Because technology is built to serve us–and is pervasive–it is easy to unconsciously transfer that expectation of “serve me” to our relationship with God. Adam Thomas in Digital Disciple (p. 87) referenced this concept and kindled my thoughts about how this may affect a child’s world. A child familiar with technology may begin to believe God serves us like technology serves us. As if CTRL ALT ↑ is enough to send to the ether a message about what we want and when, so that God can respond. But God is not a button on our keyboard.
If you didn’t grow up fingering buttons and swiping screens you may not hold this false expectation. But a child today who has the world at his fingertips may expect God is at his fingertips too.
It is easy in a relatively affluent space to want more, want different, want now. This is particularly easy for children who don’t understand the work required to achieve the stuff, the opportunities, the personal freedom. As parents we can help our child discern their own impatience. “I wonder why God doesn’t answer our prayers as fast as Google answers our questions?” you might inquire. And then allow them to explore the possibilities: there’s patience to be learned (endurance and encouragement of Romans 15:5), HE may want US to address our own needs first (Proverbs 13:4), or a quick answer might not be best for the totality of His creation (Psalm 27:14).
Don’t be surprised when your children expect God to be instantly responsive. So much of their world is. They come by it naturally. But don’t settle for it; seek the biblical insights that will help you push back against it.