“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21 (NKJV)
It seems that complaints of children using cell phones is growing. “They won’t put them down!” “You can’t carry on a conversation because they have their noses stuck in their cell phones!” “It’s all they want to do!” The comments go on and on. “I wish something would be done!”
What can be done? First, let us recognize that cell phones are a tool. We may be putting the blame in the wrong place. We need to teach children how to use them properly. Also, we need to ask ourselves if we have taught our children good manners.
When TV first became available, there were those who refused to have TV in their homes. “It’s the devil’s tool”, they said. Some still haven’t learned to use the remote to turn off the bad things! As more and more inventions come to use, we have the responsibility to teach our children how to use them in a way that is acceptable to God. Cars can take us to a good place or a bad place depending on whose hands are on the steering wheel. Guns cannot shoot by themselves. Cell phones can be used in a good way or a bad way. The responsibility rests on the owner to see that possessions are used wisely.
Personally, I like my cell phone. During the Super Bowl, my daughter in Long Beach, my granddaughter in Denver, and I were texting each other and it seemed like we were watching together. That was a wonderful way to use this great invention. It is good that parents and children can communicate when apart. Some, however, have not yet learned to use them properly. It is the responsibility of parents to teach the children to use— not just the cell phone—but all possessions, wisely. Parents need to make sure that children get exercise, converse at the dinner table, do homework, etc. There is an easy remedy for children who use their phones too much. Simply take them away and put them up. Talk to the children about proper usage. Tell them they can have them back when you consider them mature enough to use them properly.
Human nature inclines us to do the easy and comfortable thing. Unless we are taught better, we probably will follow that inclination. Those children who have been taught good manners will understand that they should pay attention to others before enjoying their devices. The basis of all good manners is kindness and consideration of others. If children have been taught this, they will not be using phones when they should be conversing or listening to others.
Children should be taught that pleasing God is more important than anything. We should have nothing we treasure more than Him and His Son. Any time something is taking precedence over our worship of God, we should change our love or do away with it. We are to love God with heart, soul and mind.
Cell phones are a good thing if used wisely! ν