I first used an Apple computer in 1988, which coincidentally is the year that James, my third son, was born. Having grown up with Apple products James and the three of his siblings who have left home all have their own Apple kit. Nick even evangelized his in-laws, most of whom are now also fully converted from Windows to Apple. Even Nick’s church is equipped with iMacs.
Being a committed Apple user for so many years I have always been confident at managing my equipment from setting up new computers, installing additional memory, swapping out hard drives and the like. These days I have an in-family expert who knows more than me. How did this happen? Well, when James went to Exeter University he was fortunate enough to gain employment with Apple when they opened an Apple Store in the city. When he moved to York to study for his Masters, James applied for work with an Apple Premium Reseller when they opened a store. He has been there ever since and is now assistant manager. This might not be what he expected to do with two degrees to his name, but in the current economic climate a job is a job.
Nowadays there isn’t much I can tell James about Apple computers. In fact, James has become my personal Apple Helpline. James sources and supplies my equipment, and helps me to set it up. James should know more than me. I am self-taught; James has had the benefit of long-term exposure to Apple computers in his work environment.
My prayer for my children is that like James and his superior knowledge of Apple computers, they would pass me in their spiritual journeys. I pray that they would know more about God and be in a deeper relationship with Him sooner in their lives than me. I accept that developing maturity takes time, but it is a sad fact that many followers of Jesus struggle to mature spiritually. They use Jesus like a computer accessing Him at times of their choice, but don’t attempt to learn too much about Him. A relationship of convenience develops. Would we treat our husbands and wives with such disrespect?
As for our children, it is our responsibility to set an example for them. How can I expect my children to grow in faith if my own faith is lukewarm at best? Or if I only turn up at church when it suits, and neglect to show any evidence of spiritual growth in my life? We do not parent alone. It is right and proper to surrender our children into God’s hands and trust Him to co-parent with us. But our children need to see that we have a growing relationship with our Heavenly Father, and understand how vital that relationship is to our lives. If they don’t they may never find out if there are Apple computers in heaven.
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NLT)
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. (Proverbs 22:6 NLT)