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Gospel Tech: Crash Course #6: Reset & Renew

There’s lots of good information out there on tech. You can watch a documentary, read a book, or review the research. But often ingesting that information doesn’t motivate change. Until today.

Today we focus on what we CAN do, wherever we are in our tech use and with whatever information we’ve got on us as of this morning.

We’ll talk about what it looks like to RESET & RENEW. Then we’ll apply those to our families and have practical steps for making conversations, and changes, we need to love God and use tech.

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The Gospel Tech Small Group Curriculum

The Biblical Standard for our tech use: That we produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), not the fruit of the Flesh (Galatian 5:19-21 & Romans 1:30), that our content meets God’s expectations for what we enjoy (Philippians 4:8), and that it reflects the fullness of God’s love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Transcription:

Purposely. Your life. God’s purpose. Listen at onpurposely.com.

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Gospel Tech podcast. You are listening to our seven-episode series that is the Gospel Tech Crash Course. If you have found us through the Purposely Podcast network, if you’ve just found us through friends who’ve shared it, you will want to start here because we have 120 some odd episodes at this point. That’s a lot of information so what we’ve done is we’ve condensed the top seven. An episode on each of the topics that parents ask us about most: video games, social media, and smartphones, pornography, safe tech at home… Just the big picture on technology and the gospel that’ll ground us in this conversation, so that you can then go back and make sense of what you’re gonna hear. But you don’t have to start at episode one and listen to two plus years’ worth of content. So, welcome to the Gospel Tech podcast. Thank you for being here. I hope you are encouraged, and I’m excited to be on this journey with you.

Welcome to the Gospel Tech podcast. A resource for parents who feel overwhelmed and outpaced as they raise healthy youth in a tech world. As an educator, parent, and tech user, I want to equip parents with the tools, resources, and confidence they need to raise kids who love God and use tech.

Hello everyone and welcome to the gospel tech podcast. My name is Nathan Sutherland, and this podcast is dedicated to helping families love God and use tech. Today’s conversation we are going to look at the big picture of technology use and we’re going to break it down to what can we do starting today in our families.

This is actually so a couple episodes ago, oh my goodness, it actually might have been like 15 episodes ago… we talked about the seven tech bites, or seven small steps and I mentioned in the, in that episode that we were still working through it. This is the one where the plane lands people. This is the one where we actually, where we’re moving forward with this new kind of terminology that is more concise, and it helps us complete the concept of basically where we’ve already started but gives us as parents really practical steps to self-check mid conversation, midday, midweek. Even if we’ve done live workshops, small group curriculum, any of that stuff, this is that kind of daily meditation on God’s word.

And then daily reflection on kind of self-checking. How are we doing with our tech? Today’s conversation is how we get there. So, when we ask, how can we live healthy tech lives in light of the gospel, how can we love our kids and raise them up to love God and use tech… This is gonna be really the, the basis for that conversation.

So, today’s conversation gets right to the heart of all right, we’re gospel tech, we know that we want to love God. We want to use technology. What does that look like to not do it the other way around? Where we use God and we love tech, and we’re constantly just pursuing our own goals, cuz that really is at the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is, do you recognize you have a problem? We talked in the last three weeks, we talked about how we need to be humble, we need to be kind, and we need to be curious. And without those three, right, we can’t actually repent cuz we’ll never actually think we have a problem. We’re constantly just blaming whatever happens in our lives on others or even on God and saying, well, if I was, God, I’d do this differently. You need to get track together up there. And instead, we’re looking today and going, all right, how can I raise up my kiddos to love God and use tech? Here’s the answer. We’ve talked before and we’re gonna start with this; the acronym called reset, and then a new acronym called renew.

And, and it goes in this order we reset. And then we renew and in talking this out just so you can kind of, I guess, see behind the curtain, in my mind, I’ve always been incredibly reticent to give steps. I have delayed and pushed back and even argued against my own board. when they’re like, just give people steps.

That’s what they want. I’m like, no, I don’t, I don’t want to give steps because, two reasons, one, it oversimplifies a really complicated problem. At the end of the day, we’re not dealing with a tech problem. We’re dealing with the heart problem. There are plenty of people out there that use the exact same tech we’re discussing, or that you see in your life as being unhealthy,

and they’re using it fine. It’s not a problem for them. So, I don’t just wanna give a one size fits all answer because it’s too easy to debunk, trivializes the actual root issues, and it misleads people that they look at their life and go great. I don’t have any tech problems. I’m fine. Like, no, your work, your fitness, your diet, your any your money, like anything can become really what is an idol.

