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Family relationships can be very challenging at times. It is important to approach difficulties prayerfully. The Christians in Recovery Web site is loaded with hundreds of pages of information and files designed to help you learn and to equip you.
You are not alone! God can and will help you overcome your situation.
And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. Luke 1:66 King James Version
Two days ago when I was at the store, I saw a precious little baby who was probably one month old. When I looked at him, he immediately started smiling at me, clapped his hands, kicked his feet and started laughing. He got excited and happy because someone was paying attention to him. How sad and tragic it is that when children grow older, we stop paying as much attention to them as we did when they were little. Sometimes we turn on the television and let the television become our babysitters so that we can do the things we want to do and not be bothered all day with the children. The thought came to me “This little baby is already acting like a missionary because I see the kindness of Jesus in his face”.
What Transforms Tender Hearts to Hard Hearts?
What happens to make these precious tender hearted and sweet babies turn into people who end up with hard hearts, become criminals and possibly even end up on death row? There has to be a reason that they stop loving people and start hating people. I believe it is because as they grow older and people begin to criticize them for everything that they do and say harsh and sarcastic things to them that their confidence begins to fade. They become suspicious of everyone and they stop trying to do nice things for others. I believe that they think what is the use of trying anymore as I will just be criticized again.
WhenDiscouragement Sets In
Negative body image, via merchandise and marketing, strikes again.
The Wry Baby, an apparel company, has sparked controversy for selling onesies which read "I Hate My Thighs."
Cue toxic body image before females even get out of diapers!
I know, I know, the intent was not to hurt or offend; it's about being funny, cute and whimsical.
What's the harm, right?
- 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight.
- According to Time magazine, 80% of all children have been on a diet by the time they've reached fourth grade.
- 10% report onset at ten years or younger.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7
It is difficult enough being female in a world which is largely hostile to the gender. Cultural and image expectations enforce many a harmful, unrealistic and rejecting message. Unless and until a female embodies a thin, aesthetically appealing and societally acceptable standard, she is deemed ugly, worthless, undesirable and irrelevant.
I'm a huge fan of classic cartoons. The Roadrunner, in particular, always makes me smile.
Recently, I stumbled across an image, featuring Wile. E. Coyote's "calling card," which read "Genius." And it immediately reminded me of a famous Albert Einstein quote:
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
"He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?'..." Job 15:23
Within recovery, there is often the need to commemorate the struggle, the courage and the life-affirming process, via tattoos and piercings.
Indeed, I've encountered many young people who have significant dates and meaningful logos marked on their skin. Likewise, eyebrows, nostrils and lips are also pierced, in the declaration of some kind of personal freedom from pain.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.Ephesians 4:29
"Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?" by John Powell (Niles, IL: Argus Communications, 1969) is one of my favorite books.
Powell suggests that people are afraid to tell you who they REALLY are because you may not like them, thus, we reveal ourselves in "levels" or stages: According to him.
The lowest level is cliché.
"Hi, how are you?" "Whazzup?" When you met that special someone, did you really care who he or she was or was it because you had a hidden agenda and maybe did not even know it? Did that first conversation sound something like this? Do you come here often? So you're a whiskey sour lady, let me buy you a drink. 'I thought you was somebody else'.
This level is safe. There is no sharing of the human experience. You do not know anything about me and I don't know anything about you. What you don't know is she might be going through a heated divorce. He could have just got out of prison for armed robbery.
The second level is
by Carol DeMar
"Conscientious," "principled," "accountable," "honorable," and "trustworthy" are among the adjectives that describe the word responsible. In our roles as parent and teacher, raising responsible children is of utmost importance. The endless stream of people in responsible positions getting caught in illegal or inappropriate behavior gives testimony to the sad state of affairs: reporters falsifying facts in newspaper and magazine articles; a former government official stealing documents; politicians taking bribes; the list goes on. Sadly, holding a responsible position does not make the one who holds that position responsible.
