For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17)

“I THINK IT NEEDS TO GO,” insisted Beth. She looked directly at the family computer as its blank screen stared into the dining room.

“It’s harmless, Beth. It’s only a computer,” her husband retorted.

“The computer is hardly harmless!” she cried. “Especially with a connection to the Internet.” Her voice became filled with concern. “Our small group leader was talking about how it can really mess up a family. The kids are getting older now,” she added. “I don’t like for them to use it, or even their smartphones. They can access anything. And most importantly, now that we’ve come back to the Lord, I’m not sure a computer with an Internet connection really has a place in our home.”

Beth and her husband had recently returned to church after many years away. They hadn’t been living as they knew they should, but she was determined to get it right this time. Beth’s husband touched her arm. “Living a life that follows Christ does not always look like a moral checklist. Whether or not we have a computer in our home isn’t what matters. What matters is that we are teaching our children to be in a right relationship with God in the midst of all the evil and distractions of the world. Let’s monitor the children and limit our time with those devices so we are able to focus on righteousness and peace in the Holy Spirit.”

Focus on staying open to God’s Spirit rather than following a list of rules.

Amy Knepp is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and is a stay-at-home mother of four children.