140 posts

A concerned mom, a teenager and porn

One of our readers asked the following question:   “Any thoughts on what a mother can do when the son is trapped in porn and the father is reacting the exact same way as your “what not to do” example? I know my son needs a man to shepherd him through this, and I want so badly for his father to be that man. But my husband refuses to “see” the need to shepherd his son in this way, and I’m feeling helpless between trying to be respectful/honoring of my husband but proactive in helping my son.”   Here is the excerpt from the post that the mom is referencing:   “You just confirmed that your fifteen-year-old son, Justin, has […]

Whose music is playing in your heart?

Music used to honor God can be a very good thing. However, music also has the potential to help establish wickedness as a lifestyle. In Exodus 32:18, “Moses replied: ‘It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.’” This shows that Israel was again using music to establish and exult in a commitment they had made. But unlike the joy and praise of God that was the focus of the song in Exodus 15, this time the commitment was to wickedness and disobedience. Music was used to celebrate the sinful actions of Israel just as music had earlier been used to celebrate the faithfulness of God. […]

Answers to your questions

Help your teenagers see how it works out for the world. Teenagers raised in Christian homes in this culture face a difficult dilemma. Mom and Dad have one view of how to live; the world around them has another. It is vital that parents recognize the significance of this battle. For example, Mom’s and Dad’s idea of what is cool might be something like this: believing and loving the Bible, being a virgin, using clean and respectful speech, dress that protects rather than exposes, refraining from buzz drinking and recreational drugs, openly honoring one’s parents. Now put yourself in the place of your teenager. Often, in their world, what I have just described is the profile of a social outcast. It is important to […]

Open to reason

“All you care about is your stupid rules! You care about your rules more than you do about me! Thanks, a lot for not caring.” With these words your 14 year-old storms back to her room. Sadly, this exchange is not unusual. Parents want to protect their children. Their teenagers don’t think they need protection. The parents make rules. The teenagers think the rules are arbitrary and say so, well, not in those exact words. The parents feel disrespected. The teenagers feel abandoned. The parents tighten up on the rules. The teenagers are convinced the parents don’t care and don’t want to care. Nothing less than wisdom from above can address this breakdown. The Holy Spirit describes wisdom from above […]

Wisdom & Emotion equals protection for your teenager

Joseph was young, most likely still a teenager, when he fled from Potiphar’s wife. Why did he flee and resist sexual sin? Most people would think youth is a liability in this situation. The answer is that Joseph was protected be a combination of wisdom and emotion. Let’s look at Joseph’s encounter with Potiphar’s wife. She attempted to entrap him sexually. She appealed to the immediate situation—no one else was around and she was ready for him, even demanding sex with him. How many teenagers in the church today would have resisted that scenario? Yet there was such a powerful vision of God and his honor in Joseph’s heart that he was emotionally repulsed at her advances. Here is how […]

Do your teenagers think you consider yourself better than they are?

Few parents readily admit to acting on the motive of selfish ambition–sin deceives us, after all. Notice that Philippians 2:3 contrasts selfish ambition or rivalry with regarding others as more important or significant than yourself: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Parents, do you regard your teenagers as more important than yourself? Before you answer that, let me say that regarding your teenagers as being more important than yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you follow their wishes. What does it mean? It means that you treat others, including your teenagers, with the respect that Scripture calls for. Your children are a trust, a blessing given to you by God. […]

From Monologues to Questions

One way to gauge the effectiveness of your parenting is by the questions your children ask you. You want to be asked good questions. This is an important goal of parenting that is often overlooked. When you need help with a problem, do you look for answers from any random person? Someone next to you at the gas pump, perhaps? The answer is obvious. You ask the people whom you trust and respect. Young children ask parents seemingly endless questions. They do this, in part, because parents are the center of their world. There is no one that means more to them than mom and dad. Asking questions is a sign of respect and appreciation. Be thankful. As a parent, […]

Closer than you think

Thirteen-year old Jessica is a good student and popular with teachers and students. Her parents have been divorced for several years. Both of her parents have not remarried and handle the visitation settlement reasonably well with Jessica and her two younger brothers. One day a teacher notices that Jessica seems down. She asks Jessica If she can help and Jessica shrugs her shoulders and walks off. Later in the day, this same teacher again sees that Jessica is still down. She puts her arm around her and walks with her to one of Jessica’s favorite teachers, a guidance counselor who also happens to teach the health class on sexuality. Together, they ask Jessica why she is so down. Jessica opens […]

Love of God – the path of protection for your children

Kevin, a young teenage boy has an opportunity to be alone with Tiffany, a girl with a reputation of being sexually active. If he thinks that he might get caught and his parents will find out, or that he might get a sexually-transmitted disease, he might decide not to be alone with her. However, suppose she entices him into thinking that no one will find out (see Proverbs 7) and that a little fun never hurt anyone. Then, he might be persuaded to be alone with her. Kevin’s problem is that he is being motivated by perceived consequences rather than how he can love God. Selfishly deciding not to be with Tiffany because of negative consequences will ultimately lead to […]

The danger of quick judgments

Parents will sometimes have heated arguments with their older children and teenagers. I know this is not exactly breaking news. But, here is something to consider. There is a danger of forming lasting opinions and judgments based on the arguments. A heated conversation is a bad time to form lasting opinions. For example, a father may conclude that his son is totally rebellious and has no desire to do anything he is asked to do. This is because in a heated argument his son defiantly refused to do obey.  Dad tells mom later on that he is so disappointed with their son and his bad response. However, if Dad would calm down for a moment and he might realize that […]