This is a heart issue we’re talking about. So, the gospels at the front because God’s exposing whatever is in our life. For some of us, it’s actually our kids, who are blessing from God and are there to remind us of God’s goodness and let us practice discipleship. But some of us worship our kids. Not all the time, but we fall in these seasons where our kids give us meaning, and our kids give us purpose. And we start to supplement things we’re lacking in our life with our children, which is way too much pressure for them and really unhealthy for us. And while that’s a tangent, I do think that’s important to cover. So, I just wanna review on this, that the two reasons why I have resisted this conversation today so much is it oversimplifies a very complicated problem.

The second reason I’ve resisted this is it gives the two do, and all of a sudden people quit worrying about the heart and they go, well, my kid is doing all the right stuff, so everything must be fine. And we forget that very quickly our hearts turn to, well, I’m doing everything right, so God must be pleased with me.

God is pleased with you because you trust him and believe in him because he’s provided everything you need through Jesus. Right? It’s no longer following, well, it never was about following rules. Those rules show us God’s righteousness instead. Our right action is an act of faith and it’s by faith we believe God, that’s what gets us right standing in front of him. That’s why Jesus died and rose again so that now we can indwell. You and I have a personal relationship with God. We become the tabernacle. It’s no longer for a single people who’ve been set apart. Anyone who believes is now set apart. And that’s the promise in John 3:16 and the promise in John 15, and the promise basically of all the gospels and the culmination of the entire Old Testament.

So, that is our foundation for continuing this conversation because then it’s not about doing right stuff. It’s about applying the gospel to our hearts, in terms of our technology. Which brings us to reset and renew. I had those seven tech bites and we’ve now condensed those into renew, but they have to start with this idea of a reset.

So, let’s remind ourselves, what is this reset? A reset is answering the question, how do I know if my tech is even unhealthy or not? right? In my life how do I know if I have a tech problem? How don’t know if my child has a tech problem? Cuz that’s question number one when we’re talking about this. Yes. We need to know we, we need to have a savior who changes our hearts, but that’s, I’ve found not actually the first conversation I can have people, because as someone said this last week in a different context, that hung hungry, stomachs don’t have ears, right? When someone is in just turmoil, no life is in chaos and in our conversation when technology is causing the chaos in someone’s life, it’s damaging their marriage. It’s damaging their health and wellbeing. It’s damaging their kids. It’s damaging their future potential and their ability to be all god’s created them to be. In that situation for me to come in with really solid and true theology, may not be able to be heard. What they need is to see the really solid theology. They need to see me feeding their hungry belly, right?

And them recognizing that’s something they need. They need to see me helping them correct the mistakes in their life and exposing the lies they’re believing in the light of the gospel. That is what they need. Right. So, we do that simply with a reset. We go, all right, based on all the theology that we know is true, based on God’s character and his nature, and is calling for us on all those truths,

here comes a reset, does the tech you’re using. Impede or improve your relationships and responsibilities? Right, right there. We’re already told in the Bible that your yes needs to be yes. Your no needs to be no. But I don’t need to go to that Bible verse cause I can ask a really simple question. I can get to that same route and parents, I use this because it makes sense all the way down to elementary school. Little kids will be able to tell you, is that tech helping you, right? You might not be able to use impede and improve. You may have to say help or distract. Or help or hurt. Does it help or hurt your relationships and responsibilities? Are your relationships with your friends stronger? Are your relationships with your family stronger? Are the people you’re calling your friends, actually friends? Do they look like Jesus? Or do they look like distractions from Jesus? Right? These are really big questions that we can get to in a very simple way with that first question. And we simply look at smartphones. Look at our work that we’re doing through school or through a job. Look at our social media. Look at our video games. Look at our music. Look at the shows we watch. So, our tool tech assessment, and dual tech assessment, and we can simply go yes or no. There’s not a well, most of the time.

Nope. That’s a no, right. As we don’t get in most of the time on this. It’s, it’s a binary zero one. And if you get a zero, that means no, there’s no problem here. If you get a one, we have an issue. We’re just putting a one down and we’re remembering that.

The next on the reset is our emotions. Does tech improve or impede our emotions, meaning do is our happiness tied to our access to this technology? So not, are you bummed when you don’t get to watch your favorite show with your family? Or you don’t get to play that game? You’ve worked hard all week for cuz you only get to play it on weekends? Like there’s disappointment in life, but then there’s my, my satisfaction is tied to this thing, right? I need this to feel normal is the way the conversation will go if we dig deep enough. And you can hear that that’s addiction language, right? I’m not opening the can of worms on is tech addiction the same as other addictions. What I’m saying is the language turns out the same. The I need this and whether or not that’s true, they believe it. And it starts to impact joy and satisfaction and contentment.

