Get to know God: Your identity comes from Him
We didn't let our oldest of four sons watch Power Rangers when he was young, even though he desperately wanted to. And the reason was, I dunno, maybe the magic and power of the Rangers might confuse him with the power of Christ or something like that, or maybe they're bad role models? Yeah, well, good for us, because in 2008 when our youngest son was six years old all he could talk about was his love for the red Power Ranger. We had caved.
It was also the summer of 2008 when our third son was eight and came home from Explore the World Day Camp with exciting news: "Mom, there's this place with books you can get for free with really cool information and stories about the world. We even have one in our town! It's called the library."
I didn't get "Mom of the Year" in 2008.
Now I think of the access they have to all sorts of news, information and stories via the handheld device in their hands. The internet has been a godsend, as well as one of the most harmful places for our children (and ourselves) to fall prey to. We start to wonder and compare. "Who does the world say we are? Are we good looking, successful and 'doing it right,' and how many 'likes' is good enough?" Sadly, we compare ourselves to others in the world as we try to find our identities.
But our real identity comes from who God says we are. We are His kids, fearfully and wonderfully made, and He loves us for who we are and not for what we do. There are no conditions to His love. He just loves us. Think about it! You are created in the image of God Himself and by a Creator who doesn't make mistakes. Always remember—you are not a mistake, even though you make mistakes.
Zero judgement from me if you've used media on any device as a pacifier. You are not a bad parent. You're a parent. It's trying, tiring and frustrating at times. The internet has helped and saved you. I get it. It's helped me, too. We just have to establish healthy boundaries for our children and ourselves.
Know Jesus. Know what the Gospel is about. It will save you. He will save you. As Christians we are supposed to be telling people the Gospel, which is the Good News about who God is, and what He has done for us to bring us into a right relationship with Him despite our lack of curiosity about Him, and our focus on ourselves instead of Him. The precondition to loving God and sharing the Gospel is to know Him.
Most people are born into a certain religion or learn it from their parents or their culture and they either adopt it without thinking or they reject it without thinking. They are not interested in investigating who God is using reason and evidence, including scientific and historical evidence. That does not mean the evidence isn't there. A good start is reading Josh McDowell's book, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict"; Lee Strobel's, "The Case for Christ"; or C.S. Lewis', "Surprised by Joy and Mere Christianity."
The best investment of your time is to investigate whether God is real. If He isn't, who cares what He says. If He is, we should all care what He says. It's wrong to say that investigating doesn't matter or that all religions are the same. God has left clues about who He is in the natural world and in history — He expects us to be looking for Him. He is as real as any other person you know, and His character is as defined as any other person you know.
He says, "He who seeks me diligently will find me." He doesn't say you will find Him if you seek Him flippantly. "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13.
I believe through all the trenches of parenting, social media and Power Rangers that our four sons have all "found" Jesus. They know Him personally. Only two boys remain home this summer and one leaves for college in the fall, and always God shows me that despite my "bad mom" moments, He has been there all along. That is such comfort.