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House or Home - Parenting Edition - Is Technology Helping or Hurting Our Kids?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2024 6:00 am

House or Home - Parenting Edition - Is Technology Helping or Hurting Our Kids?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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April 30, 2024 6:00 am

Technology is perhaps the most powerful force in the world today. It’s been used to start revolutions, to bring down political leaders, to launch careers, and much more. But the fact is, what you don’t know about technology could be devastating to your children. Chip is joined in this session by his son Ryan to talk about technology and your kids.

Main Points

What do parents need to know in today's tech world?

  1. The landscape is constantly changing.
  2. The rules are ever changing.
  3. The dangers are changing and growing.
  4. The basic needs and desires have NOT changed.

What's the game plan?

  1. Lead the way.
  2. Have the talk often and openly.
  3. Keep the control.
  4. Know where they go.
  5. Go where they go.
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Technology is perhaps the most powerful force in our world today.

It's been used to start revolutions, bring down political leaders, or launch careers and much more. But what you don't know about technology could destroy your children. Parenting and technology, it's an issue you've got to address, and that's what we'll do today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

And we're in the middle of this series, House or Home? Parenting Edition. Today, Chip will be joined by his son, Ryan Ingram, to chat about the weighty topic of technology and the family. He'll look at how it has expanded and evolved over the past 20 years, and challenge the world to change. He'll challenge moms and dads to educate and prepare themselves for when it enters their home. Well, there's a lot to get to, so here's Chip to kick off this vital discussion. Is technology helping or hurting our kids? Now, what I want to do, because the answer is, you already know it, right? The answer is yes.

It is really helping, and it's really hurting. But what I want to do is I want to start off and I want to do a quick review in terms of five timeless principles. Principle number one is successful parents begin with clear-cut objectives. As a parent, you got to say, I want my kids, my goal is to help them become holy, to become like Christ, not just happy or successful. Principle number two, successful parenting demands that we practice what we preach. They will become what we are. Principle number three is successful parenting means building relationships that bond. It's not a transfer of information.

There's got to be a deep connection of the heart, and whether that happened in the old days around a campfire or whether it happens now with high technology, you got to have relationships that bond. Principle number four, successful parenting requires constant repair and ongoing maintenance. I don't care where you're at in the parenting journey, just wait six months, you got to change.

You're going to have to apologize. Whatever was new, guess what? Six months from now, it's not new anymore. Whatever you're doing that's working well with your kids, wait a week.

It won't be. Principle number five, successful parenting provides unconditional love and unpopular limits. When you're the kind of parent your kids really need, you say, no matter what, I want you to know I love you, I'm for you, I will never forsake you. And by the way, no, you can't have your own selfish way that might be damaging to you.

So significance, you love them. Boundaries, you give them security. Now here's the problem.

The problem is the application. How during the time of Moses, Deuteronomy 6 was applied or in the first century it was applied is one thing. How you apply it now in the technological world that we live in with internet and access everywhere all the time. Here's what I want you to know. What you're ignorant of is lethal. What you don't know can destroy your child. Your child at this time in history has more information, more influence, more people and more evil that can get into their mind and heart than ever in the history of the world.

And you can be sincere, you can be conscientious, you can care about your kid, but if you are ignorant about how and where that information or those people or those images or that thinking gets into the heart and the mind of your child, it can destroy you. I know. I've been there, unfortunately, and even done that.

In my ignorance, one of my children logged onto the internet and started a very painful and difficult journey. Ryan, why don't you come and take a few minutes. This is my son, Ryan Ingram.

Welcome him if you will. Thank you. Ryan, I was ignorant. I didn't know much about computers. The guys in the office set one up at home and I'm not sure they even had filters and things. But why don't you share your story and kind of what happened in our home because I was ignorant and didn't know any better. Yeah, well, the problem was you didn't know a whole lot, but you had guys around you who were super tech savvy that always had kind of tried to keep you on the latest curve of things.

And so what I call is just the discovery stage. I knew very little bit and started typing in all kinds of searches and seeing what I could find and then eventually came across pornography. And what started out as just kind of looking turned into a full blown addiction where I was just sucked in. In fact, what I wanted, it's just amazing how addiction works, right?

It's the deep craving of the soul that is almost this compulsive element that you can't control. And so I would late at night or when I really want people to be gone away from the home so I could be in the back room with the computer and logging onto porn. I remember that, you know, the power with especially pornography in this day and age is in the secret. And for me, the secret thankfully got brought to the surface quickly. I'm glad I wasn't stuck there for years and years and years. But I remember my senior year of high school, I came home one day after school and my dad was home early, which rarely happens.

