Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Distractions

I believe it is fair to say that most sociologists would agree that the family is the cornerstone of a strong, vibrant society. In the US and other western cultures it appears the family structure has taken a huge hit, not only due to divorce.

Anything that lends itself to the weakening of the relationship of the husband and wife is a contributor to the disintegration of the family. This can include the television, kids and kids activities, smart phones, computers, a quest for more material possessions, organizations including church, etc.

“Wait a minute”, you protest. Are you saying kids, computers and church are bad? No! To quote Paul Tripp, “the desire for a good thing can become a bad thing if it becomes a ruling thing.” If every time your smart phone goes off you need to look at it even while in the midst of a conversation with your husband/wife it has become a ruling thing. If you spend half of your time chauffeuring your kids to every activity imaginable that task becomes a ruling thing. If you can’t eat dinner together as a family and have a real conversation but must be glued to the tube, it has become a ruling thing. If your spouse goes to bed and you stay up chatting on the internet, playing video games or watching pornography it has become a ruling thing. If you spend 55 to 70 hours on the job so that you can afford the new car, bigger house or the condo at the beach your desire for things has become a ruling thing. If you spend half your waking hours working at and for the church, unless you are on staff or a missionary, you are most likely neglecting your family.

With each succeeding decade we have more toys, more wants, and more distractions that pull us away from spending quality time together, going for a walk in the neighborhood, or just sitting and talking about our innermost thoughts.

Distractions lead to drift, drift leads to marital dissatisfaction which leads to divorce or co-habitation, i.e. you become roommates. This progression reminds me of a verse in the book of James (1:13-15) which says “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full- grown, gives birth to death.

Is something dragging you away and enticing you?

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