And these other things we’re called to as Christians to live in. So, if I can point to tech now that’s affecting my emotions and my highest highs and my lowest lows, are all stemming from this tech use, all right. I recognize that. And if not, great. I have a zero on that one as well. And if I do, if I am impacted or impeded by that, then I recognize here’s what’s happening.

Remember, we’re going through a reset as parents. We can start this today. We can do this with ourselves first. With our children and families. I encourage parents to ask their kids do a reset for me. Right? Like, would you grade me on this scale? Does tech improve or impede? Kids are gonna see our blind spots and they may have some misunderstandings.

They might actually think something you’re doing is unhealthy when in your scenario it is okay. Right. And that would be a healthful positive conversation, but more often than not, they’re gonna see when you don’t even think about you being on your phone. Or you thought that you had a reason for doing it, but it actually turns out you could have waited a while, and instead you’re choosing an unhealthy time to do it.

Like my children eight, six, and three are doing that for us. So, I’m sure that you have kids in your lives that’d be willing to do it as well. So, we have relationships and responsibilities. We have emotions. And then we look at sleep. Does this tech improve or impede our sleep? Research says we need nine hours a night, right?

That’s to get through four, three full REM cycles. This is to be able to get the rest your brain needs to remember as much as it can. It’s the rest your body needs to adapt to stress. It’s being given. Physical exercise stress, but also learning stress and mental stress. It’s the, what you need to be able to focus. It’s what you need to be emotionally capable because your orbital prefrontal cortex, the thing that inhibits behavior and tells you, that’s not a good decision, you should think about it, is well not developed in your kids. But in us as adults with the rise of cortisol in your body, as you lose sleep in that, that stress rises, so goes the frontal cortex and it stops working as well as it should.

And you start saying and doing stuff you would not have done under full rest. That’s not even spiritual attack we’re talking. That’s not even the fact that you have flesh, it’s just your brain is mentally or excuse me, is literally not doing its full job because it’s sleep deprived. Okay. And we’re not talking microsleep where you actually miss stuff you’re supposed to be there for. We’re not talking about any of those other things. We’re just saying, that’s one example of why sleep is important based on science. And we want to make sure that we are giving ourselves every opportunity to be as available as possible.

Certainly, there are seasons. New kids, people get sick serving and loving others, mission trips, right? Like there’s certainly seasons where you dig deep and you just go without, because it’s what you’re called to do right now. And then there’s seasons where we probably didn’t need to let Netflix roll us into another hour-long episode of, insert the show that you watch. British baking show, right? You did, you really didn’t need to watch that one extra hour-long show. You could have gone to bed, and we need to faithfully pray about that and look at it. So, we have relationships responsibilities, our emotions, our sleep, our enjoyment. And with our enjoyment, what we’re looking here is for deviations from what brings us joy. What actually we get when we look at who we are made to be in Christ. We are given a certain set of skills, a unique set of skills that makes us particularly good at this thing. And when we look at our kids, we see it. I’ve talked previously, and in the last three episodes, looking at my kids and going, man, my kids are uniquely good at certain things. It’s just how God made them. And it doesn’t mean that’s all they’re gonna do, but I can see that Henry is wired to love others in a certain way. And Owen is wired to love others in another way, right? Owen’s organization and kindness, and his ability to feel everything is absolutely powerful when he sees other people suffering.

It’s actually very hard for him to watch movies where people are anxious or nervous or afraid because he wears that empathetically. Right? That’s very emotionally draining for him. Whereas Henry, right? His go to, instead of wearing the sadness of him is to immediately try to go replace it with happiness.

Like he’s gonna go intervene with that person. He takes their hand, right. He cracks jokes. He tries to get their mind on something else. Like he just does that naturally. Now I’m using those examples of my kids to look at us and say, okay, I can watch how they’re wired. They’re just made different. If they’re engaging in technology that twists that, and now what used to be caused for empathy and feeling strongly for others turns into something else, like anger or cynicism or bitterness, because they’re oftentimes this is in my experience been because they get overwhelmed by maybe the bad news they’re witnessing online or the crudeness or the meanness of the things they’re consuming on the internet or through games or your shows.

We want to recognize, Hey, I’ve noticed that your enjoyment is twisting. It can also be the things that used to find as enjoyable become, again, that ultimate thing. So, things that used to be secondary, but fun become the only way that they can get their satisfaction. And again, it goes back to emotions and enjoyment in that time would join up where, Hey, I, I can’t feel like I belong if I’m not on this app. If I’m not playing this game, if I right. If I don’t have this amount of time.

