"And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home" Deuteronomy 6:5-6
Doug Fields -Author of Intentional Parenting
When I first began mountain biking, I quickly found it was not like the type of bike riding I did when I was a kid. It's not "jump on the bike and ride all day." It's much different! There are so many moving parts like front and back sprockets, brake levers, and multiple shifting systems. Add to this the extreme terrain, and it gets very confusing.
Today, I own most of the gear that is "required" for the sport. Basically, I have everything needed except for...the needed skills and the personal coaching.
On a recent ride I began to think about how little I know about this sport. I really need a coach/mentor. I have so many technical questions. I'm not always sure when is the best time to shift on different slopes. I have front shocks that need to be adjusted based on the terrain and I don't have the slightest idea what to do. My list of "how to" questions could fill pages.
As I was riding and thinking about my need for a mountain bike coach/mentor, I began to think about the teenagers in our homes and the process of faith development. What are we doing with all their questions about following Christ? Do we even know the questions they're asking (or not asking)? Or, do we assume they'll catch everything about Jesus as they begin their "ride with him"?
Much like I need a riding coach, teenagers need a "Jesus coach." While mountain biking is much more complex than "jump on a bike"...so following Jesus is much more complex than a simple "go to church."
Could it be that we, as parents, have become good at getting kids involved at church...but we're not so good at coaching them on how to walk with Jesus? I fear that if they don't know how to walk with Jesus, when they graduate from high school and go on to college and their adult lives, they will also graduate away from church and perhaps even Jesus.
Some questions: (1) Do your kids know that you want to coach them in the ways of Jesus? (2) Do they know they can ask simple questions and have a confidence that you will care enough not to laugh at their questions? (3) Do they know that in you, they have someone to "ride with" even though they struggle and occasionally fall?
Jesus spent most of his time with the few, pouring into their lives. I'd like to suggest that your "few" are living within the walls of your home. They don't need to be told to "go to church," they need you: a coaching, listening, loving, and caring you.
The world provides us plenty of teaching moments each day. It's our job as parents to use these every once in a while (I say every "once in a while" because our kids would quickly tire of discussion-time every time the tv or radio gets turned on). The key to spring-boarding these good discussions is well-placed questions.
Here are four practical tips helping you ask well-placed questions on the fly.
The first step to helping our kids think through situations is getting them to pause for a moment and simply observe what they just encountered. This can be achieved by merely asking, "What did he just say?"
This simple question nudges young people to actually stop and truly look at something.
As I write this, the top song on iTunes is Lana Del Rey's, High on the Beach. This song is about way Lana is dealing with a breakup...by escaping to the beach to get high. Hence the chorus:
All I wanna do is get high by the beach
When parents hear this song, the first question we can ask is, "What did she just say?"
The next natural question is, "What does she mean?"
Yes. Play dumb.
Basically, we're making our kids actually process the content... maybe even for the first time. This question subtly hints, lyrics matter. We're not merely shrugging our shoulders and saying, "Who cares!" We're taking notice.
Be careful of tone. Approach this question with curiosity, not judgment. The whole purpose of these questions is to open doors, not slam them shut if our kids smell a trap. Our purpose is to steer kids towards truth and let them discover the answers for themselves. A condemnatory attitude will jinx this whole process. So tread carefully!
So simply ask, "What does she mean 'get high by the beach'?"
These questions lead to the next natural step...
Ask them their two cents. Ask:
"How's that going to work out for her?"
"Has she thought this through?"
This provokes our kids to offer insight based on their own personal values. Instead of telling our kids how to think, we are asking them what they think.
Imagine your kids share about a friend who is spreading rumors at school. The temptation would be to get up on our soapbox and begin lecturing about gossip. Resist this temptation. Turn your lecturing to listening... with a well-placed question. Simply ask: Do you think she was right?
And as they're stumbling through their own values, ask them one last question to steer them towards truth...
Direct them towards scripture. Ask: "What does the Bible say about this?"
