She is aware, hyper-vigilant. She will take action and attack should the predator not back away, even though most of her predators can easily devour her and her young. She also seeks protection from her herd. Sheep stick together, as do most herding animals. It is harder to be snatched away when in the close shelter of the flock, and of the shepherd who leads them and helps protect them. It is said that sheep are not the brightest of animals, but make no mistake, when it comes to her young, this ewe is very smart, she is keenly aware of any danger to her young. Her sole focus, her one goal right now as she is looking into the camera, is to guard her young.
You know the answer. We are to guard against the influence of Satan and the world in which he rules. We are to nurture, and protect those young hearts God has blessed us with, those precious children that call us mom, or grandma, or aunt or teacher or friend. They love those fancy cookies and all organic sandwiches don't they? You get lots of smiles, and giggles and praise for that. But, they don't often smile and giggle, nor do you get much praise for the times that you are the guard and must say no to enticing invaders that grab the attention of those young hearts. No, instead you get the temper tantrum on isle 3, or the whining, crying sad eyes that break your heart, or the surly angry teen who sees you as the enemy. You are to be a guard, so BE a guard, regardless of whether they like it or not. You must know what to let in, and what to keep out of your home and be willing to stand your ground, not because it's fun and easy, but because lives, souls are at stake. They may not thank you now, but they will thank you later, and they will model it in their families. So right now, more than ever, we must be hyper-vigilant, keenly aware of what is creeping in, the tool Satan is using to distract us, invade our lives and take over not just our children, but us as well. What is the biggest threat today?
I drove by a bus stop several days ago, and there were about 10 people waiting for the bus. Every single one of them was looking down at their phones. We have all been at restaurants and seen couples, or entire families not engaged in conversation but looking down at phones. I have had students, mainly young adolescent boys, who became so addicted to video games, that they would set their alarm to get up at 2 in the morning to play a game, all the while mom and dad are sound asleep and unaware. I have been part of a counseling team having to tell parents their son is addicted to porn-at 13 years old! The parents of these former students were good, God fearing people, with moms who were keepers of the home, but they were unaware. Either due to a 'my child would never do that' mentality, or being too tired, too distracted, or just oblivious, they allowed the enemy to come in their home all through a seemingly innocuous screen.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report Monday, Oct 28th, with new policy guidelines regarding media. According to findings in the policy statement, the average 8-10 year old spends nearly 8 hours a day with media, and it increases to 11 hours a day for teens with peak hours being after 11 pm. The AAP recommends a 'media diet', of limiting total non-educational, entertainment or social media screen time to 2 hours a day. Many parents already set limits and put filters or spyware on their internet, but kids are smart! They can figure out how to get past those things. And no media after lights out?
Well, that is when they sneak their use of screen time. (I have included a link to this report at the end of this post. It is worthwhile, yet scary reading.)
So, what are we to do? Just like the mama sheep, in the picture at the top of this post, we must be ON GUARD!. We have got to be hyper-vigilant and look the predator right in the eye! But how do we stay on guard, and not allow this enemy to invade our family? The AAP published an excellent Family media pledge. Please click on this link and download it. Print it, and take or make a family pledge of your own. I have a very wise friend of three wonderful teenage children, and they have done something similar. With their permission, I am listing a sampling of their family media rules.
Rosetti rules for all things screen:
- All phones must be placed on moms dresser by 11 each night
- All phones are subject to a scanning of text messages
- If no messages, i.e they have been deleted, phone will be confiscated for an unspecified time
- You will be mom and dad's friend on any social media we allow you to use, and we will be a very good 'friend' and check your sites daily.
- No TV or lap top use in your room. All must be in family room or kitchen.
- The computer history will be checked, and if emptied, you will lose computer use for an unspecified time
- When we are having a meal, phones are not at the table
- If we go out to eat, or any activity, phones will be left in the glove box.
If more parents did this, children would not be as easily lured into secret sin. Children would be protected and guarded as they should be by the keeper of the home. It is not just preteens and teens, it is our little ones also. They don't need screen time, they need us time, real world interaction, from moms, grandmas, aunts, bible teachers and friends. And what about us, are we so wrapped up in screens, that we aren't present? Is that what they see in us? Us...always looking at a screen? In today's world, a keeper of the home is not just about being home when they are home. It is being PRESENT and aware of our family, 24/7. It is being on guard and vigilant for them as well as for ourselves. *I know it's exhausting. But just like the ewe, you have a flock to get help from, your church family, and you have a Shepherd to guide you and give you strength. You can't do it without Him, but with Him, you will be victorious. So take courage, be on guard and watch over your heart and the hearts of your young ones.
Watch over your heart, with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
*I want you young moms to know, I faithfully pray for you. I may not mention you by name, but I pray for all the Christian moms out there who are striving to raise Godly children. You are dear to me.