Teens

What Measures You?Premium Content

I once came across an image of two little girls looking down at a bathroom scale. This was the caption:
"Don't step on it. It makes you cry."

Troubling.

Indeed, as a child, I had my own painful association it. There was once a time when I only saw a weird square in our bathroom. I didn't give it much attention; I was more interested in the blue windmill stencil designs lining the tub and my rubber ducky. It was just a square, taking up space.

However, suddenly, Mom placed me on this square - and I became conscious of what I weighed. Apparently, it wasn't a good digit as, with more frequency, I needed to get on this square. Now, suddenly, I had a "weight problem."

And ever since, I no longer see just a square.

Throughout my childhood and adolescence, it dictated my worth, which was never good enough, always too big and always too heavy.

That drove me to eating disorders, with the hope as I became more punishing of myself, more "dedicated," well, then my two-digit weight as a young adult would mean triumph. It, however, never really did become that reality, of course. Because, I could always lose more weight and somehow, magically, "be better."

On and on and on I went, into my own hell...

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Raising a Responsible Child

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

What is the Goal of Parenting?

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:

The Parent-Child Relationship

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.

The Subliminal Messages of Sexual Imagery on Our Children

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.

Five Ways to Help an Alcoholic, Addict or Dysfunctional Person

1. Prayer
Since the alcoholic, addict or dysfunctional person cannot be helped until he or she wants help, it is necessary that we begin to pray for them, asking that God will bring them to that place that he/she will seek help. Do not be discouraged. Things might get worse before they get better; but remember, God answers prayer.

2. Offer the Gospel
In Romans 1:16 we read, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth."

So often, we tend to try everything but the power of God in helping the addicted or dysfunctional person. Now it is true that he may always need medical help, possibly psychiatric help, and the help of a counselor may be profitable; but without the power of Christ working in the life of this individual, nothing will be of lasting value. Witness to him or her of your own faith in Christ and through your church, putting them in contact with others who have a vital testimony to the power of God to change lives.

Good Christian literature will also be a help in getting this message across and we would be glad to make suggestions as to what books he might find profitable.

3. Fellowship
One of the strongest points of recovery groups is the fellowship that they have one with the other. It is necessary that when an alcoholic, addict or dysfunctional person makes a step toward recovery that we be willing to offer them fellowship, to make them feel welcome, to make them feel needed and to encourage them to share with others. This could be done through CIR or through the fellowwship of a church or a Christian businessmen's committee such as a Gideon Camp.

Death of an Innocent

I went to a party, Mom. I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom, so I drank soda instead.
I really felt proud inside, Mom, the way you said I would.
I didn't drink and drive, Mom, even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom, I know you are always right.

Now the party is finally ending, Mom, as everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I'd get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.
I started to drive away, Mom, but as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn't see me, Mom, and hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say,
The other guy is drunk, Mom, and now I'm the one who will pay.
I'm lying here dying, Mom. I wish you'd get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom? My life just burst like a balloon.

There is blood all around me, Mom, and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom, I'll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn't drink.
It was the others, Mom. The others didn't think.
He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank and I will die...

If Children Live with _______. They Learn.

If children live with criticism
They learn to condemn

If children live with hostility
They learn to fight

If children live with fear
They learn to be apprehensive

If children live with pity
They learn to feel sorry for themselves

If children live with jealousy
They learn what envy is

If children live with ridicule
They learn to be shy

If children live with shame
They learn to feel guilt.

If children live with tolerance
They learn to be patient

If children live with encouragement
They learn to be confident

If children live with praise
They learn to appreciate

If children live with approval
They learn to like themselves

What does it mean to surrender a loved one to God?Premium Content

What does it mean to surrender a loved one to God? Does it mean you turn your back and walk away?

No, certainly not. Surrendering does not mean abandoning. It does not mean you no longer care.

Surrender is motivated out of love -- such deep love for the person that you are willing to get out of the way and let God sit in the driver's seat. Admit it: with us in the driver's seat, things weren't going quite so well. There were just too many things we were powerless to control.

Surrender is choosing to yoke up with Jesus.

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"I Think You are Wonderful!" (self-esteem)Premium Content

I recently came across this child's drawing once sent to the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Children often get right to the truthful point.

"I think you are wonderful."

What an astounding thought. Yet, how many of us experience that sentiment?

Yeah.

Most of us struggle with this positive self-image thing. We may have had negative people and experiences in which we were told- and believed- the exact opposite. Coping with that pain, therefore, it's no surprise some of us have turned to our addictions, disorders and any number of "comforting" vices. We want to feel we are wonderful. And the drug, the drink, the food or any other object of our desire supposedly tells us precisely that.
Meanwhile, however, we completely lose sight of a Truth, if we ever knew about it in the first place. God already thinks we're wonderful.

He thinks that…about us… right now. And God isn't short on these kinds of thoughts…

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