1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
Video Gaming Husbands
Husbands, now here is something that is near and dear to my heart. Last year at the 2012 Teach Them Diligently conference in Spartanburg, South Carolina I had the pleasure of listening to a gentlemen by the name of Mark Hamby. Mark is the founder of the Lamplighter Ministries, which in itself is another great topic that I will discuss one day. He was speaking on the topic of “A Great Awakening: The Mind, Media, and Moral Imagination”. My youngest son, 8 during this time, was the exact kid that he was speaking of when it came to video games. He had become addicted to the “rush and thrill” of the game. It was acting as a literal drug that caused a change in his brain chemistry. His mood would change when he was playing the games, his interaction with family and friends. This was so evident to me that while Mark was talking, it was bringing tears to my eyes as I thought of what I was allowing. I left the conference rather upset at Mark and what he said, because he jacked up my world rather badly! Not only had he described my son, he also described me.
Over the next few weeks his words continued to ring within my mind when I would sit and begin to play my video games. Within a few weeks it was to much to hold within and I sat down with both of my boys and we had a talk about video games. I am proud to say that since then I have given up my video games. The boys will still play for a bit when at a friend’s house, but not when at home any longer. My wife noticed the whole change in the boys and myself and it has brought us closer.
Husbands, we all like a bit of competitiveness in our lives. Video games can give just that. The games compete for time between you and your kids and your wife! As I said, not only did Mark describe my son, he described me. Here I was, a 39 year old video game junkie! Playing games that I would not let my kids play, much less watch due to the graphics and language. Yet I would try and justify my playing the games to my kids. “I just need a bit of quiet time” “It’s called stress relief son, you just don’t understand yet” or “No, you can’t watch,you don’t need to see and hear what is on here.” One day my kids looked at me and asked the most simple and point blank question, “Why is it okay for you and not us?” I thought on it for a moment, and the truth of the matter is, it was not okay. That is when my boys and I had our talk.
Now all of my kids and I play games outside, board games, play in the floor, do family devotions and many other things together. Most of all my wife no longer goes to sleep alone waiting on her husband to finish a game at 2 am. Now I compete to be a better dad and better husband of a homeschooling mom. That is a game that last much longer, the achievements last a lifetime and pass through generations to come.