Join us in welcoming one of our newest contributors, Jeffrey Dean, to For The Family. Jeffrey is sharing five foundational truths we can use to guide our teens as they navigate an ever-changing world. ~ Pat and Ruth
I met fifteen-year-old Kallie last year. I know she loves Jesus and really wants to honor Him with her life. However, in a new dating relationship, she found that the line between right and wrong began to blur. She confessed to me that she had sent nude pictures of herself to her boyfriend. She did so after several requests from her boyfriend.
If you believe your kid is immune to such choices, you are wrong. In this instance, a good Christian teenager who knows better chose to humor her boyfriend rather than honor God.
Kallie could be anyone’s child. She is one of the countless young girls who believe that sharing nude selfies is the equivalent of sending an innocent love letter. Her boyfriend could be anyone’s child too. He is one of the countless teen boys who believe that requesting and receiving nude pictures from a girl is just a normal part of teen life.
They both are from a generation of teens bombarded by lies and desperate for truth.
As I speak to students around the country, I hear stories you wouldn’t believe. Temptation has always been there, and the great Enemy has always been the same destroyer he is today. However, the Internet and mobile devices present an alarming uphill battle for our kids. They are overwhelmed by a tsunami of information, anything-goes ethics, and the inevitable moral experimentation that results.
These are the ways of the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. None of these come from the Father, but all of them come from the world. (1 John 2:16, NCV)
Our number-one enemy works overtime to convince our kids that the sinful stuff they see is stuff they need.
I want to remind you that one of our most important roles as parents is to help our kids sift through the deceptions and embrace truth. The psalmist wrote: Guide me in your truth and teach me (Psalm 25:5, NCV).
What a privilege you have as a parent to be a guide of truth for them. God has given you everything you need to be the exact parent your child needs.
Here are five critical foundational truths every parent needs to remember:
- You are the most influential person in your child’s life! So consider: What is your influence?
- Your child wants you to be involved. Contrary to the lie of Satan, they want you to be an involved parent.
- Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by rules, values, and assumptions that come from any source other than the Bible. No matter what is culturally accepted, nothing is more authoritative than the truth of God’s Word.
- You are a parent, not a pal. Your kids don’t need their parents to be their friends. They need them to be parents.
- You have to be willing to enter into discussions that make you feel uncomfortable. You need to be the constant voice of reason and truth, willing to talk about anything and determined to compromise nothing.
Parenting is likely the toughest job you ever will have. Our goal as parents isn’t perfection. Instead, it is to be a guide of truth for them as they navigate an ever-changing world. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.” Therefore, as it relates to success for my kids and yours, shouldn’t our end goal then be to raise children who, above all, aspire to fully love Jesus Christ with every facet of their lives?
I think so. Let’s hit it every day.