If our kids don't know the exact chapter and verse, then be ready to direct them. Yes, this requires us to be in the Word ourselves so we know where to point. Don't worry; if you don't know a scripture off hand, don't be afraid to admit, "Let's look this one up later when we get home."
When you open scripture, go through the same line of questioning outlined above.
1. What does that scripture say?
2. What does it mean?
3. How does this apply to our situation?
4. How can we live this out this week?
Well-placed questions open doors to meaningful conversations. If you're like me - prone to lecture - questions help you replace monologue with dialogue.
Article by Jonathan McKee. He is the author of over a dozen books including the brand new More Than Just the Talk. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com.
For years, one of my high school students wrestled with the story of Jonah.
She knew it well – at least the Sunday school version of it. She'd grown up hearing about how Jonah disobeyed God and got swallowed by a big fish. While inside the fish, Jonah had a change of heart. So the fish spit him out and he went and did what he should have done to begin with: Preach to the people of Nineveh.
As a child, this student accepted the story of Jonah at face value (like most of us do). But by the time she got to high school, there were a lot of things that troubled this teen about Jonah.
Why would a good God cause such a bad storm?
How could God abandon his servant, Jonah, in the belly of a fish?
Was the time inside the fish God's way of punishing Jonah?
Since Jonah eventually ended up doing the thing he didn't want to do, does that mean he didn't really have a choice in the matter? Did Jonah really have free will?
Throughout her years in high school, this girl wrestled earnestly with the story of Jonah, which in a lot of ways, seemed to be her Biblical nemesis. Eventually, she even used the story of Jonah to lead a discussion about fate vs. free will for our high school ministry.
Even so, her questions remained.
I lost track of how often we'd talk about her questions together. In many ways, I became this student's co-doubter. I created a safe space for this girl to raise her questions and occasionally helped guide her to some answers.
Despite this, I felt like this was a situation where we'd take two steps forward and one-step back – something that I think is so often true of faith in general and youth ministry in particular.
Eventually, this student took her questions with her to college, where she continued wrestling with them.
Last weekend, this girl came home for Easter.
In my congregation, each year on the day before Easter we gather for the Easter Vigil – a service in which we creatively tell the Old Testament stories of our faith that lead up to Jesus.
Jonah is one of the stories told at the Easter Vigil.
This year, my student agreed to be the storyteller for Jonah. When I heard this, I was elated. Since she'd spent so long wrestling with this story, I suspected her rendition of it would be particularly good.
It did not disappoint.
This girl told the story from God's perspective. She spoke of God's relentless pursuit of us. Of God's patience. Of God's love and mercy in sending a fish to protect Jonah when he was thrown overboard. Of God's will and of our participation in God's story. Her words contained the answers to the questions that had, for so long, plagued her. I heard in them the resolution of years of having wrestled with this story. In this girl's words, I heard the story of her faith.
It brought me to tears.
So often, we try to measure the success of youth ministry with numbers. We expect to see immediate fruit from our labor.
But that's seldom how youth ministry works.
Often, faith formation takes time. Our job is to help students wrestle with their questions and guide them to a deeper faith in whatever time they grace our ministries. A lot of times, we send our teens out into the world without a fully formed faith, trusting that God's work isn't limited to our youth ministries; that God will continue to work in their lives long after they leave our ministries.
When we least expect it, God – in his mercy – sometimes gives us a glimpse of the ongoing work he's doing in the lives of our teens. God allows us to see the resolution of an unfinished story – like I did at Saturday's Easter Vigil.
Such moments always fill me with gratitude...