Which brings us to our last one. So, that was enjoyment. And then time is the last one. And what we’re looking for here is, can we be content without it? Can we be satisfied with a low amount, or do we feel like we’re in an ever escalating ever increasing battle to just get more? I either need to play more often. I need to watch more frequently. I need to extend the intensity of what I’m doing.

If you look at the video game world, this would be why VR is being made, because original Nintendo didn’t do it. So, we bumped up our dosage to the super Nintendo and that didn’t do it. So, we bumped that up to the Nintendo 64, to the Xbox, to the PlayStation to fast forward now we have personal computers, PCs. We have Xbox and PlayStation and gaming devices that are as realistic and fast paced and explosive and dynamic as anything anyone could have dreamed of 10 years ago, and it’s still not cutting it. We go, I need something more. Let’s get VR. Let’s just burn this baby right into my retinas.

Why? Not because we need it. Like, that’s not why it’s driving this market. Like this is people going, what’s the next thing? How you gonna get me outta this world? Get me into another one. Right? Let’s get the metaverse rolling. And we do want to ask, Hey, where’s your time going? Where’s your focus? Because where heart is right. What are you worshiping to bring you joy and purpose? Because this stuff is fine. VRS, not bad. You can use VR. It’s gonna be really, really cool on some medical and manufacturing and fabrication pieces. There’s some really cool stuff going on out there. Yeah, I don’t wanna get distracted by that, but there’s some cool stuff on the tool, text side, especially. But is it hurting our time and where we want to spend our presence and, and be present?

So, that’s the reset. So, when I say, Hey, we can have this conversation today. You can do that right now in the car go. All right, heavenly father, would you show me my tech use and how I can raise kids? To love you and to use tech. Would you show me in my own life? Right. We’re looking for the spec ours before we go after, or excuse me, the plank ours before we go after the spec in someone else’s. And we go, how am I doing on my relationships and responsibilities? Lord, I found when I prayed this stuff, the Lord gives me one thing. He doesn’t gimme a list of 10. He gives me one and it usually is trivial. It’s usually like that one-time last week I was, you know, entering that thing in my phones app and I did that when my kids were up, right. Instead of being with him. And I was like, that’s dumb. Give me something else and it, if you do this and it’s from the Lord, there’s a really good chance. It’s just gonna keep being that one thing. And you’re gonna keep having excuses until you recognize what I had to recognize in this scenario… the Lord’s giving me something to repent of. Not because it makes sense to me, not because I should feel like this is reasonable, but because I asked for direction, and he gave it to me. And now I get a choice to, I trust him. And so, I have to go, Hey, say, Hey buddy. And in this case, my son, I’m sorry. Dad was on his phone when he should have been paying attention to you and just being present.

I wasn’t doing anything wrong on my phone. It wasn’t morally incorrect. I asked the Lord for direction based on a reset and under relationships and responsibilities, I was being absent. And for, I don’t know if it was something in my son’s heart, or just an example I was setting or to something I needed to be more mindful of, but that was what I was given, and I wasn’t given a list of 12.

Now, take care of that. It goes away. I don’t have that same one popping up in my head anymore. It’s gone. I have a clear conscience with that. And other stuff shows up, right. Cause I don’t know why, but I’m just telling you, when you pray about it, it’s going to pop up. The Lord’s gonna let that just simmer on you and you get a choice on whether or not you’re gonna be obedient on that.

And I would encourage you to be obedient quickly. To repent, fast. To go and do whatever it is the Lord’s telling you to do to make it right, to get rid of whatever it is, if it’s a distraction, and move on. Oh, that was the other thing. I had a news app on my phone that I told myself I was being informed on the world, but I was really just using it when I got stressed or distracted at work. And I was just using it to catch up on global gossip, basically. It was a legitimate news source. It wasn’t well, I won’t, I won’t bash anyone’s news sources, but it was a legitimate, like professional news source, but I was using it just for… anyway, finding out how the world is burning and confirming my beliefs about cynically thinking about the world.

And I had to delete that app yesterday. So, that’s a little too soon for me, but, reset. We, we do it yourself. Relationships, responsibilities, your emotions, your sleep, your enjoyment, and your time. And I would say families do this for yourselves first. So, Justin and I a couple weeks ago, did one on gaming. And for families who are gaming, the one we get a lot is, well, what about my husband? I don’t know why it’s not wives. Wives, I know you’re out there. Who game. I know that this is a thing. But the one, the question we get a lot is concerned moms or in this case, wives who come to us say, yeah, but what about my husband?