And for me, that's generally, especially in high school, wasn't a good thing. So I see his car is home and my mom's there. And we take this long walk down the hallway to the back room where the where the computer was and said, we need to talk. And I knew we I knew exactly what it was about.

And it was a little awkward. My mom was there, but it was actually one of the hardest and yet greatest conversations of my life, especially when I've had conversations with guys over and over in ministry who their marriages have been ruined because of pornography, their kids lives destroyed. And just to see that God's deliverance in my own life to be able to have that conversation with you. And that brought me on a journey of hope in such a way where a long journey, not overnight, sadly, I wish it was. And yet the scars still remain and I still have to have stuff. I mean, for a long time in my early marriage, we didn't even have Internet because it's just like, I can't have that around and keeping clear guardrails in my life to make sure I just don't slip back because I love my family too much.

I love my Jesus too much. So that's a little bit about my story. Well, I didn't know that that stuff would pop on and didn't have any idea how it worked. But I still remember one of our tech guys actually confronting me. Ryan and saying, you know, and I appreciate the culture that we had that he felt free and he assumed I was the problem.

And I said, I got a lot of problems, but that's not one of them. And that led us to the journey. And it's been neat to see how God has worked. Now, since that time, you spent the last 10 years in ministry.

You've been a pastor of junior high, a pastor of high school, pastor of college. You spent 10 years with young people who have lived in a very high tech world. What have you learned? What have they told you?

How? If you could maybe answer the question, what do they wish their parents knew about being a parent in technology in this world? Yeah, really, we were on the front end of that first generation in this kind of tech world, at least the Internet stage.

And I work currently with college age young adults. And so I just asked this question, what kids wish their parents knew about parenting and technology, because I wanted the perspective of those that were really close to their high school, teenage years, their tween years, and yet had could have the insight to say, man, I really wish this. They knew this because of what I experienced, the consequences, the pain, the destruction. And so it's interesting to me because it's very counterintuitive to what we think they would answer.

But let me just read a few of these. The first thing was they said, I wish they knew how much I actually needed them. So often we think they don't need us. They put off this affront that, in fact, it'd be better that you're not here. And yet the deep craving of their soul is, you know what, I wish they knew exactly how much I really needed them. Say, I wish I knew that when they set boundaries, it makes me feel loved, that it provides this sense of safety and security. I mean, I was shocked to kind of see that come back because you see that fighting all the time against the boundaries.

And yet as they're looking backwards, they're going, I wish they stuck to their guns. I wish I had an open and honest communication with my dad or my mom. And I just think it's funny because I hear all the conversations in the car. And how was your day? Fine.

How are you doing? Good. Yeah.

Like, really? You want open and honest communication? Can we get a little deeper? But that is that is a deep desire that they were able to talk about life and what was going on. I wish they knew it's not the same as it was when they were a kid, that the world's changed. That life's dramatically different there. I wish they didn't just ignore my use of the Internet. That sense of feeling of being alone. I can relate to that one just because of history that we had.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll return you to today's message shortly. But first, are you a mom or dad who feels disconnected from your kids? And does that idea make you question whether you're having an impact at all as a parent? Well, join us after the teaching as Chip explains why parents are vital to a family's health and highlights a few resources we've developed to help you reconnect with your kids.

Keep listening to learn more. Well, with that, here again, are Chip and Ryan. I wish I didn't have unlimited, unmonitored access to the Internet. Now, when I read that one, I thought, I mean, I'm not going to hear that from my junior high or high school student, like, please don't let me have unlimited access.

But looking back, they realized that was where a lot of the pain occurred is parents thought, oh, everything's fine. No big deal. Yeah. Wow. Absolutely.

And the last one. I wish I had real time as a family with no technology. That we would have unplugged that we would have hung out and gotten to know one another, not sat around the table looking at our phones. Well, I've actually had on a few occasions, people, parents and students talk to me where, you know, every time I get in the car, my dad's on the phone or every time when we're everywhere. You know, I was at the Starbucks or Chipotle, one of those places, and there were like seven or eight, nine people in line.

And every one but one person was in line like this. And guess what? If more is caught than taught, guess what? Your students and your children are going to model your behavior. Well, Ryan, let's get to the maybe the how do we help people?

I mean, you've done a lot of work here. You've you've been working with these people, students and kids. Let's go over here at sort of the workstation and let's see if we can't you know, this is a very smart group. They open their notes. They're ahead of us.