In addressing the relationship between parents and their teenagers, often the emphasis focuses on
helping teens build more trust with their parents. But the truth is that many kids don't trust their
parents! What is it that causes teens not to trust their parents? In my experience, most teenagers
identify the source of their lack of trust in parents as the result of seeing firsthand that their parents
are less than honest with them. Jesus commands His followers, "Simply let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and
your 'no' be 'no'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matthew 5:37.) Let's face facts: no
parent is perfect. Still, as parents we are called to live our lives with integrity. Because we serve as
our children's role models for life and faith, we need to be very careful in how we live our lives before
our kids. Your kids don't need your perfection, they need your honesty, and especially when you fail
to follow through on something you said you would do. How can you increase your "honesty"
quotient and, as a result, your trust level with your kids?
1. Think before you promise. Ask yourself, "If I make this promise, can I keep my word?"
2. If you can't keep your word, don't promise. It's much better to say, "I'm going to try my hardest to
get to your game tomorrow, but I can't promise you I'll make it" and not make it, than to say, "I'll be
there for sure!" and not show up.
3. Think before you act. When it occurs to you that you can't keep your word, be sure to evaluate the
message it will send your son or daughter. Then, consider how you can minimize the resulting
damage if you truly can't keep your verbal commitment.
4. Ask for your child's forgiveness when you fail to keep your word. Don't sweep your failures under
the carpet. Face them head on. Apologize and ask for forgiveness.
Honesty and integrity are two vital parts of trust in any relationship. Keeping your word with your kids
is always the best policy. When your track record as a parent is one of consistent honesty, trust
between you and your teen will grow.
Discipleship is a word that is thrown around in ministry a lot these days. Church staff members in many of our churches are constantly searching for the next big idea on how to lead people to become more devoted followers of Christ. This is a question that keeps many ministers up at night. This is a question that I have asked myself numerous times. How do I get kids to fall deeper in love with the God who created them? How do I get them to own their faith and eventually share it with others? How do we get kids to understand that salvation is so much more than being able to spend forever in heaven with God? The answer that I keep coming back to is the fact that this can only happen through the family. Psalm 78 has played over and over in my head,
“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
And this is just four verses! There is so much within this text that we often miss. It does not say that the church is supposed to tell the coming generations of the deeds of the Lord, but the family. Discipleship is both initiated and cultivated in the home. Parents have more influence than they can ever imagine when it comes to the spiritual development of their children. When children see faith displayed in the lives of their parents, they naturally will want to display those same qualities. Yet, the question that is asked by so many parents is, “Where do we begin with this seemingly daunting task?” I believe that there are three things that can bring discipleship back into the home and make it a reality once again.
1. Parents must tell their children how they came to faith in Christ.
I can think of many children that have no idea how their parents came to know Christ. The children know that their parents believe, however they are not sure what drew them into a relationship with Jesus. Your story of salvation is also a part of your child’s story of salvation. Therefore, telling them how you met Jesus makes salvation a real thing to them. The more they hear your story about salvation, the more they are likely to experience their own story of salvation. It is one thing for a pastor to stand in the pulpit on Sunday mornings and talk about coming to faith in Christ. When children hear the story of how you came to faith in Christ, it becomes more meaningful to them. This allows the children to grasp what life is like without Christ, to realize their own lostness. But more importantly, they get to hear how Christ changed you and how you are now a new person. All of a sudden salvation becomes more real to them. This can be the beginning of a continual spiritual conversation in the household.
2. Parents must take every opportunity to point to Christ.
We look for teaching moments in a child’s life every day. However, these usually pertain to their behavior rather than their Spiritual development. God blesses many of us with 6,408 days (from brith to 18 years) to continuously point our children to Himself. If parents are the primary disciplers of their children, then every moment can either point them to God or to the world. We will do whatever it takes to make sure we have “good” kids that have “good” behavior. However, our behavior is what flows out of our heart. Therefore, issues of behavior are truly a matter of the heart. Matthew 15:19 says, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” Luke 6:45 says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Jesus was telling his listeners that who we truly are comes from the heart. Moments of discipline are teaching moments pointing back to our belief in God. Therefore, we must understand that there is so much going on beneath what we see on the surface. As parents, God has equipped us to speak directly into their heart by pointing them to the Savior Jesus Christ.
