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First Thoughts

Five Resolutions for Family and Technology

Introduction: Are My Kids Addicted to Screens?

Technology and kids is a scary topic.

I don’t need to overview the stats. You already know that this generation of kids are on screens more than any other generation, that the impacts of this development are negative, and everyone is trying to figure out what to do.

My wife and I struggle with the same thing.

If our kids ask us to watch TV too much in a given week we think: have we failed?

But we feel tension because we live in a technological age. Everyone has a computer in their pocket (including me!). Everyone has big TVs in their houses. How do we handle this? What does the Bible teach us? How can we navigate technology as families in a way that honors Jesus Christ?

Let me suggest five resolutions to help you navigate the countless questions that arise on the topic of family and technology:

RESOLUTION #1: We Will Care About Formation

Most of the stories we hear about kids and technology have to do with the dark side of the digital world. Pornography. Suicide. Anxiety and depression. Atheism and deconstruction. These are important topics, but they aren’t the only topics we should care about.

We should also care about how our children are being formed by the world. There is an incredible forming power to technology. Paul tells us this exact truth in Romans 12:2:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Someone will form your kids. How are the shows your kids watch forming their definitions of beauty, goodness, morality, authority, and parents? Is it according to God’s Word? How is social media shaping the way your kids are thinking about their relationships, friends, and other people?

We must care about formation.

RESOLUTION #2: We Will Care About Creation

In Genesis 1:28, we read that God charged Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Many have called this passage the “creation mandate” – it is the call of God to have dominion over the world he created.

But much of digital technology teaches us not to create but to consume. It focuses on entertainment or absorbing information. Yes, technology can be used to create (I am using technology right now to write this article!). But that only happens when we are committed to using the tools that God gives us to bring him glory through creation.

We should encourage our families to use technology to create rather than consume and to serve rather than be served – just like our Savior (Matthew 20:28). Of course, we use digital technology to do this at times, but not always. The fundamental question we must ask is: is our family primarily creators or consumers?

RESOLUTION #3: We Will Care About Intention

The most common question that gets asked about family and digital technology has to do with boundaries. How much screen time is too much? This is a good and biblical impulse because Proverbs 25:28 says: “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

Boundaries encourage intentionality and self-control. Self-control is ultimately about saying “no” to one thing so you can say “yes” to something else. This type of self-control and intentionality is necessary as we think about technology in the family.

The reality is that many of us (and our children) are on autopilot with digital technology, and there is very little self-control. For example, there have been seasons in my life where I realized I was assuming I would watch a short TV show every night before bed. There is nothing sinful about this, but the problem is I had no self-control. I wasn’t doing it with intentionality. I was automated.

Have you put any limits or boundaries on technology in your family to encourage self-control?

RESOLUTION #4: We Will Care About Illustration

Paul reminds the young pastor Titus about the power of example when he instructs him in Titus 2:7-8 to “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

You don’t have to be a pastor to appreciate the principle of illustration that Paul is sharing with Titus. Example is powerful – and this is particularly true in the family.

Your kids will learn how to use technology from you. They will watch you engage with technology, screens, and social media. This means that one of the most shaping influences on the type of relationship that your kids will have with screens will be your example.

What are your boundaries for technology, parent? This will often control the climate of the home.

RESOLUTION #5: We Will Care About Participation

What I mean by this is that we will participate with our kids in technology and not allow them to consistently isolate with it. Parents are called, according to Deuteronomy 6:7-9, to teach their children God’s Word all the time and in every place. It envisions participating in life with your kids – and applying God’s Word to it.

This includes in front of screens.

This is why I want to encourage you to watch TV with your kids.

Your kids need help and practice in discerning between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), and they need your help. So, watch shows and movies with your kids – talk to them about it. Use the Bible to engage it.

If your child is on social media, engage with them. Talk with them about what they are seeing. Ask questions and listen. Bring the Bible to bear on what they say. Help them to live according to Scripture.


If you are like me – you have at least one screen in your house, probably more. Phones, laptops, TVs, Smart Speakers, and more. Perhaps sometimes you are overwhelmed by the reality that you are raising a family in a very different time than how you were raised.

This is very true. And it is also true that although it is a different time, God is the same, and his Word is the same. It is completely sufficient to address our needs and concerns. Take it, use it, and trust it as you and your family engage with technology in this digital age.

Listen to Pastor Spencer’s Midweek Class on God and Technology here. Learn more about Midweek on our website here.

Spencer Harmon is the Nocatee Campus Pastor. He is the co-author of three books: Letters to a Romantic: On DatingLetters to a Romantic: On Marriage, and Letters to a Romantic: The First Years.

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