Teens

Back to School (Eating Disorder Awareness Education)Premium Content

This back to school season always strikes me with concern. Eating disorders are often triggered by the college experience. Statistics show some startling realities:

"As many as 10% of college women suffer from a clinical or nearly clinical eating disorder, including 5.1% who suffer from bulimia nervosa.
Studies indicate that by their first year of college, 4.5 to 18% of women and 0.4% of men have a history of bulimia…"
(The National Institute of Mental Health, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)


Indeed, it was my reality. As a child and a teenager who always struggled with her weight, I determined college to be my "reinvention." If I could just be thin, I could be a new, better person. And so, oh, so slowly, I descended into eating disorders. I discuss it in my book, "Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder."

It started as a diet. However, it didn't stop there. Eventually I was engulfed in anorexia, culminating in an unhealthy low weight of eighty pounds, not to mention, weakness and dizziness just to name a couple of health issues I encountered. Furthermore, that anorexic condition eventually morphed into another dangerous disorder, bulimia; I gained one hundred plus pounds within a number of months. And, with that rapid weight gain, I experienced heart fluttering, shortness of breath and suicidal thoughts. Simply stated-I was miserable, unhealthy and out of control.

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Presenting Our Children with ChoicesPremium Content

The one who begets a fool gets trouble;
the parent of a fool has no joy.
Proverbs 17:21NRSV

Foolish children aren't born, they're made... by their parents. As Americans, we are so brainwashed with certain ideas, often we aren't even aware that we are allowing our children to raise themselves, rather than taking the constant responsibility to teach them as we should. Recently, on the Wrightslaw web page (a service for parents who have children with disabilities), an Indian child specialist commented about how American parents ask their children, rather than simply telling them (or compelling them). In other words, we give our children choices, as if somehow having options is a teaching tool. (In fact, there are teachers that teach that way in the classroom, often to the downfall of education.)

Presenting options to a person assumes that the person can

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Family Doesn't Come Easily

Proverbs 17:17 NRSV
A friend loves at all times,
and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.


These days everything is throw-away. We love our fast food disposable society. Our cars break down; we buy new ones. Our homes need remodeling; we buy bigger ones. Our relationships sour; we find new "families." We've lost an important sense of investment in life. Rather than invest, we throw out. And we fail to learn many important lessons when we live like this. We also may find ourselves on the short end of the stick when adversity strikes because we won't have established the kind of relationships and skills that are necessary to persevere through the hard times.

How Can We Help the Children of Addicts?Premium Content

A. Understanding the Problems of Children from Addicted Families

    In the US, twenty million children are experiencing physical, verbal and emotional abuse from parents who are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. This is tragic when we consider that childhood is the foundation on which our entire lives are built. When a child's efforts to bond with an addicted parent are thwarted, the result is confusion and intense anxiety. In order to survive in a home devoid of healthy parental love, limits, and consistency, they must develop "survival skills" very early in life. In a chaotic, dysfunctional family, the lack of external control through consistent loving disciple results in an inability to develop internal discipline and self control. They learn not to depend on their parents to meet their needs - instead, it is all up to themselves. And, because they can't trust their own parents, they become generally suspicious and mistrustful of all human beings. Yet, they are defenseless against the projection of blame and often feel responsible for parents' addiction. They become "little adults" that feel compelled to accept responsibilities well beyond their years.

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Reflecting Christ as Parents

1 Corinthians 4:15b-17 RSV
For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

I have a sign in my classroom: "Fewer people with kids; more parents." The crux of the sign is that simply having kids (begetting them, living with them in the same house, etc.) isn't the same as parenting. Parenting is a responsibility, probably beyond all others, that requires that a parent sacrifice for their child: sacrifice time, sacrifice resources, sacrifice priorities.

When Families FightPremium Content

Who in the entire universe knows you better than your family? Who do you spend at least the first 18 years together with on a daily basis (in functional families)? You eat together, talk together, go places together, worship together, pray together, have fun together, grow together and so on. If you've ever watched the television show 7th Heaven, you may be aware of their opening theme song:

"Mmmm, 7th Heaven, when I see their happy faces smiling back at me, 7th Heaven, I know there's no greater feeling than the love of family. Where can you go, when the world don't treat you right? The answer is home; it's the one place that you find, 7th Heaven, mmmmm 7th Heaven."

If you haven't figured out by now, I'm a BIG fan of the show - watch it everyday on Vision TV. But they have a point; where in the world can you go when you are not treated right, if not your family?

I like 7th Heaven because it shows a fairly accurate representation of what a typical functioning family's dynamics are like. Brothers and sisters fight amongst each other but when it comes to someone else interfering or hurting one of them, they all come together an support and lift each other up. They may fight for a few days, but eventually, they get past the hurtful words, betrayal or bribe and become that loving, caring and united family they desire to be.

In our world today, there are possibly more broken families than in our long history behind us. Divorce is more common now than in any other time and is more accepted. Children are abusing their bodies with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sex and self-abuse of other forms. Predators hungry for power and sex are everywhere and our justice systems offers very little justice for the victims of violence.

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Free eBook: The Victims of Dick and Jane and Other Essays

This is an ebook on the state of American education and the importance of homeschooling our children. Please scroll down to view ebook. Provided courtesy of the Chalcedon Foundation

The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household

Learn about God's plan for the family and equipping parents.
For a short article on this same topic [click here]
This is an ebook made available by the Chalcedon Foundation

Don’t Make Me Your ProjectPremium Content

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. Saint Augustine

“I hate feeling like I’m someone else’s project!”

I’d just finished sharing part of my story with the group. I expressed my gratitude for the people who wove the story of Relentless Grace and my belief that God sent this small circle of folks who refused to let me quit on life.

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Sex Education and The Biblical ChristianPremium Content

What should the role of sex education be for the Biblical Christian?

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