Steve Jobs and your kids

Posted on October 17, 2015 · Posted in Culture, Parenting

There is a new movie out about Steve Jobs. He revolutionized the way our culture communicates and listens to music. iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad have literally changed the way people live, work and think. Steve Jobs was a legend. However, there was one area Jobs recognized where he was lacking. Steve Jobs was a private man, even from his own children.

“I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs was quoted as saying by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson, when he asked the Apple co-founder why he authorized a tell-all biography after living a private, almost ascetic life. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did,” Jobs told Isaacson in their final interview at Jobs’ home in Palo Alto, California.

Millions have benefited from Jobs’ creativity while his own children had to wait for his biography to know about their dad.  We often benefit from the losses of others, even if we are unaware of this loss.  Which of us would have been comfortable telling Steve Jobs to forfeit his relationship with children so that we could have an iPhone? Because we didn’t know Steve Jobs, we didn’t have that choice.

Many of the benefits of modern life have come about at the price of broken marriages and families. Much of the music that enriches our lives has come from the pen of troubled artists. Movie stars capture our affections on the screen, but their personal lives are a sad testimony to the worship of self.
Steve Jobs thought he needed to have someone else tell the story of his life to his children. Is my iPhone worth that? No, it is not. But, as I said, it wasn’t my choice to make. I would not have known what my iPhone truly cost apart from reading about it. But, we can know the choices God wants us to make. Our children should not have to read a book to know who we are. Our marriages should not have to suffer or fail because we think something else is more important.

No, I can’t give my iPhone back so that Steve Jobs’ children could know their dad. Neither can you.  But what we can do is stop taking things for granted and make the most of the opportunities God gives to us. We can take the time to talk to our wives, our husbands, and our children. We can be faithful to tell others the life changing news about Jesus Christ. There is a sad irony that we will often recommend a new tech product, like an iPhone, to someone we barely know, but are hesitant to talk about the One who can truly change lives for the better. Perhaps by telling others about the wonder of Christ some children may actually get to know their dad.

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Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.