And I would say reset is the singular most loving spot because it doesn’t make video games, a conversation. Every gamer who’s that committed, if it actually has become unhealthy, has a hundred reasons why it’s either okay or even positive, and definitely better than other alternatives. Okay. So, going after their video games, It’s even if it’s accurate and you’re right, and it’s loving, it’s not gonna work because they’ve already argued themselves into this situation. So, a reset is where you have to go, Hey, I love you as my spouse, as my husband, as my best friend, as this person in my life who’s so important to me, and relationships and responsibilities, emotions, sleep enjoyment, and time, right? Because many, one of the first arguments you’re gonna hear is yeah, but I need this. This is my, whatever, unwind time. This is my detox from the day, et cetera. And a resets gonna show. Well, that’s interesting because it may not actually be true.

And as a spouse, this is your opportunity to speak love into that. Okay. You can bring up a hard conversation. You’re not placing blame. you’re looking for a solution. You’re looking for a relationship. And so, I would say reset is powerful for you. It’s gonna help your marriage. And when you go to talk to your kids, it gives an equal playing field, because the kid gets to do this for you. You’re not above a reset. You’re like, well, of course I get to be unhealthy with my sleep, son or daughter, because I’m an adult. And adults don’t sleep till they’re dead. Like that’s not true. We absolutely need sleep. And we’re going to model good behavior. So when our kids are being asked to trust the Lord with even their time, we need to do the same. Resets where we’re gonna start. So, that’s the first part, and you’ve probably heard that before.

Excellent. I hope that has encouraged and challenged you and given you the words to talk about tool tech and drool tech, we use to create, and tech we use to consume. Great. Reset now helps it go, all right, do I have a tech problem? But it leaves us there. So, you might go, yeah, I’ve got a one out of a five on these five options. I’ve got a problem in one of five areas. I need to find where the tech is and start talking it out. But now what? Right. Like, what do I do next? And that’s where this, I had seven steps and it was honestly I, that comes down to, I was talking to Anna and I say, honestly, because I would love to have a better answer for this.

I feel that this is kind of embarrassing, but I tried to tell Anna, I was like, Anna, I need to change this cuz these seven tech bites, like it’s all cute and all, and it’s kind of mimicking Dave Ramsey’s seven baby steps. I can’t remember. ’em I can’t when parents go, Hey, what do you need to do? I’m like, I don’t actually remember the seven.

I remember like four of ’em. And then I remember like, kind of what we’re thinking, like big picture. But the specifics, the like first do this and then do that. So, we came up with renew. And renew is this idea of steps you can take and just walk yourself through. Some of them you might already be doing.

And that’s great. But anytime you feel like man tech is out of control in my family, I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do. I see a reset as a problem, and I don’t know how to act on that. Rather than me make a hundred scenarios for you, and give you the words for those hundred scenarios, which is something we’ll start doing here, where we’ll start talking. It’s what we do in the live workshop. How do we talk about pornography, about social media, about smartphones? Like what are the words, Sutherland? Gimme the words. We do that, but I wanted to first set this foundation based on the gospel, right?

Your kid has a purpose in Christ. They have value in the Lord who gave his life up for them before they ever asked for it. And you have that humility that comes with recognizing. So do you. That’s how you got your salvation too. So, we’re starting at that. And in light of the reset, we can now start a renew.

And it’s another acronym. These are steps though, for establishing healthy tech. And the first thing is we remove tech from our rooms and from our meals. Just the first step when we go, man, I feel like tech is kind of, it’s kind of ramping up in our family. I feel like maybe we’re losing control. Very actionable, very communicable is like a disease thing. So, I’ll change whatever that word is. Insert important vocab word there, but the idea is it’s easy to communicate to our kids. Hey son or daughter, or husband or wife, we’re taking all of our tech out of our room. Okay. And, and by tech, I mean, we’re taking all of our drool tech out of our room, and I would encourage you to take almost all of your tool tech out of your room.

Alarm clocks can stay. Smartphones cannot. You don’t need a thousand dollars alarm clock. Check out the links in the show notes. I will include an excellent alarm clock. We’ve used it, coming up on two years. It’s great. We’ve changed batteries once, maybe. It’s awesome. We travel with it. It’s fantastic. It’ll be, I think 35 bucks, which is a wonderful price to pay for the sanity and example you get to set for your, for your kiddos. So, you’re gonna get tech outta the bedroom and tech outta meals. You don’t need to check your phone. Oh, by the way, silence the phones at the meals. It doesn’t, you don’t need that triple horn blast.

