A Prayer to Wage War on Distraction
By Chelsey DeMatteis
"He will be our peace." – Micah 5:5
Over the last few years, we've watched the war waged against us and our children through our inability to shut off technology. Studies have shown us it not only has technology grown anxiety issues, destroyed marriages, squandered true vulnerability, watered down the way we have relationships, and one of the biggest impacts of all, taken childhood from children. It’s changed the way parents parent – even Christian parents. It’s turned many into less intentional, self-serving, and reliant on "things" of this world people, rather than parents who cling to God's great commands and design for those who have been given the high calling of training up children.
I speak this all with conviction. Technology has become a cop-out, the cry of depraved hearts who want to serve themselves. While yes, there are some good things that come from it, the bad I believe far outweighs the good. I find that the most destructive area technology has fallen in has been the God-gifted time He has given us with our children. Many of us have fallen in and out of this vicious cycle, only to find ourselves knee-deep in the broken hearts of seeing we chose our want for quiet over engaging with them.
One afternoon as I popped my son in the car, we got about 10 minutes into a not-so-long car ride, and I noticed I left the movie player at home. "Shoot," I said quickly, hoping a tear-filled ride was not to come, I just wanted peace. In the next moment, I had a great awakening, a God awakening.
It was the kind of awakening that takes place when the Lord has been knocking at the door of my heart while I've pridefully been choosing not to listen. Well that afternoon, it all changed. While I was panicking that my peace would be disrupted, my son started talking to me about everything he was seeing out the windows. It was a non-stop flow of what the trees looked like and asking what the signs meant. He was telling me about all the animals, and all the precious things I'd been missing when I chose to create "my peace" over God's desires for motherhood.
You see, we've somehow bought into the lie that we can manufacture peace. That peace somehow looks like giving our children something to keep them quiet. The enemy has fed the lie that peace means no disruptions or distractions. A lie that most homes around the world have bought into. I pray today, that your heart and mine will agree that we cannot do this anymore. We need to learn what God’s peace looks like and live from that as we steward our children!
Here are 4 examples I wanted to share. Two straight from the mouth of Jesus and two from the Old Testament.
-"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." – John 14:27
-"For we are powerless against this great horde coming against us, for we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you." – 2 Chronicles 20:12
-"He will be our peace." – Micah 5:5
The bottom line is this, the enemy wants parents distracted, disheveled, and dependent on the world. The enemy wants us gluing our children’s eyes to screens, why? Because parents who are bought into the lie of manufactured peace, are too busy to be pointing their children to Jesus. So moms and dads, as we walk boldly in the position of parenthood God has given us, we must rise up to live by the standard of His commands. We must see the cost is too high to leave unattended. We must hold fast to what we know is true and diligently teach it to our children. We must seek our peace from the only source, our Savior. Embrace interruptions celebrated the conversations in the car, and love your little people well.
Lord, I'm sorry I have continued to think of peace at such an earthly level. I repent for my desire to put a screen in front of my child so that I can press pause on the high calling of being a mother to a child you created and entrusted to me. Help me seek you in those moments I want to turn on the show, hand over the phone, or grab any device to please my flesh. Remind me that You are my peace (Micah 5:5) and that nothing can steal that promise away from me.
In Jesus' name, amen.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Antonio Guillem
Chelsey is the voice behind the Living with Less Podcast and author of the 52-week devotional More of Him, Less of Me: Living a Christ-centered Life in a Me-centered World. She writes devotions for Lifeway Women’s Journey Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and iBelieve.com. She also writes Bible reading plans for the YouVersion Bible App. Chelsey lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two children. You can connect with her on Instagram @livingwithlesspodcast and at her website ChelseyDeMatteis.com.
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