“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”

These verses might prompt the following questions:

  • Is my son bowing down to technology? How many hours per day is he staring into the fire of screens? In other words, are his technologies becoming his ultimate measure of spiritual and personal power?
  • Does my family have rules in place for the use of the technologies in our home? If not, why not?

If your son is at the high end of average technology and screen use (seven-plus hours per day), he is probably bowing his soul to technology. If your house has few consistently enforced rules for technology use, he is likely, at some deep level, not happy. The fires fueling him may not be authentic.

In verses 18–20, Isaiah points out how foolish it is for humans to worship something they made themselves and notes how easily we are misled by our “deluded heart.” What a powerful reminder to study our children’s habits, looking closely at them from a spiritual and developmental point of view, just as you would any other part of life in which you feel committed to nurture the God-given design of your son.

As you draw conclusions about where your son fits among statistics and scriptural wisdom, a revealing question to ask yourself, your family, and even your son, if he’s old enough to answer, is, “Can this boy become the true HERO we want him to be if he continues with his present level of technology use?” If he’s doing quite well at becoming a hero, then his technology is probably not a deep concern. If, however, technology has invaded his sense of honor, enterprise, responsibility, and/ or originality, than he is probably overusing it.

Excerpted from Raising Boys by Design by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, and Michael Gurian. Copyright (c)2013 by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, and Michael Gurian. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Publication date: October 8, 2013