In The Power of Christ, Mom and Dad, Take a Stand!
By Luanne Botta
A year ago I was teaching a group of high school girls at a Christian school. We were talking about the sexual culture we are living in and their greatest concern was, “How in the world do we navigate between the voices of the world and the truth of God’s Word?” They were so hungry to hear answers on how to walk out their remaining high school years with integrity and character in one of the most vital areas…sexual integrity.
We spoke about how the entertainment industry lures their generation through the selling of desire, making it confusing to both them and their guy friends on how to handle the sexual onslaught coming at them on a daily basis. Once they understood their value as young women of God and their true worth, we had an amazing breakthrough in this area of their hearts.
“Despite what the culture says, self-control – not self-indulgence – frees you from a broken heart, shattered emotions, and spiritual detachment. Unfortunately, many Christian teens have been deceived and bought the lie that they don’t need to control their desires for sex but to indulge them. You are told, “You’re just being a kid,” or Who cares, it’s no big deal,” or “What’s wrong with you? It’s a natural thing, what are you waiting for.” (Young Hearts. Pure Lives./Chapter 2 – You Are Worth Waiting For.)
May I speak to you directly as parents? The Lord has gifted you with your children. He has given you a calling and commitment far beyond any job you will ever have. You are undoubtedly faced with the challenge to bring them up in today’s culture that is spinning out of control and it can be exhausting. However, it is imperative that you are closely involved in your child’s life, staying active in what they watch and the friends they choose. You are their greatest influence and they will respond to what you allow or don’t allow.
I want to assure you…this is NOT a losing battle! We are in a battle where Jesus is Lord! “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1. He has your family in His control and He is crazy about your kids!
I have been in youth ministry for over 25 years and I have had the unique opportunity to minister to hundreds of high school teenagers, both guys and girls. I have seen first-hand that they want to understand and emulate true love’s design including respect, honor, value, commitment, and deep intimacy.
If I can give you one major tool as a parent in this culture it is Be A Watchman! A watchman stands watch, sounds an alarm/warning and guards the home. You are in the fight for your family and you are your child’s greatest role model. You are not their friend; that will come once they start their careers and their own families. Parent them now, that is what they need to navigate this culture that is attempting to deceive them.
Please understand that your prayers move heaven and you set the tone for your home. You are stewarding unto the Lord and you will find that His Word is a powerful guide. Specifically, the book of Proverbs is a wonderful tool to give you wisdom and direction to lead your teen through this journey.
It is so easy to let the entertainment industry raise your kids, especially when you’re exhausted, but it is important to always be on-guard. I highly recommend no TV’s in the bedrooms, otherwise teens will retreat to their “cave” and be influenced by the culture rather than parents. Another suggestion is to not allow cell phones in the bedrooms when going to bed. The almost guaranteed negative influence can happen fast without detection.
A problem parents are currently voicing across the globe is how much time they should allow their teen to spend on social media. It is a balance that is needed. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok…these influences don’t come without consequences. And particularly with the overwhelming onslaught of human trafficking coming through social media, it needs to be monitored and balanced. Yes, parenting is demanding, but your children need you so much in these years, even if they act like they don’t want your opinion or rules. They are desperate to feel safe and your rules make them feel safe and make them feel loved, no matter how much they challenge you.
“He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” Proverbs 13:18
You are their watchman at the gate. Take your stand against this cultural onslaught and love them through truth and boundaries. You are not alone in this fight: there are thousands of parents just like you. Pray for your kids and over your kids. They ultimately belong to the Lord. He will guide you through all of the joys, rebellion, heartache and victories.
I want to cheer you on and encourage you to stand! Then, keep Standing! Run to the Lord and He will give you the wisdom you need to raise your child. This is a promise.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
In all her years of experience with teenagers, God compelled Luanne Botta to author two books for high school students: one for girls and one for guys. Both books contain many topics that teen deals with through their high school years, including the media selling of seduction, wisdom in friendships, the battle of sexting, importance of a personal quiet time, a godly character and sexual integrity. A professor from Regent University in Virginia Dr. Rick Nugara described the books like this: “There has never been a generation more at risk nor has there ever been a more timely message.”
For resources to help your teen, visit the author’s website at luannebotta.com.
Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.