3. Parents must show their children Jesus by the way they live.
This is the scary part, because if anyone knows that parents mess up it is their children. They see the good, the bad and the ugly. However, parents can live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, and their children will follow suit. I remember growing up and watching my parents love others in a way that had a huge impact on how I now treat others. I also remember seeing my parents being confronted with a people who were upset or agitated, and how they handled that person with so much grace and mercy. I am not at all saying that they were perfect; they did however model for me the fruits of the Spirit. They showed me that if Jesus truly lived in my life, then others will notice by the way I talk and by how I love others. Sometimes living out your spiritual life in front of your kids means admitting that you are a sinner too. This is scary, but whether you like it or not, your children know that you are not perfect. So it is time to take down the mask and admit that you struggle with certain things. Just think about the impact it would make to a child who struggles with anger to sit down with their parent, and the parent explains how they handle life when they are angry. This would change the way kids understood their parents.
Psalms 127:3-5 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Children are a blessed gift from the Lord. Therefore, their spiritual development is of upmost importance to the family and to the church. God has called parents to be the primary disciplers of their children and not the church. The church is called to journey alongside parents.
We are in this together. Parents the church is for you, we are ready to fight for your children with you.
Article by Erin Woodfin is a full time Children’s Minister at Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall, TX. More from Erin Woodfin or visit Erin at http://bekidsmobile.com/
Not everything online is evil, nor does danger lurk behind every new app that comes to market. But keeping up with your teens' and preteens' online activities is much like trying to nail jelly to the barn door -- frustrating, futile and something bound to make you feel inept.
Keep in mind that no app poses a danger in and of itself, but many do provide kids with an opportunity to make, ahem, bad choices.
1. Audio Manager.
Sometimes when it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's really not a duck. Such is the case with Audio Manager, an app that has nothing to do with managing your teen's music files or controlling the volume on his smartphone and everything to do with him hiding things like nude photos from you. It's one of the top apps for hiding other apps.
Yes, there are such things. Kids can hide any app they don’t want you to see, Teen Safe says. When you press and hold the Audio Manager app, a lock screen is revealed -- behind which users can hide messages, photos, videos, and other apps.
Same deal, but this time with a calculator icon posing as something it isn't. Sedgrid Lewis, online safety expert, notes that these apps look like a normal calculator app but when teens push a button within the app they can hide all inappropriate pictures. "It's a key way teens are hiding their nude pictures from their parents," said Lewis.
Lewis says the best way to solve this situation is for parents to add their teen to their iCloud account. That way, whenever a new app is downloaded by the teen, it will automatically download to the parent's phone as well.
Think it's not serious? Last fall, there was a headline-making case in a Colorado high school where teens used apps to hide a huge sexting ring from parents and school officials. And an Alabama district attorney, Pamela Casey, posted the video below to warn parents about the Calculator% app.
Vaulty will not only store photos and videos away from parental spying eyes, but it also will snap a photo of anyone who tries to access the "vault" with the wrong password. Parents who find it on their teens' phones can conclude just one thing: Your kid is hiding things from you.
OK, so you've undoubtedly heard of Snapchat, an app that allows you to send a photo or video from your phone and determine how long the person on the other end can see the image until it self-destructs. But what you probably didn't know is that a lot of images from Snapchat are regularly posted to revenge porn sites, called "snap porn."
Snapchat may not be the #1 app used for sexting but that's not to say it isn't theprincipal appeal of the app for many: Users think their snaps will disappear and they are wrong. It's actually pretty easy to recover a Snap, take a screenshot of it and share it with others -- and by others, we mean porn sites. No parent wants to find a photo of their teen daughter or son on sites like snapperparty or sexting forum.
Not for nothing, Snapchat last year published a “Snapchat Safety Center” reminding kids that nude pictures were not allowed. “Don’t use Snapchat for any illegal shenanigans and if you’re under 18 or are Snapping with someone who might be: Keep your clothes on!” the company wrote.