Begin in God's Word
Reasons given for the usefulness of Proverbs are listed at the beginning of chapter 1: To receive instruction in wise behavior; To give prudence to the naïve.... To the youth knowledge and discretion; A wise man will hear and increase in understanding.... The words of verse 7 always met students as they came into my classroom. The verse was printed in large black letters and attached to the wall where it could be easily seen: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Those words profoundly state what teachers and parents are to be teaching children. Training young children to fear the Lord is the first step in gaining true knowledge. Parents must begin at the beginning. Instituting a schedule upon bring your newborn home from the hospital is the start of teaching and establishing order. Man left to his own desires injects chaos into the world and then wonders why there is no peace!
Who's In Charge?
First-time parents must decide at the outset that they, not the children, will lead. Many parents have not observed good parenting skills in their own parents, and they are now modeling poor parenting to their
Proverbs 19:18 NRSV
Discipline your children while there is hope;
do not set your heart on their destruction.
Years ago—many years ago—the majority of parents in America knew how to raise their children. How do we know this? Because we were a nation of moral adults, adults who knew how to discern right from wrong and knew that they shouldn't choose wrong. Yes, there were some indiscriminate sins, but on the whole, America wanted to be a moral nation.
No longer. Now we raise children who are self-indulgent, who want to remain children, who only want to play and have fun.
We have failed in our task as parents.
The Hebrew word translated here as "discipline" means "bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach" (Strongs H3256). And the word is used in the imperative form. There is an insistence; this is a command.
Moreover, the command is coached in a warning: "Discipline your children while there is hope." In other words, there will be a time in your child's life when there is no hope. Why? Because there was a lack of discipline.
Most Christian parents don't realize that their parenting is strongly influenced by the evolutionary mind of American society. When we give our children choices without strategically determining how that's done and why we are doing it, we are reinforcing that our children are individuals with their own right to determine morality. Now, for most Christians, that's a novel thought. We parent by copying what we see around us or what we read and we don't stop to analyze why we parent the way we do. The fact is, we may be parenting our children to destruction without even realizing it.
Dr. John Ankerberg (with Dr. John Weldon) wrote an article about relative morality. In summary, he said this:
Ultimately we are left with family. In fact, that may be why so many people get divorced or break up relationships. They are looking for the kind of stability that one should find within a family. Perhaps the idea of a soul mate even comes from this longing, the longing to have a place called "home" within which there is love and safety and comfort.
A stupid child is ruin to a father,
and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. Proverbs 19:13
This proverb isn't about children who lack intelligence, but rather about children who are foolish and silly. Matthew Henry writes:
"A son that will apply himself to no study or business, that will take no advice, that lives a lewd, loose, rakish life, and spends what he has extravagantly, games it away and wastes it in the excess of riot, or that is proud, foppish, and conceited, such a one is the grief of his father, because he is the disgrace, and is likely to be the ruin, of his family."
Proverbs 23:24-25 states that
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.
There is a reciprocity within the parent-child relationship. Parents are to raise their children to be righteous; children are to choose the path of righteousness. When these children turn their backs on the Lord, it is a great sorrow to the parents. Wise children follow the Lord and His will. Foolish children stand up in arrogance and turn their backs on everything their parents believe and taught.
What is a parent to do about all of the negative imagery splashed around in society? It's almost impossible to go anywhere without having some form of immorality shoved into our face. Negative immoral garbage is everywhere! It's scary when you think about how after a while of your children seeing the same sexual innuendos over and over it begins to form a part of their thoughts and beliefs. And that is where the problem begins.
Think about what negative immoral images have been ingrained into your child's mind? Can negative images make them think negatively about themselves? Yes! Young girls have been taught from society that what is seen on the outside is basically the only thing that matters and that being only half dressed is appealing and that if you want to be "something" you need to look a certain way, dress a certain way and behave a certain way. How can a parent counter such an alluring suggestion from the world? Simple, don't be that way yourself. Teach principles by God's standards and not worldly standards.
And this is where the teenage boy comes into the picture. He is only seeing what is on the outside of females and finds it difficult to understand, respect and value what is on the inside. Even church leaders have gotten themselves ensnared within the sexual lusts of society? What kind of a picture does that tell your children? What is going on when so-called men of God can't keep spiritually fit? It is a vicious cycle that you should not even be a part of.