Making Your Home a Refuge

by Keith McCurdy

I was sitting in church a few weeks ago and I heard a cell phone start beeping.  The thought in my head was, “Man, is there no place that is sacred.”  Then the very next moment, the person began texting …..   in church.  Come on, have we lost some perspective here?  While I know most folks would agree with my disdain for cell phone use in church, it is interesting to me that we have, without a hint of a fight, allowed this type of intrusion, and even worse, into our homes.  Our parents would never have put up with the sort of external invasion that we allow so readily today.

Think back to your childhood.  Once most of us were home, we were home.  The outside world was shut out.  We were no longer in constant contact with our peers.  Our total stimulation was what was occurring in our house.  We had no choice but to deal with our siblings and parents.  Yes we often played with friends in the neighborhood after school, but home was central to our world even then.  Dinner was more traditional and signaled the ending of the day in the world and the beginning of the evening at home.  We still had some connection to our friends once at home, but it was more limited and I would say a whole lot healthier.

I remember in our house, we had one phone for use by the kids.  It was in the kitchen and had about a ten foot cord.  This would allow you to actually lay down behind the counter when you needed privacy.  How much privacy did we really need?  Our parents never had to discuss with us the idea of not being rude on the phone or using profanity when talking to our friends.  If we did, it would be obvious and overheard.   The notion that children need so much “privacy” today has allowed many unhealthy behaviors to fester and grow unnoticed until later in life.  All in all, the major influence on our life was our parents.  With the world shut out on a regular basis, their role in our lives was clear and powerful.  That is not the case with most of us today.

Think about what you observe today.  We have constant contact through the internet, every minute of the day to anything and everything in the world.  Cell phones, texting, Facebook, etc. have built highways of intrusion into our homes.  Most folks don’t even think about whether or not these things are healthy.  “I mean, if it is technology and it makes life easier, of course it is good ……. right”?

Our culture has not only bought into, but has even encouraged this false logic that just because something is convenient, it must be healthy.  Here are just a few examples.  How healthy is it for a teenage girl to deal with “drama” at school only to come home and be tormented by posts that have been made on her Facebook account by her “not so friendly” friends.  How healthy is it for a young boy to be so worried about who may text or call him that he is literally “joined at the hip” to his phone all evening after school?  How healthy is it for a young girl to be taunted and called names via text?  And to make matters worse, because of the nature of these types of communication, most of this is in private and when these children are most vulnerable and alone.  How many of you have come to realize these types of things are happening to your kids?  Based on the population that I treat, it is an epidemic.

When all of this is going on, parents have minimal influence in the lives of their children.  Our children today are consumed by being tuned into the world, not the family.  It is time that we begin taking back our families.  Although I would love parents to boycott things like Facebook (been trying but still have not found any advantage to it that outweighs the unhealthiness of it), we just need to begin at home.  Make your house and home a sanctuary for your kids.  Have it be a place that tunes out the influences of the outside world.  How about not answering the phone during dinner; not maintaining constant patrol of the cell phone when at home; simple limits on texting and internet usage; how about no Facebook? Build a wall between your family and outside influences, at least part of the time. This allows you the time and attention to be parents to your children and, trust me, they need the break.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -

Related Articles