Parenting

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.

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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Authority: Abuse or Love?Premium Content

The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men. 1 Kings 12:13-14


"What shall I do, Ms. Yvonne?" Melissa asked as we sat in my office.

Her husband had slapped their son repeatedly because he didn't put toilet paper on the toilet seat in a public restroom before using it.

When she saw marks on her son's cheeks, she questioned him. His father had warned him not to tell. He cried and finally told her what happened. She said he was a young child and made a mistake.

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Practicing the Art of ListeningPremium Content

Proverbs 18:13 NRSV
If one gives answer before hearing,
it is folly and shame.


I don't know whether or not I'm a baby boomer, but I do know that I've grown up in the era of psychology. Everything is about learning how to relate to others, learning how to know one's self, figuring out why we are dysfunctional.

One of the psychological "skills" that has been taught a lot is active listening. Wikipedia gives a great definition:

"When interacting, people often are not listening attentively to one another. They may be distracted, thinking about other things, or thinking about what they are going to say next, (the latter case is particularly true in conflict situations or disagreements). Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding to others. It focuses attention on the speaker. Suspending one's own frame of reference and suspending judgment are important in order to fully attend to the speaker." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening).

It's interesting to me that the Bible was talking about active listening long before we even had psychologists. "If one gives answer before hearing . . ." Even if we hear the sounds that doesn't mean that we are hearing the content. The reality is that if we are thinking about how to respond rather than truly listening, we are focusing (again) on ourselves rather than the other person. We are working on a "defense" for our own position, rather than really caring about how that other person feels (and thinks). We are concerned about protecting ourselves rather than trusting God to protect us.

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Practicing Self-ControlPremium Content

Proverbs 17:27-28 NRSV
One who spares words is knowledgeable;
one who is cool in spirit has understanding.
Even fools who keep silent are considered wise;
when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.


A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.
NLT

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain

We talk too much and we feel too much. Period. End of story. Somewhere, somehow, in our culture, the idea began to permeate that one who says a lot knows a lot. But you only have to listen to people through the media to know that's not true.

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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.

Listening More and Talking Less

Proverbs 18:2
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing personal opinion.


Proverbs talks a lot about, well, talking! I think that we often confirm who we are (whether we want to be that person or not) when we talk. Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." And yet, we still talk. We talk in person. We talk (and text) on cell phones. We talk on the Internet. We talk, talk, talk. And a great deal of the time, we are "expressing personal opinion."

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