You don’t need whatever cute C sound bite you have from your favorite show going off in the middle of a meal, because it actually resets everyone’s brains to think about whatever they might be missing out on. Right? So, what we’re doing is we’re making space for rest. We’re making space for relationships, which happened to be really important on a reset. So, that’s why that’s a great first step. It also will bring up a lot of questions and opportunities to parent and disciple and say, I don’t know, let’s look into that, because there are answers for almost all of them. But if your kid goes, well, why do I have to do this?

Because you wanna be present with them because you wanna make space because tech doesn’t help you love one another better in this scenario. I can’t think of a single scenario where being at a meal with your family, and having your phones out, is going to improve that unless a family member lives across the country and is eating the meal with you. We’ll make a caveat for that.

But we have removed tech from your room and from your meals. Boom. Number one, the R of renew is done. And if you can check that off and you’ve had the conversations and your family understands why that’s important to you, because you need the mental space, because you need the time away from the device, cuz they are distracting, and because it makes it a lot easier to make good choices and have conversations, then we’re good.

Parents of young kids, we’re talking I mean nine-month-old to four year old going up into their first years of like preschool, your children will enter school, just having family meals each night will enter school with a much larger, larger vocabulary.

The study I read said that it was upwards of, of hearing a million more words, just from having family dinners each night. And these we’re not talking 90-minute dinners, right. Just doing a regular family meal where you sit down, and you talk. And you can ask two questions. You can ask what was the best part of your day? What was the hardest part of your day? Now that might sound really simple, and you might have just rolled your eyes. I find that I forget to ask that I get stuck in the details of like, what’d you do? What’d you learn in math? What’d you? And it starts to feel like an interrogation. What’s the best part of your day, allows your kid equal footing in the conversation? They can talk about something they want to talk about. Did you have a hardest part they may or may not have? And then Henry’s favorite question of all time? What animal would you be if you could answer, if you could be any animal, requires some creativity because he asks it once a week, and I have to come up with a new animal each week.

I don’t have to. I just like to cuz it’s more fun. But that, it makes for interesting conversation and your young kids who are just listening and learning words, vocab is the really determining factor in ability to read, barring a medical condition like eyesight or dyslexia or something like that.

But a high vocab is going to impact their ability to read, and reading is the number one indicator for success in basically every academic area because one, it builds their confidence and two, it builds their independence. They can now do these things and they’re then learning at a rate faster than they need to be taught cuz they can Read it and learn and run into problems and overcome them on their own, which is such an asset for a learner. So, we have tech outta the room so we can sleep and rest. We have tech out of the meals so we can be relational, and we can well read. Yay.

Second then is going to be after we remove our tech, we’re going to equip with the gospel standard and it’s gonna be in four areas. We need a gospel standard for our content, our time, our attitude, and the trust we give our kiddos. Our gospel standard, if you need help with this, rather than running you through all the details of it here, if you need help with this, that that’s, this is where the online workshop really shines. That small group curriculum, gospeltechworkshop.com.

And it’s at two-hour course, and it walks you through. Part one is how do I, as a parent talk this out, or how do we, as a, as a parenting couple, how do we talk this out with our kiddos? And the second part is how do we actually do it? So, I actually, the, I broke it out into walk it out and talk it out or no, talk it out and walk it out. Shoot. I messed that up. So, talk it out as the first part. How do we just get the words to like to have this conversation and then part two is, walk it out. How do we actually do it? And that to say, that’ll walk you through. Two hours you’ll have it done it. I mean, think about it. It’s two hours. That’s two episodes of the British baking show, or really three of the Mandalorian.

So, I believe you can do that if you need it. It’s worth your investment of time for your family, but you’re gonna have a, a gospel standard for your content. So, that’s your Philippians 4:8, your Galatians 5:22, your first Corinthians 13. Like what love is, that is what we’re looking at. There is a biblical standard for what we watch, for what we find joy in for what we set our hearts on.

Then, we look at our time use. Go, okay, Lord, here’s my 24 hours. I have the exact same amount of time you had when you were on this earth. Like, I had the same number of of minutes in a day. How do I use them, lord? And we simply ask that because there isn’t an amount of time that God says is fine to use on drool tech. It’s, whatever else he’s asked you to do.

And I wouldn’t say just fit, drill tech in wherever you have free time, because the smart ones of us know that that just means get rid of everything else. So we have more time. That’s where we start quitting sports because well, sports are type two fun. There are a lot of work. They’re fun when you win.

And they’re fun when practice doesn’t make you hate your life. But it’s, it’s a lot of work to have that kind of fun. And it’s zero work to play a video game or to watch a show or to jump online. And so, we wanna make sure that we’re using our time, not just getting through to the tech, but actually using our time, and using all the tech that helps us use that time well, and none of the tech that does not.