The reality is, Snapchat is likely on your kid's phone. The best control you have (besides taking the phone away) is to just have a frank heart-to-heart about how there is no such thing as texts or photos that disappear and this is some down-and-dirty stuff that can come back to haunt them.
PETER BYRNE/PA ARCHIVE 5. Burn Note.
Like Snapchat, Burn Note is a messaging app that erases messages after a set period of time. Unlike Snapchat, this one is for text messages only, not photos or videos. Burn Note's display system shows just one word at a time, adding a sense of secrecy to the messages. Again, by promising a complete delete, kids could feel more comfortable revealing more than what they would do otherwise. And again, capturing a screenshot so that the message can be shared and lives forever, may be the app's Achilles' heel.
Even if your kid doesn't have the app and has no interest in reading super secret messages, she could unwittingly get involved: The app sends a Burn Note alert that she has a message waiting. Curiosity can kill the cat and an app like this could encourage cyberbullying when kids feel they can get away with things because there will be no record of it.
This is a real up-and-coming app, says online safety expert Lewis. It's an all-in-one mobile hub for chatting, sharing photos and videos; free texting and video calls too. But the devil is in the details. Things can get dicey with the hidden chat feature; users can decide how long their messages can last (two seconds or a week). But the biggest shock may come to your credit card: Your kid can rack up some hefty in-app charges on Line as well. While the app says that minors need their parents' permission to use it, there is no monitoring to ensure this takes place.
Bottom line: If your kid doesn't have a credit card number, you are controlling access to his in-app purchases.
Omegle provides users with a chance to converse online with random strangers. Is there anything that strikes fear into a parent's heart faster than that sentence?
We turn to our friends at Common Sense Media for this review: "Parents need to know that Omegle is an anonymous chat client with which users discuss anything they'd like. This can easily result in conversations that are filled with explicit sexual content, lewd language, and references to drugs, alcohol, and violence. Many users ask for personal data upfront, including location, age, and gender [ASL], something kids might supply (not realizing they don't have to). Adults wishing to chat anonymously may find use in this app, but kids should be kept far away."
'Nuff said. And it took us awhile to find a photo with language that was publishable.
Tinder is a popular app used for hooking-up and dating that allows users to "rate" profiles and locate hookups via GPS tracking. It is too easy for adults and minors to find one another. And the rating system can be used for cyber-bullying; a group of kids can target another kid and intentionally make his/her rating go down.
Blendr's 300 million users meet new people through GPS location services. You can message, exchange photos and videos, and rate the "hotness" of other users (encouraging your kid to engage in superficial values at best). But since there are no authentication requirements, sexual predators can contact minors and minors can hook up with adults -- and of course there is the sexting, notes ForEveryMom.com.
10. KiK Messenger.
KiK is an instant messaging app that lets users exchange videos, photos and sketches. Users can also create gifs. All well and good so far. Unfortunately, the term "sext buddy" has been replaced with "KiK buddy." Sex researcher Megan Maas, wrote on ForEveryMom.com that kids are using Reddit and other forums to place classified ads for sex by giving out their KiK usernames. KiK does not offer any parental controls and there is no way of authenticating users, thus making it easy for sexual predators to use the app to interact with minors.
11. Yik Yak.
Yik Yak is the "Twitter meets Reddit" app. It allows users to post text-only “Yaks” of up to 200 characters that can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. The issue is that these other users are regularly exposed to a barage of sexually explicit content, profanity and even personal attacks-- anonymously, of course. It's also the app du jour for sending a bomb threat to your school. Yes, that has happened.
Elizabeth Long, an Atlanta teenager who was encouraged on Yik Yak to try harder to kill herself after her attempted suicide failed, led a Change.org drive to shut the app down. She wrote, "With the shield of anonymity, users [of Yik Yak] have zero accountability for their posts, and can openly spread rumors, call classmates hurtful names, send threats, or even tell someone to kill themselves -- and all of these things are happening."
