Last month we began delving into a topic that families question us concerning quite frequently and that is Internet protection for computers and hand-held devices. If you haven’t read that first article, we suggest you do so before moving on to this one. Here is the link. While we want to focus in this article on mobile devices, there is more we would like to cover concerning personal computers.
Our boys have chosen to have their computers set up so that their screens are facing the door by which people enter the room. They felt that gave them even greater accountability. There was the added accountability of how they were spending their time on the computer even if it was an acceptable website since they wanted to be productive with their time not time wasters.
When our children were young, they didn’t have Internet access. When they became teens, they were allowed to use the Internet if an older sibling or parent were sitting beside them. By the time they were fifteen or sixteen, they would generally have their own computers (we have lots of hand-me-downs because of business use of our computers) and have Internet access with web protection.
Our children did not have e-mail until they were older either. We finally gave Mary, our youngest, e-mail when she was fourteen, earlier than the other children had it, simply because so much of our family “organizational” communication had become via e-mail. E-mail and texting is an easy way for us to make sure every family member knows what time we were leaving for an event, what prayer requests have come our way, or when Mom is headed for a Wal-Mart trip. Mary was the only one who wouldn’t know what was going on because she didn’t have e-mail or a phone for texting.
We keep personal e-mail addresses private for family members and close friends. Then we each have a public e-mail address that we use for ordering on the Internet. We now use Gmail, which has eliminated the spam and bad e-mail that kept us from allowing our children to have e-mail during the years when there was no way to stop those awful e-mails.
When our children get a Gmail address, they give Steve their Gmail address and password. Remember accountability is a strong ally of resisting temptation and remaining pure.
Often we are asked what we do about ads that pop up on sites with immodest women. We have installed an ad blocker on our Internet browser. The browser we like to use is Chrome. If you don’t already use this browser, here is a link to it. Chrome has an ad blocker extension as we believe most, if not all, browsers have. The ad blocker has done a great job of eliminating ads and particularly the ones that were objectionable. Here is a link to it.
We use Google Safe Search, so there isn’t as much possibility of accidentally stumbling onto a bad site as there was in earlier years of the Internet.
What about accountability on mobile devices? That is Accountable2You as well. Accountable2You uses something called VPN that we enable on our phones that allows Accountable2You to track phone web browsing activity.
Can we eliminate every bad influence from the Internet on our children’s lives? Perhaps not, but we are trying to do all we can do. The most important protection for our children is to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. As we are in the Word, as we discuss right and wrong, as we look at the pain sin brings, and as we draw our children’s hearts to a deep love for their Savior and obedience to His Word, we give them the best protection of all. However, as Steve shares in our Keeping Our Children’s Hearts workshop, we have all heard of pastors who fall to immorality. These are men versed in the Word, who have been shepherding a flock, and counseling their members. However, they have the flesh, they don’t shelter themselves, they don’t have accountability, and they fail.
Scripture tells us, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I” (Romans 7:15). It also gives us the answer to victory, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:24-25).
We want to educate our children on the lures of sin, the frailty of the flesh, and the power of Jesus Christ. He has given us wisdom and direction through His Word to help us such as, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). For our family that equates to the plan for Internet protection and the sheltering that we have chosen to have in place in our hearts and on our computers and devices.
So far we are very pleased with Accountable2You. The links for Accountable2You are Titus2’s affiliate link. If you sign up, we’ll receive 15% every month you’re in. This blesses our ministry and helps with the cost of running it.