Then we look at our attitude how we’re gonna build a positive attitude based on the gospel, and we recognize that it’s not just. Having a positive mental attitude, is not just an effort thing, but when our attitudes start to sour, it’s often cuz of what’s happening in our hearts, right?

That, that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, and that our behavior follows that and that these become heart issues. So, we’re not just asking our kids to act better, but actually to recognize where the the sourness of our hearts comes from. And we repent, and we worship, and we put scripture in our hearts and we we talk through what, what in our lives is going on, that we need to trust the Lord in.

And what would that look like to trust the Lord? Is it asking forgiveness? Is it giving forgiveness? Like that’s a conversation based on the gospel that you need to have. And again, the online workshop helps with this. And then trust is not just a parental leverage piece. I feel like sometimes trust is the, like we use the boy who cried Wolf story of like, well, don’t ruin our trust, cuz then we don’t know when it’s actually a problem and you’ll get eaten by a Wolf.

And like the, the meaning of it kind of gets lost. But biblically, right, we have this standard for, no like trust is, is a thing. It has to do with our ability to understand the integrity of someone. And integrity, not just who you are in the dark, but that you are gonna be the same person all the way through.

Right. And it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. I feel like sometimes trust means if you’re not perfect, then I can’t trust you and you don’t get any of these good things. So, when our kids make mistakes, They don’t come to us cuz they don’t wanna ruin that beautiful facade that’s covering up all of the cracks. Again, back to Encanto had these favorite movie in songs, it, this house is collapsing and there’s one brother who’s just pasting over all the cracks inside. And that’s what he does with his time, and in his attempts to save the family and to save the family home is just keep this thing together. What can we do to just not make it a bigger deal than it is, right?

Just keep the cracks covered up. And I think in trust we need to go to a biblical, no, like trust is developed here that I trust you to be quick to repent. I trust you to be soft in your heart. I trust you to listen to the Lord. That I’m, I’m not gonna be here all the time to monitor what you are ingesting. I’m training you now. I’m definitely filtering some. So, you don’t just get the doors blown off your life with something that’s horrific. Equipping with the gospel standard is really important in those four areas; content time, attitude, and trust, because it becomes the future of all your conversations.

You can now point back to those. So, you have to have a gospel standard and at least those four areas. If you’re like, Hey, how do I have those conversations, Nathan? There are podcasts on that, but there’s also just a, that two-hour workshop I would encourage you to do and the live workshops.

So, we’re now too into renew. We’ve removed our tech. We now have a way to talk it out based on the gospel. Oh, and I did forget to mention, so I’ll add it here, the gospel conversation is also included in that online workshop. And I was intentional to do that in case you’re like, Hey Nathan, I hear you saying gospel a lot. What I walk through, what does it mean to have the good news that God saves sinners, and how do we actually live that out? And where do we maybe need to ask God to show us in our own faith walks? Cause what I don’t want is Nathan giving you words and telling you how to talk about Jesus with your kids and you just parrot me. I want you to hear it. Have it make sense in your heart and have the Lord give you the words to speak to your kids, cuz you are the best resource for them in that area.

The third thing then the N of renew is network accountability. The, you’re gonna use something like a free version would be Clean DNS and again, link in the show notes, but Clean DNS is going to, it’s a free version and it lets you at least see the web links that come across and it picks up on blatantly inappropriate content. Okay. Cuz it’s gonna show up in the actual address that the internet is pulling from in order to get this website. So, it’s a nice first step, but some of the paid content would be something like covenant I, which is a monthly subscription. It’s what I use. It’s what you can use on smartphones, as long as they’re not iPhones, cuz iPhone makes it very easy to circumnavigate. So, an Android device, like a Samsung or on personal computers and devices, covenant eyes is great. Or you can use something like bark, which looks not just for inappropriate images, but also follows like text conversations and messaging conversations. So, if kids start getting bullied, it picks up on keywords and sends you notifications.

And allows you to not just, it doesn’t give you the tools to stock every one of their relationships, cuz you’re not scrolling through all their conversations. It’s pinging these really important words, like hate and kill and hurt and cut. And like these right key words that are either search queries or things that are sent back and forth in emails and texts and messages so that you can have the important conversations with them.

So that’s bark. Which I really like theirs. And then you have the home resources, which I’ve mentioned before Griffin and circle. So now we have network accountability. We establish our family rhythms is the fourth for the E on renew, which means you need to plan in the things that are most important for you. Plan in your meals, plan in your play plan, in those tech expectations and plan in your family calendar. Make sure you know, who’s going to what. Make sure that that’s a priority for you and not just an urgency, right? it can’t just be, well, this is the most important thing that’s happened in the last 15 minutes, so I’ll do it. And you didn’t know that there was actually something more important that’s gonna happen in an hour, or five hours, or five days.

