Just a quick word of advice: if your child is on Facebook or MySpace, it is imperative that you get an account on these community websites and those like them. Why?
Well, for whatever reason, far too many who are on these community sites feel very free to be transparent about everything in their lives — not only about where they work, go to school, favorite songs, and fellow friends. Sadly, they feel free to share their thoughts on everything that comes across their way.
As a result, we can see a blurry line between their faith and their lifestyles. The thoughts that too many share indicate that their faith may be relegated to just a set of facts. And in one sense, this is true, for does not Jude commend us to “contend for the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)? This is a body of truth that God handed to the prophets and ultimately to Christ and His disciples to hand to us. So in essence, there is some truth to our faith being a body of truth to believe.
The problem is, many miss the connection between holding to the truths and the truth holding them. Some learn the truth, yet do they live that truth they learned?
We as parents primarily and the church supportively must teach the connection between truth (Bible) and life (well … life)! Facebook, MySpace, and others like them are not inherently evil. In fact, I find Facebook to be a crucial component in keeping up with my college students here at Boone’s Creek.
But Facebook and MySpace are rather enlightening. There is a freedom these community sites give for teenagers (and some adults, even) to express themselves when the ‘real’ world (read: parents, teachers, even churches!) fail to hear what they are trying to express. The fear many have in expressing actual thoughts with their actual mouths to actual people may overwhelm and be overcome by expressing actual thoughts on their profile pages to everyone in cyberspace.
As a result, a pseudo-community ensues. In the Cyber-Informational Age we live in, everyone, anywhere can get online and find someone who sympathizes. Therefore, all one has to do is put out certain information (for many, it’s TMI — too much information) about themselves, and they will always have a “friend” who understands where they are coming from without the risk of being judgmental. This can have its positives and its definite drawbacks.
Parents, this is where you come in. Get a Facebook account — get a MySpace account! Be up to speed on what your children are putting up on their ultra-transparent pages. They will scream, “But I need privacy.” Yet, no one needs privacy to their detriment. When you see someone driving and their car is on fire, you don’t simply acknowledge their privacy to have their car on fire. You say, “Dude! Car! Fire! Here’s the water! Come back to the bounds of the right temperature!”
Multiply that by about a hundred trillion when talking about your offspring!
Son! Life! Fire! Come back to the bounds of what God has for you! They may immediately resent you for invading their space — but you answer to God who entrusted them to your care. Make sure you know how and where to care.
Extending Christ’s love to you and your child,
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