Sunday, June 11, 2017

Life to the Full

Today at East Taieri Church we began our "Life to the Full" series.  We are taking three weeks to look at sex and technology and how they can be a part of the full life that Jesus offers, but how they can also be damaged and distorted, leading to pain and hurt relationships.  We will also be presenting practical strategies to keep ourselves and our young people safe in a digital age.

But first things first, I attempted to give us a biblical framework to help us think Christianly about sex and technology.  Sex is part of God's good creation.  "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." (Ge 2:24-25)
But creation has fallen from what God designed us to be.  This damages and distorts things, including sex and technology.  Thankfully the story goes on to the forgiveness and new start that is possible through Jesus Christ whatever we have done or seen.  This framework guides our thinking and our conversations.  If your child comes to you and says they have looked at pornography or sent someone a sexual text or picture – don’t go off the deep end.  Deep breath!  The conversation might look something like:
“Thank you for talking to me!”
 “It is very human to be curious about sex, God has made us sexual beings.  But that thing is a fake idea about sex – it’s part of the way the world is broken and messed up by sin.”
"Isn’t it good that God knows about this problem and has made forgiveness possible and gives us a new start.”
They need to know you don’t approve, but don’t shame them.  Show them God's love and grace. Give them hope.
Don’t yell at them about rules and boundaries – “You’re never going on the internet again…”
Remember the biblical story and the way grace triumphs over law.
Remember the promise that God’s spirit takes the external law and writes it in our hearts transforming us.
 Rules and boundaries have their place, and you can have a conversation about that, but the most important thing is a conversation about redemption and character development (including self-control).
We need appropriate boundaries, but the big goal is developing character so we behave in a godly way when no one is watching.
You can listen to the whole sermon on Tuesday when it is put on our website here. 
Next week we will have James Beck from the Parenting Place here to help us understand the pressures people face in a digital world, and how to develop strategies to keep people safe – especially our children and grandchildren.  The Parenting Place has some great practical resources that are understandable whether parents are Christians or not.
Until next time,
Martin.

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