"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds" (Proverbs 27:23, NKJV).
I purchased a new computer last week. The first thing I did was spend almost three hours securing it through software and settings against malicious software threats. Created and unleashed by ruthless and unscrupulous individuals, these viruses and Trojans--if not intercepted--would quickly turn my thousand-dollar computer into a very expensive but worthless box of circuits.
As I sat waiting for the next software prompt to pop up, I began to think about securing precious investments. As loving parents, we invest immeasurable time and effort "installing" within our children the ethics, morals and skills needed to function in a dangerous world. We do this because we know that there is an enemy roaming to and fro, probing the lives of our children, looking for a weak spot that he can exploit to usher in death and destruction.
I began to realize that the principles of computer maintenance and parenthood have many parallels.
Install and maintain a good firewall.
A firewall is a program that monitors the input and output of the Internet connection, compares the code to an installed list of virus threats and deals with them accordingly. Am I teaching my children the skills and knowledge they need to process the information they are exposed to in their world? When false and dangerous ideas are presented, do they know how to recognize and reject them? A good firewall also automatically connects to the software company for regular data updates. Do my children feel free and safe to interact with me so that they maintain a proper perspective of truth?
Implement regular virus scans.
Virus software examines the computer's hard drive looking for detrimental code. When it finds such code it alerts the user and deletes the unwanted files. Am I teaching my children to read the Word of God, looking into the mirror of the Word, examining their hearts and going to God in repentance when they find something that contradicts standards of good character?
Remain educated about the latest technology.
As my life progresses, my computing needs will change. It is important that I stay up-to-date about the latest advances in computer hardware and software so that I can know how and when to upgrade my equipment to meet new challenges. Am I taking my children to a church where they are learning the things they need to know about God and His Word? Are they being taught in a way that allows them to grasp the truths they need to follow God's call on their lives?
Be cautious when "cruising" the Internet.
There are a million sad stories of people who were not discerning about what websites to visit and what email attachments to open. It only takes one wrong click to invite disaster. Am I careful about what my children see and hear? Am I taking measures to be aware of the things they are watching and listening to? Am I proactive in keeping things out of my home that could damage their hearts and minds?
The computer's condition is ultimately the user's responsibility.
What happens to my computer, how it functions and how long it lasts, are dependent solely upon the choices that I make about its programming and maintenance. The same can be true to a great extent in regard to the condition of my children. Am I examining myself as a role model? Am I scrutinizing my parenting techniques, culling habits and methods that don't promote the welfare of my children? Am I living my life before the Heavenly Father, seeking His guidance and wisdom in my choices and words?
Know a good "computer guy."
Computer technology can leave the most intelligent person feeling insecure and apprehensive. That's why it's good to know a "computer guy," an expert who can guide us through the confusing tasks involved in utilizing modern technology. Although maintaining and operating a computer may seem complicated, it does not even approach the complexity and intricacy, to say nothing of the vastly greater significance, of raising a child. That's why it is so important that we keep in constant and intimate communication with the "expert," the Designer of our children, knowing that He understands them and wants the best for them. He preprogrammed them for a specific purpose and has a plan for them. Only by following His direction and instruction can we be confident of preparing our children to succeed and prosper.
© by Scott Hassett