So, we just wanna make sure that we have intentional plans. We’ve put the things in there that matter most, very much like building a family budget, it’s just a budget for your time. And then out of that, coming away with, Hey, this is the amount of time we have left. How do we wanna spend it? And being prayerful with that.

And the last thing is you’re gonna make wonder focus adventures. So, these are these analog adventures and you’re gonna have them built into that family calendar you’re doing, but you’re going to invest in them. Invest your time, invest your focus, invest your creativity. They don’t have to be expensive. I just saw the other day Greta Esri taught as a wonderful presenter speaker writer on both adventures. And how do we talk about pornography with our kids? And she shows each year how her kids make Valentine’s. And her kids are now middle school aged and up, and they are, you know, make one kid made one of those, like I relish you, Valentine. And he like drew a little stick figure with like one of those little mini relish packets in the middle. And like, that was the Valentine he gave out to kids. That’s awesome. Right? Like that is an adventure. You had to think of it. You had to apply it, and you got the joy not having to go buy a one from the store, which I immediately had regrets. Was like, oh, that’s so creative. Like, shoot, we just bought ours, but not in a guilt way. Not, I don’t feel shame about it. I’m just like, man, that’s so inspiring. Like I love the way that, that, like that kid got a win for himself and now knows that’s something he can do, which can be intimidating to be creative and artistic and take a risk and give something, someone to something that you made by yourself. So much safer just to buy the thing from the store from a real artist, but those wins matter. And it, as the more wonder we get in our life, the more amazement we get, the more we realize we can, we can create and we can make, and we can have joy in those things. The more we recognize more of God in it. The more we recognize the design and the creation and the purpose and the things around us. And that, and our humility, our analog adventures can point us back to man, god, you’re good. How can I love my kids well? How can I love this world well? How can I love my country well? It doesn’t always mean doing what it says, as if it ever doesn’t line up with the Bible, right? We do what the Bible says, but we’re doing this in humility and in love, and darn it, if the gospel can spread like wildfire in the Roman government, it can make it in America or in Australia or in Canada or in the UK or wherever you’re listening to this… new Zealand. I left you out in Spain. I didn’t, I didn’t forget you. We, we have this as truth, right? That the Lord loves us and that his number one priority for us is to have more of him and less of anything that distracts us from him.

And in our tech conversations, we start with a reset, and we look at our relationships, our emotions, our sleep, our enjoyment, and our time. And then we go to, all right, what can I do though, starting today? Well, take a reset and then remove tech from your rooms and from your meals. Equip those gospel standards to content, time, attitude and trust.

Set up network accountability, establish your family rhythms, and let’s make some wonder focused adventures, because when we’ve done that, I, I would actually go so far as to say, when we do those, wow, our tech is gonna be healthy. And when it’s not, it’s gonna show up quick, we’re gonna be able to identify it quickly using a reset. And we’re going to be able to address it quickly, so that it doesn’t fester so that it doesn’t boil over. So that situations that might actually be causing unhealthy tech use are addressed quickly. Bullies and poor decisions and abuse, either emotional or physical or sexual or spiritual… these lies that are starting to get believed because we’ve ingested some kind of thing, from some idea somewhere, and it’s just burrowing into us. Like, yeah, maybe God, isn’t good. Yeah. Maybe, maybe this is a myth. Yeah. How do I know? Those things seem to get called out. They need to be addressed in love. God’s not scared of those questions. In fact, there’s really good answers for them. And there’s really wise people and wonderful resources, more available than ever before in human history. But it’s gotta be addressed, which means it has to realized. It has to be diagnosed. And so, we need to be there for those process, be there in relationship. And that allows us to be there in hope. So, I hope that that was encouraging to you. I know, I I, I could actually hear part way through, Anna would’ve been like, oh yeah, you went too deep on the weeds on that one.

So, thank you for bearing with as I just get super excited and start talking, I think it was the content time attitude one where I was like, ah, alright, okay. But here’s the deal, this is gonna help us as parents look to the Lord as we parent and be present and intentional in the way we parent. Hope focused, helping our kiddos become more like Jesus, in conversation and daily practical action. So, if you have any questions on this, you can reach out to me, nathan@gospeltech.com you can check out our online workshop, gospeltechworkshop.com or it’s actually just on gospel tech.net too. So, you can go there.

You can send me any messages over social media, Instagram, or Facebook at lovegodusetech. You can tell a friend about this because that’s how we grow. And that’s how we get this message out to more families who need resources in this area. And you can join us next week as we continue this conversation about how we can love God and use tech.

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