A new release has come out called, “We’re Just Friends and Other Dating Lies.”
I believe our kids have it as difficult as any kids in recent decades with regards to relationships and sexuality. How will we respond? Will we respond or will we allow the world to continue to teach them about relationships while we continue to teach them Bible stories as if there is no connection. In a mini-book titled, Teens and Sex, author Paul David Tripp encourages us to strategize. I quote straight from the book.
Strategizing: Helping Teens Plan for Godly Relationships
In the face of the conflicting messages teens receive, we need to offer a clear understanding of God’s will for their relationships and show how those principles apply to their daily lives. Your efforts would include the following:
1. Give teens a biblical view of relationships that leads to a positive, practical plan for God-honoring friendships. Make the most of opportunities that come when the teenager talks about or struggles with relationships, since these moments are rare. Take the initiative and draw out the teen. Teach him not to be afraid of being honest by being understanding, honestly admitting your own failure, and pointing to the beauty of God’s standard and forgiveness.
2. Encourage other parents to be committed to honest, ongoing communication with their teens about sexuality. Parents need to take responsibility to keep this communication going. Teach parents to be open and unembarrassed, to be willing to invest the time necessary for a robust and honest friendship with their teens. Teach them to ask themselves what they are doing specifically to encourage or discourage such a friendship.
3. Always keep the issue of temptation on the table. Know where your teen is being tempted, know how he is dealing with it, make plans that anticipate temptations to come.
4. Encourage teens to take the long view of relationships. Rather than focus on the joys and pains of the moment, have the teenager start from the perspective of a God-glorifying marriage and work back. What steps need to be taken now, what habits need to be developed now, what things need to be forsaken, to prepare me for God’s best? Teach teens to assess their relationships using the sowing and reaping principle in Scripture: The relational seeds they are planting now will result in what kind of harvest?
This morning as I was reading from Daniel, I began to pray for my kids and all the young people I have the opportunity to pour in to. I pray that their righteousness would far exceed my very own. I pray we would be raising and training a generation of Daniel’s who love the Lord regardless of the temptations around them. I pray it would be said of them, “We will never find any charge against this Daniel unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God (Daniel 6).”