I remember my first huge mistake as teenager, it was when I was 18 and was out of high school. Though there were plenty of times I pushed the boundaries before, this was the big one.
I got the attention of a popular guy, and I was never a popular girl. It’s a familiar narrative that happens in movies, but John Hughes didn’t write my story. It didn’t end Pretty in Pink or with Sixteen Candles. After I realized what a jerk I was attached to, I had damaged other relationships in my life that were much more important. It took me 20 years to get those relationships back.
That started a string of bad decisions for me. As if the first one didn’t hurt enough. I didn’t learn. I think back now and I can barely recognize myself in my own memories.
By the time a graduated college, I had settled down some, into someone I wanted God to use.
My point is, that I couldn’t handle the mistakes I made at 18, 19 and 20. I’m seeing children, 10 and 11 years old, on the verge of some serious trouble online. How are they going to handle it? Technology of our time makes our children vulnerable to more than we were as kids, and much earlier.
No one ever thinks it will happen to them.
Is this you? My child will never be targeted by a sexual predator. No one would ever look lustfully at my daughter online. She’s fine, she’s just doing this to get attention from her friends.
Friends, we can’t be that naive.
And we can’t just let it go because we haven’t monitored it in the past. Children crave boundaries. They will push as far as they can to get the attention they seek. Don’t make them do this. Give them them structure they need, then flood them with positive support. Show them what’s not okay, but then here is who you want them to be, because you love them. They are hungry for attention. Let that come from a healthy source, their family at home, not strangers online.
In our house we try to be like Jesus.
We try to share like He would. We try to teach like He would. We try to discipline like He would, and most of all, we try to love like He would.
It’s a filter that colors our everyday life for my husband and I, and we are trying to instill that into our children. Being like Jesus, being a Christian, is a boundary we as adults, have set for our own lives and our family. With that comes certain rules or expectations. These are welcomed boundaries, because they are set by our Heavenly Father who loves us. Not always fun. Not always comfortable. But always meant for our good.
The “many” are our children. Their conduct shows they are enemies of the cross of Christ. Headed for destruction. But we can help them. Parents- more than monitor, scour your kids social media accounts, theirs and their friends. Who are they being influenced by, and how are they responding to that?
Some friends and I recently discussed the struggles of parenting.
It’s one of the greatest privileges I’ve ever had, but it’s tough. And it takes a village.
It’s hard to think you are the lone soul trying to revamp on your own, and figure it all out. You don’t have to. There are people who are struggling with the same stuff as your family. There are people who have experience to share. You aren’t alone.
Ken and I are part of the launch team of Frazer Pike Road. We meet at 10 am each Sunday morning in the Pike Road School. We have a place for you. This can be a new start for your family. A place to learn together and serve together. A new place to grow.
We will come alongside you wherever you are to help you grow in the likeness of Jesus. No judgment. Just new friends. Hopefully, new family. It takes a village to raise a child. We want you to be part of our village.