Covenant Eyes awards thousands of scholarship dollars each year to students who demonstrate integrity. This year, we’re doing it again! Check out the application information and pass it along to a student you know or apply for the scholarship today. Applications are due by May 31, 2017.
The essays below were written by one of last year’s winners.
In 2-3 paragraphs, please explain how you use Covenant Eyes, and how it has impacted your life.
When my dad first installed Covenant Eyes on my computer back when I was in middle school, I most definitely did not appreciate it as much as I do now. I thought of it as a nuisance when I was at my cousin’s house and we were trying to watch videos, or when I was trying to download software or files which should not have been publicly free.
My perspective on Covenant Eyes’ value began to change when I started to come into contact with countless men who struggled with the issue of purity. In fact, it seemed to be a legitimate struggle of every single male human being, including myself. In the life of someone very close to me, I saw a lack of accountability lead to the destruction of friendships, marriage, and ultimately to a falling out in one’s relationship with God.
Once I realized these different factors at play, I began to see how influential Covenant Eyes can really be. The first way in which I use Covenant Eyes is as a gateway to keep honesty among members of my family, but especially with my dad. Everyone in our family has Covenant Eyes installed on our computers, and while it has definitely protected my mom and sister from certain websites, it has done even more for me and my dad. Every time an Accountability Report comes into either my dad’s e-mail inbox or my own, we scan the web browsing history for any red flags that may have popped up. Furthermore, my dad and I have been able to use Covenant Eyes as a way to bolster our relationship with one another. I truly believe that honesty is one of the most important things in any relationship. Having each other as Accountability Partners on Covenant Eyes has allowed us to sit down and talk to each other about any concerns that may have been flagged in our browser history, and then to talk about why that certain site should not be visited and how we can help one another to not go there again.
Covenant Eyes has impacted my life first of all in ways that I cannot even know by keeping me away from sites that could have deeply affected my eyes and my heart. Secondly, Covenant Eyes has also provided a foundation of honesty for my relationship with my dad and helped us grow both in our relationship together and in our purity.
Part of the Covenant Eyes mission is to equip men and women to live lives of integrity, to assist people in their commitment to set no worthless thing before their eyes. In your academic, social, and spiritual pursuits, describe how you strive to demonstrate a life of integrity.
I believe integrity has become more relative in modern society. There have almost become two standards for integrity–one of outward expression and one on the inside. The level of sin has become somewhat hierarchical in our minds as we see integrity on the Internet as being less important than integrity towards others during our everyday lives. As appealing as this lie may seem, I see this contradicting the Bible, and so I strive to demonstrate a life of integrity in my academic, social, and spiritual pursuits by keeping this same standard of Biblical purity.
There are multiple aspects of academic integrity. The first, and most emphasized, is not plagiarizing or cheating. I think this aspect is vital, but it must stem from the root of academic integrity. I believe academic integrity is really the desire to individually give our best to God by being good stewards of the gifts that He has given us. Academic integrity needs to be a choice to give all the talents that God has given each one of us in learning about God’s Word, about one another, and about all of creation. He has given us each a unique perspective on the world, and from this comes the responsibility of taking this unique outlook, along with all of our other talents, and investing it in learning more so that we may further His kingdom. This truth drives me not only to keep my eyes and mind off of taking other people’s ideas and answers, but gives me the motivation to keep pursuing a higher academic goal in giving glory to God.
Integrity in our social lives is one of the hardest to keep. I believe that there are two main reasons for this. The first is that it requires us to admit to one another in complete honesty when we are at fault with one another or when we need help. The second aspect of this is that it’s easy to think we can keep our sexual purity sins to ourselves, that we can deal with them on our own. I tried this and realized it is absolutely impossible to do, and so I turned to an Iranian brother of mine for help. It took courage to set up phone calls with my friend as he lives in a different country than me, and even more courage to be honest with my struggles. It was well worth it, though, because in this I realized that my friend was having the same struggles as me, and he needed this accountability relationship more than I did. I told him about Covenant Eyes and had him set it up on his computer so we could be accountable for all of each other’s browsing activity. This, then, is how I strive to demonstrate a life of integrity in my social life.
I desire to respect others and, in doing so, have the courage to approach others about their purity and share honestly with them about my struggles as well. This integrity, I know, will lead to more meaningful, deep relationships, as well as greater purity while I walk through life’s struggles with others.
Purity in my spiritual life is really the most important of all. I began seeing how big of an issue sexual purity was when I made an infographic for the Covenant Eyes contest. Sexual purity is so sneaky because it is something that lives on the inside of us and cannot immediately be seen from the outside. Various statistics revealed how a lack of integrity lives in the lives of countless churchgoers and even of those ministering in them. I realized that a lack of integrity and purity created barriers in my relationship with God, like it would in any other relationship. Purity in my spiritual life is not deciding to hide my struggles from God and deal with them on my own, but rather laying them at His feet and asking for help and forgiveness. I strive to demonstrate a life of integrity in my spiritual life by being one hundred percent honest with God so that my struggles will not become a barrier in my relationship with Him, but may rather provide grounds for understanding and healing.
In the end, I strive to demonstrate a life of integrity in my academic, social, and spiritual pursuits by keeping the higher standard of Biblical purity in every aspect of my life. Matthew 5:28 says, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus raised the bar for purity by saying that not only the things we do, but also the things that we think, are as great of a sin as doing the thing itself. I know that keeping this level of integrity is not impossible, nor is it possible on my own. But by surrounding myself with brothers in Christ who can walk with me through my shortcomings, and by keeping Christ always in my heart, I know that my striving to demonstrate a life of integrity will ultimately result in a great victory.