I heard it already. Well, we got a little laptop. I've got my iPad here. So we're all teched up.

And let's let's move to kind of what's a parent need to know? OK, I'm sitting here tonight and some especially in this city, a lot of people, very, very tech savvy. But there's some that are like me. So pretend pretend you're talking to me.

Oh, you have to pretend I'm here. But but someone like me that you realize if I can't find someone to fix my stuff, then I'm in trouble. So what do parents need to know in today's high tech world? Now, the first area is really we all get this, but we just need to really embrace this, that the landscape is constantly changing. We understand that we see it, but it has dramatic implications for us in parenting, because if the landscape is constantly changing, we can't be on autopilot as parents. And so we just see that we live in a landscape that is constantly changing. So what happens as a result is then the rules are ever changing how we interact with life, what actually is possible changes. The rules have changed in the way we can impact our world. Anyone at any time can become famous with a quick. But it builds into this me generation.

I'm the focus that life revolves around me. Just think about the words we use. How many friends do you have?

How many followers do you have? In fact, I'll stop with this one is old is obsolete. New is not just nice. It's necessary. The rule builds into this consumeristic mindset that we have that we must have the next new thing. In fact, though, it it has shaped our culture and the way we interact with one another. I believe because the sage is dying in our culture, isn't it? The wisdom of the past generation has begun to fade because this generation sees you don't understand this. And I do.

And so I don't need you. Old is obsolete. The encouraging part is I work with college age young adults is going through that. They now see we long for mentors. We long for the wisdom of those. We can do all this great stuff tech wise, but we don't know how to do relationships. We don't know how to do our finances.

We don't know how to do all these other things. You know, I didn't realize how ignorant I was. But then the neat part is to get to start to mentor some of these people and realize, boy, such a percentage from broken homes or being so smart with these things and just absolutely naive in terms of, you know, how do you build a relationship? So it's really I want to just share with you all. There's never been a greater time to mentor and build into the lives of people in their teens and 20s.

And thank God for that leadership team that is building into life of your middle school, high school and college students. So one passage before we move on that came to mind is in Chronicles and it's talking about David's men. And it says this interesting thing about the men of Issachar. And it says that they understood the times and they knew what Israel should do.

And I think that's it. We live in a culture where the times are changing, the rules are changing. And as parents that we ask God for the wisdom to understand the times and the courage to do what we know we should do. And the thing that happens there is then it goes to the next point.

The dangers are changing and growing. So, I mean, you know, yeah, it's one thing and we can all figure out that. And boy, I see this all the time, you know, texting and driving. That's just stupid. Right. Okay.

And this is not limited to kids. No, I think we could ask the question. I don't want to because… Let's not do that. But I mean… How many of us have done that? We are… I don't want to miss or I'm trying to save three seconds and you kill someone.

You know, a kid runs out or you run into the back of someone. And so this is pretty serious. What are some of the other dangers? Well, and when it was first introduced to me, you know, back in the day, it was porn.

That was the only thing I, you know, that was the only problem. But today, I mean, beyond addictions and all that is now you have online predators. And you just think about not only do our kids have access to the world, but now the world has access to our kids. And we would never… I would never leave my daughter downtown by herself. And yet we do that with our kids online all the time.

Wow. And then you have cyber bullying. And it's this whole idea that you have what used to be just happened at the playground.

It happened, you know, during recess and during the lunch breaks in high school in the quad. Now that extends all the way to home 24-7. And you say, or at least teens often say things way more viciously behind the computer screen than they ever would to their face. And you see this cyber bullying. It has dramatic impact. We've seen kids actually commit suicide as a result of this. And then you have sexting and sextortion.

What is that? Yes. For those of you who don't know, sexting is anytime you send an illicit image or message of yourself.

And it doesn't necessarily have to do with your phone and texting, although that's the primary means. And this has been a trend we're seeing with teens and tweens. And political leaders. Yes.

And football players. Yes. To take a nude picture of yourself or provocative or to say something explicit sexually and then send that to your boyfriend, girlfriend. The problem is then we've seen actually, you know, a girl that did that to a boy and then he sent it to everyone in school.

And thinking that she was just doing something for her boyfriend and yet those sort of things. But then sextortion, I have a hard time with that word, is then how predators are now actually leveraging that. And they pose as someone else and get a teen or young person to send an image. And then they use that as a leverage in their life to say, you need to send me more pictures, otherwise I'll share this with everyone. You need to come meet me and do this, otherwise I'll do this. I mean, they even use, I'll let your parents know.