This is one of the most popular social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by kids. It is a Q&A site where users can ask other users questions anonymously. The problem is that kids sometimes target one person and the questions get nasty. It is cyberbullying with no chance of ever getting caught. Ask.fm had been associated with nine documented cases of suicide in the U.S. and the U.K. through 2012. In 2014, its new owners pledged to crack down on bullying or said they would shut down the site.
A new study released by the Josh McDowell Ministry has unveiled current findings about teens and
young adults, and pornography. According to the ministry's press release, the study is the "most
comprehensive, in-depth and wide-ranging study to date on pornography among the American
Key findings of the new study included:
- Twice as many young adults ages 25-30 first viewed pornography before puberty than did the
previous generation (Gen X).
- Teens aged 13-17 are watching more pornography and seeking it out more than any other
generation, with 8% viewing porn daily, 18% weekly, and 17% once or twice a month.
- 8% of teens say they come across porn daily even when they aren't seeking it out, 21% do so
weekly, and 21% say they do so once or twice a week.
- When teens talk about pornography with friends, 90% say they do so in an either neutral,
accepting, or encouraging way.
- Less than one-third (32%) of teens and young adults say that viewing pornography is "usually or
always wrong" compared to more than half (56%) who say not recycling is "usually or always
- Only one in 10 teens say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing.
- Most teens and young adults have been involved in "sexting," with 66% saying they have received
a sexually explicit image, and 41% have sent one.
- Assume your teen will be exposed to pornography on a regular basis (whether intentionally or
- Understand the difference between a teen that stumbles upon online pornography and a teen that
seeks it out. React appropriately based on behavior.
- Make discussing pornography a topic of discussion with your teens.
- Set clear expectations for online behavior regarding pornography.
- If your teen is regularly viewing pornography consider using an accountability tool such as the ones
found on xxxchurch.com.
Do your teenagers really want boundaries? While I'm sure they will never seriously say to you, "Can
you please add some more restrictions to my life?" they really do want to know what's expected of
them and what the consequences of violating boundaries will be. In homes where parents set clear
boundaries for their kids' behavior, kids are actually less likely to rebel---especially when parents
take the time to discuss their expectations with them. Let me give you some reasons why kids want
boundaries in their lives:
1) Boundaries provide a sense of comfort. When kids clearly know what is expected from them, the
result is a sense of comfort. They don't have to be concerned regarding what you may or may not
require of them behaviorally---or fear that you will constantly change the rules.
2) Boundaries provide a sense of security. Kids really do want to know what is right and what is
wrong. They want some guidance in navigating life. Clear boundaries provide the stability and
security that will allow them to thrive.
3) Boundaries mark out the "playing field" for freedom. In sports, a marked playing field lets players
know where their boundaries are. Similarly, kids want their parents to set clear boundaries for them
so they can know their "playing field"---where they can roam freely "in bounds." Boundaries, in this
way, actually create freedom for teens.
4) Most teenagers don't really want to be totally free and responsible for themselves at this point in
their lives. Kids who have no boundaries and are completely on their own in decision-making tend to
feel isolated and are at risk for giving into peer pressure. Kids who have boundaries can use them
as reasons to say no to inappropriate behaviors.
5) Kids want to gain their parents' trust---the trust that results from living within clear boundaries.
Teens know that having your trust is the pathway to greater freedom and ultimately to adult
independence. Kids who have clear boundaries and live within those boundaries understand that
they are regularly making deposits into your "trust" account. This, of course, doesn't mean that kids
with boundaries don't ever violate those boundaries or ever struggle with earning or regaining trust
with their parents. Most do from time to time. Still, with boundaries in place, your kids will have a
greater understanding of how to build trust with you.
By Jim Burns
As parents, we deeply desire our children to have a healthy God-given view of their sexuality, and
we want them to know that thinking about their sexuality is very common. But if we keep silent about
sex or approach the subject with a negative attitude, we send majorly mixed messages to our
children. We are the ones who must help them see that everything from their changing bodies to
their changing thoughts is normal.
