Have you ever considered directing your child’s entertainment into an enrichment experience that naturally leads to talk of God?
“Today I earned the RCXD on Arms Race!”
“I enchanted my Diamond Chestplate to Bane of Arthropods!”
Admittedly, these exclamations from your child sound like undecipherable mumbo-jumbo. But consider listening when your child tells you about his last videogame session. Don’t shut down this byway of communication. After all, his eager description is the seed by which you can mold his experience of solo entertainment into enrichment—and a pathway to contemplate God.
Turn entertainment into enrichment that leads to God.
For example, say your child just played (for the 100th time) Call of Duty II like so many preteens do. Enrichment may look like having a WWII documentary queued up that evening. Alternatively, you could initiate a dinner conversation about the war in which a family member served.
Maybe your son just built a fire in Minecraft. That can lead to talking about your upcoming family camping trip, fire safety, and protecting God’s beautiful outdoors.
Then, a week or month later–after his 130th session–you can revisit key elements of that war video or camping trip. This brings it to his mind again and helps him to retain it over the long term.
Similarly, when he mentions excavating iron, gold and diamond in Minecraft, you can show him the Periodic Table of elements. Ask him on what day of creation God likely made all of these elements. You might mention that “some of what God created on Day One is what we are now made of—physical matter-energy, amazingly arranged in atoms and molecules that ultimately comprise our material bodies.”(1) But you needn’t memorize that specific line! Find a relevant science fact that you can easily retain and share. This way, you will both learn something. This is Bible and science extracted from a Minecraft experience. It’s relevant to something fun the child is doing, but it also brings him into a new level of awareness about the game’s contents.
Useful Lessons Tied to God
God has allowed the creation of videogames. You have allowed videogames into your home. God cares what your child is learning through gaming; so do you. By turning entertainment into enrichment, your child will learn useful lessons. These lessons will help him see the ways of God in his world of fun.
For ideas about turning your child’s entertainment toward God’s purposes for their lives, read https://www.christiantechkids.com/consecrate-some-screen-time-to-god/
(1) Institute for Creation Research, Acts & Facts, May 2013, p. 11.
Initial Post 5/5/2013 updated for clarity 12/1/2021.
Photo Ángelo González via Compfight