And you begin to see this sextortion that's going on. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And you've been listening to part one of Chip and Ryan Ingram's message, Is Technology Helping or Hurting Our Kids, from our series, House or Home, Parenting Edition. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. Are you an overwhelmed or discouraged parent, desperate for practical wisdom and guidance in raising your kids?

Well, if that's you, Chip's got your back. He'll equip moms and dads with God's blueprint for parenting. With a little courage and intentionality, you'll discover how to better communicate with your kids, reduce stress in your home, and have a joy-filled family. You're not going to want to miss a word of this insightful series. Well, Chip's joined us in studio now to share something with all of you.

Thanks, Dave. Before we go any further today, I just want to pause for a minute and talk to parents. As I talk with a lot of parents, I have a lot of parents who feel like, you know, I don't feel like I'm connecting with my kids anymore, especially as they're getting older, like I'm unimportant.

They're either on a screen or with their friends, and I just don't know how to engage, and I'm concerned. I feel this drift. And, candidly, I want to say it's just a phase, but I don't see that heart for God, that spiritual desire, that I know is so important.

Well, if that is you, I've got some good news. Number one, I think a lot of this is normal. You know, my kids rolled their eyes when I said, hey, why don't we open the Bible together and do this or do that? But here's what's really important. You are the most vital link in their relationship with God than anyone or anything else, even if they act like they don't listen to you. And what I want to do is give you three very specific tools to engage at a deeper level.

Don't buy the lie that your relationship doesn't matter or that they're just going through a phase. Let me give you these three tools to help you engage and invest in the spiritual development of your child. First is our Field Kit for Parenting. It outlines seven key practices for godly parenting. This tool is going to help you as a mom or a dad understand your role, your parenting style, and then highlight some practical ways in that touchy area of biblical discipline. Next is what we call Mealtime Conversations for Families. This will encourage you to set some times of family around the dinner table and give you some wholesome topics to spark conversation that goes first kind of fun and then deeper about the bigger issues of life. And lastly, the resource is How to Build Christian Character in Your Kids.

In it, you're going to learn how to instill the qualities in your children that help them become authentic disciples of Christ. There has never been a more important time for you to engage with your kids, and we want to help equip and support you in this very most important job as a mom, a dad, and especially as a single parent. Dave, could you let them know how to get ahold of these free resources? Be glad to, Chip. To learn more about any of these free digital parenting tools, visit or the Chip Ingram app. We want to see families thrive and honor God, and that starts with moms and dads parenting well, and we believe these resources can help.

So download them today by visiting or the Chip Ingram app. Well, with that here again is Chip to share a few final words for us to think about. As we close today's program, I want to talk to you parents, just parent to parent. You know, you heard my life, my failure actually as a father, and I want to prevent that. My son went through some very, very painful times. I'm glad he's out the other side, and he was very candid about where he's been and what needed to happen. But listen to the things that these young 20-year-olds told him that your kids want you to know.

Okay, would you lean back? I mean, I want this to sink in because here's the application. I'm going to give you the application before I read them. I want you to go to the website,, and then I want you to download the message notes because all of these are there, and you need to read them, and you need to have a platform and a resource to talk with your kids, but also just to take some steps. Now, listen to what teenagers were saying. This is what I wish my parents knew. I wish they knew that when they set boundaries, it makes me feel loved. I wish I had open and honest communication with my dad or mom. I wish they knew it's not the same as it was when they were kids. I wish they didn't ignore my use of the Internet. I wish I didn't have unlimited, unmonitored access to the Internet. And he says, I wish they knew how much I actually needed them.

See, you don't believe that anymore. And they act, and their body language and their words say they don't, but they really do. And then finally, I wish we had real time as a family with no technology. And then I'm just going to, you know, are you ready?

I mean, get ready. I'm going to give you a shot right across the bow on this one. The research that I've read says that the problem is not even so much the kids. It's the dads and the moms that can't put the phone down. You need to turn your stuff off and eat a meal together.

You need to pick your kids up in the car and turn your phone off and let your kid know they matter more than whoever's coming across the line. And when you do, you're going to communicate love in a powerful, powerful way. It will be hard, but do it and start today. Thanks for that bold challenge, Chip. Well, before we go, I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs, purchase airtime, and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. Now, if you've been blessed by the Ministry of Living on the Edge, would you consider sending a gift today? You can do that by visiting or by calling us at 888-333-6003. Again, that's 888-333-6003 or visit App listeners, tap donate. We want you to know how much we appreciate your support. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-30 04:08:52 / 2024-04-30 04:19:02 / 10

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