdens rather than blessings – yet that’s the campground where many have pitched their tents these days. The quest for “success” has mortally wounded parenting and social skills. We’re witnessing their slow suffocation as more and more of us pursue “success” without success.
Have you been deceived?
Is it possible to have a family as God designed without cultivating intimate relationships? Can gadgets really replace the human touch, and if so, at what cost to our humanity and the calling God has placed upon each of us to live as creatures created in His image?
Marriage was the first institution established by God. It is the bedrock of civilization, and parenting comes with the territory. Yet the family has been thoroughly decimated and belittled as simply one of many important priorities in life. Has family become less of a priority than God intends for you? There is nothing more important than a healthy marriage and emotionally engaged parenting. If you’ve been pursuing something else, your life is out of whack with the Almighty.
We want everything – now. Patience is a thing of the past, even among those who profess to be Christ-followers.
Yet a key fruit of the Spirit is patience (Galatians 5:22). Today, patience is understood as something one demonstrates for a few minutes. It’s not seen as a valuable character trait.
Long suffering? Why, that’s not part of the American gospel. By the sound of most sermons, it doesn’t seem like pastors are interested in resurrecting its importance any time soon. If its resurrection is going to take place, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands.
We’re losing (lost?) what matters most. So much of joy in life comes from rolling up our sleeves, putting away all distractions, and being present while life – the only life we’ll ever have this side of eternity – is happening. Don’t miss it. There won’t be a rerun.
Michael Anthony is the Founder and President of Courage Matters™ and author of “A Call For Courage: Living with Power, Truth, and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear.” He is a popular speaker and blogger, and lead pastor of Grace Fellowship in York, Pennsylvania. You can enjoy his content on the free Courage Matters app and CourageMatters.com. The opinions expressed in this piece are his own.