Parents are also in the best position to show our kids how living by the Purity Code is normal,
healthy, and God-centered. It's important to know that it is not just about sex and saving yourself for
In following the Purity Code, students are asked to make this pledge: "In honor of God, my family,
and my future spouse, I commit my life to sexual purity." It encourages making a lifetime
- Honoring God with your body
- Renewing your mind for the good
- Turning your eyes from worthless things
- Guarding your heart above all else
You will be the one to help build the foundation your kid will need to make this commitment - a
foundation of healthy sexuality that is based on Scripture and strong enough to withstand the forces
of secular culture.
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1
Corinthians 6:20). This Scripture passage identifies the first area of our child's life that should be
committed to God: Honor God with your body. Not only should we encourage our children to not
participate in sexual sin, but they should keep their body healthy in every way.
The second part of the Purity Code is to renew your mind for the good. This is based on Romans
12:2: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind." No matter what age, a person who lives by the Purity Code needs to tune out the "bad"
in culture and tune in the "good."
The third part of the Purity Code is to turn your eyes from worthless things. This truth comes straight
from Jesus, who said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will
be full of light" (Matthew 6:22).
The final part of the Purity Code is to guard your heart above all else. This is based on Proverbs
4:23, which says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" (NLT).
What a great summary of the lifelong benefits of living by the Purity Code from as young an age as
A consistent pledge to sexual purity is a road to true freedom for your children and for you. The
Purity Code Pledge may be a good first start for you to help lay a strong foundation of sexual
integrity with your own child.
By JIM BURNS
Let's begin with some truth telling: Parenting is difficult! Yes, it's hard. But what you do as a parent every day and every week matters. Your actions---overtime---are the single greatest influence in the life of your child.
Still, many parents wind up relying on quick fixes as a parenting style. Simply put, parenting becomes about fixing kids' problem behaviors or the agony parents experience because of these behaviors. Parents use quick fixes to achieve some short-term wins---to fix current problems---but over time the strategy falls and fails because there is no connection to a long-term purpose and no intent to lead a child from Point A to Point B. Using quick fixes to solve problems do not help kids grow up to become healthy and independent young adults. We'd like to suggest a better way: you can become an exceptional parent when you choose to be an intentional parent.
We didn't do everything right as parents, and you won't either. But we made the choice to fight against Quick-Fix Parenting in order to become Intentional Parents. And along the way we discovered 10 intentional actions that are key to becoming intentional parents.
1) Intentional parents have strong belief. Intentional parents believe that they are the most significant influence on their children.
2) Intentional parents understand they are 24/7 role models. They make a deliberate choice to be vigilant about the examples they set for their kids by how they live their lives.
3) Intentional parents use encouraging words. Encouraging words are positive, life-giving, powerful, and memorable. They are like food for your child's soul.
4) Intentional parents offer genuine affection. Appropriate and regular physical affection gives kids
more security, better self-esteem, and healthier emotional balance.
5) Intentional parents provide consistent presence. They plan, strategize, and sacrifice in order to be
present in their lives of their kids.
6) Intentional parents create a peaceful home. A peaceful home is a safe home, giving kids a shelter
from the storms of life.
7) Intentional parents use delicate discipline. Discipline and love go together; they provide kids with needed guidance, care and concern.
8) Intentional parents activate responsibility. They provide opportunities for their children to develop responsibility and pursue healthy independence.
9) Intentional parents create positive memories. For better or for worse, your kids will carry family memories into adulthood. Intentional parents pursue a path to ensure kids will have a flood of positive memories.
10) Intentional parents provide serious fun. They work to nurture and model a home environment where laughter and fun is the rule, not the exception.
Doug and Cathy have created two resources to help parents dig deeper into the important topic of
becoming intentional parents. You can find their Intentional Parenting DVD and Workbook at