Best of the Week: Smartphones, Dating, and Parenting

We are beginning a new weekly blog series called Best of the Week where we will link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you tools and thoughts for life and mission.

Why the Church Can Rescue Us From Our Smartphones

“We have learned to find our identity in our velocity. And that’s not just physically dangerous, but spiritually devastating. This peril exists now not only for Christian leaders, but for everyone, religious or not. Even for those who are not workaholics, the smartphone gives us an illusion of always being ‘active.'”

This is a good (and not technology-bashing) article about the church inviting people back to humanity, relationships, and stillness–things severely lacking in the smartphone age.

When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus

“One of our most precious pursuits, that of a life-long partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and Facebook pokes, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. It’s wrong.”

This article gives a few ideas for dating in a way that pursues something much higher in marriage than what the world typically tries to sell us on.

Five Questions to Ask Before You Start Dating

“Dating is inherently validating. Here is someone who is living, breathing, chocolate-and-flower-giving proof that you’re interesting and attractive. And let’s be honest: that’s really flattering. But if dating is the source of your validation, it indicates soul-damaging idolatry.”

Still on the topic of dating as looking not just toward marriage, but for the right kind of marriage, this article gives a few questions to ask BEFORE you decide to start dating. Five very good questions.

Discipline That Connects With Our Children’s Hearts

“It can make us feel vulnerable and uncertain to let go of a predetermined, ‘I’m-in-control’ formula when kids misbehave. Whether we use time-outs, spanking, grounding, loss of screen time, or any other rote punishment, could it be a desire for ease and control that causes us to disregard God’s pattern of unique, creative, restoration-focused consequences?”

This one came out several weeks ago, but I can’t recommend it highly enough, so I thought I’d save it for this first Best of the Week post. It’s a great article on pursuing Spirit-led restoration and connection with our kids, even when they require correction.

God Would Never Ask Me to Sacrifice My Kids…Right?

“But what if our kids’ activities become so important that we have no time for ministry?  No time to get to know our neighbors?  No time even for church?  What if God called my children to be missionaries…in Congo…in Iraq…in North Korea?  What if I was convicted that the college money would be better spent showing a dying neighbor that Jesus loves him?  Would I resist….or obey?”

This one is an honest, self-reflective line of questioning from some parents on the mission field, and they’re good questions for us to pause and answer as we talk about what it means to prioritize the Kingdom and the King.

Have a good week!