Tweens and Facebook

A friend of mine posted the link to this blog today and the author states quite clearly my feelings concerning tweens with facebook accounts. There are children as young as 8 or 9 with facebook accounts, and the legal agreement for facebook clearly states account holders must be over the age of 13. This is me stepping on the toes of everyone I know who has a child under the age of 13 with a Facebook account, but this lady has a point. Cracks in integrity show up in the “small” things long before they show up in the “big” ones. Teach your children to live above reproach in the smallest of things. Scripture teaches we will be trusted with the big things when we prove ourselves faithful in the small.

Not only is it an integrity issue, but it is a relationship issue as well. Adults have enough trouble defining relationships; why add to the struggles of a late elementary school or middle school student by giving them another misuse of the word “friend” and just one more place for them to torture one another socially?

I by no means believe that all parents who have children under 13 are purposefully teaching their children to be deceptive. I know that 9 times out of 10 I check yes to agree with the terms of service without ever reading them. But ignorance does not release us from responsibility. The question remains: now that you are aware, what will you do?

If you were aware of the policy and ignored it, and being called out makes you mad, I do not apologize this time. But I do pray that you will look past your anger or frustration and prayerfully consider the example you are setting for your child. Are you living above reproach or are you passively teaching your children it’s ok to break the rules if you think no one is going to get hurt?

A Word of Caution from the Facebook Status Killjoy

Much like the “bra color” forward that swept Facebook over the winter, a new forward has begun circulating:

Ok ladies here’s another game, like the bra color game was a total success and we had men wondering for days what was with the colors and it made it to the News. Well this game has to do with your handbag, where we put our handbag the moment we get home for example “on the couch”, “the kitchen counter”, “the dresser” well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your Status with nothing more than that and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let’s see how powerful we women really are!”

When I post blogs like this, I tend to get accused of needing to lighten up and not be so serious because stuff like this is “just for fun”, but take a moment and ask yourself, “What kind of power does this show we have?” The power to make people’s minds end up in the gutter? Is that the sort of power we want to exert over people? What is the intention of posting a status like this?

We can claim it’s all innocent fun, but in the sex-saturated world in which we live, anything can be turned into a sexual innuendo; why would you want to post something that will only encourage such saturation?

I take very seriously my responsibility to do everything within my power to not be a stumbling block for my brothers and sisters in Christ. While I cannot hold myself personally responsible for the thought life of others, I can be held responsible for doing things that do not encourage pure and holy thoughts.

Scripture tells us that, as believers, we have access to unimaginable power– the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within us and gives us victory over sin (Romans 8:11)! If we have the power to overcome sin, why would we want to show our power by leading others into strongholds of sin?

Imagine for a moment that your son or daughter or husband or cousin or best friend struggles with sexual sin. He or she signs on to Facebook and is overwhelmed with lists of random surfaces found in the common home. What do you think their first thought is going to be? I can assure you that they aren’t thinking, “I bet this is a list of places the women in my life put their purses.” No, they are going to think exactly what this type of status intends for them to think. And they’re going to think about that woman doing it. Then your son or daughter or husband or cousin or best friend gets to go to church tomorrow and see that woman and be bombarded with that image again. And then that woman may be confused when your loved one can no longer look her in the eye or speak to her comfortably. She may wonder, “What’s his problem?” without ever considering that she may be the problem.

Doesn’t it just make sense that we should do everything we can to protect each other’s minds from such stumbling blocks instead of being the stumbling block? We cannot set ourselves up to be sexual objects and then be angry when we are treated as such.

Erin Davis blogged about the Bra Color game on the True Woman blog in January, and I believe her wise words apply here as well. You can read her edifying post here.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we do, we should do it to the glory of God, and yes, sister, this even includes what you post as your Facebook status. There is no part of the life of the Christian that is exempt from the “whatever” clause.

Just think about it…

UPDATE: As Douglas B. Brill stated in his secular article concerning the cheapening of the fight against cancer with the use of sex, clicking here will “help you become even more constructive in the fight against breast cancer.”

What kind of cake are you?

It seems like the social networking site Facebook has become overrun in recent days with various quizzes wanting to know what you are. What 80’s song are you? What kind of dog are you? What kind of shoes are you? What childhood toy are you?

While I am sure my life would be complete if I finally found out if I am really Strawberry Shortcake or Rainbow Brite, there are other quizzes and standards I would rather judge myself against. For instance, Charles Spurgeon asked this question, “What kind of cake are you?” over 100 years ago. I’ve been trying to tell people for years that Spurgeon was one cool man, and he proved it this morning by being relevant to the Facebook crowd.

I encourage you to read his words, spend some time in prayer with the heavenly Father, and ask Him to show you what kind of cake you are.

“Ephraim is a cake not turned.”

Hosea 7:8

“A CAKE not turned is uncooked on one side;; and so Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace; though there was partial obedience, there was too much rebellion left. My soul, I charge you to see whether this is true of you. Are you thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone to the very center of your being so that its divine operation is felt in all your powers, your actions, your words, and your thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be your aim and prayer; and although sanctification may not be complete in you, still it must be at work in you. There must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another, otherwise you also will be a cake not turned.

A cake not turned is soon burned on the side nearest the fire; and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth that they overemphasize; others are charred to a cinder with a self-congratulatory Pharisaic performance of those religious activities that suit their mood. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness, and the saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is burned on one side, is dough on the other.

If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of your love, and let it feel the sacred glow; and let my burned side cool a little, while I learn my own weakness and lack of heat when I am removed from your heavenly flame. Let me not be a double-minded man, but one who is entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace. For I know only too well that if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of Thy grace, I must be consumed forever in everlasting burnings.” —  The June 23 entry for Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon; from the updated edition, revised by Alistair Begg.