By Lisa Cherry
“How can I get my teen to make godly choices in relationships?” This is the question I am asked over and over again from desperate, discouraged parents. I heard it again just last week.
It was a tragic story of a Christian family with a crisis pregnancy. Their circumstances caught my attention because of our series this month on Hot Romance.
It seems this family had done more than the average to develop a God-honoring vision for their son. No casual teen dating allowed. Waiting for the "right one" to come along. Sexual purity exhortations. Commands to treat young women as sisters.
"So what went wrong, Lisa?" the mother's heart questioned. I wondered the same thing! So I gently began to probe a bit deeper. And I think together we unveiled some of the roots of their problem.
Parents’ rules that do not penetrate deeper than rules will not hold over time. Their son's heart roamed when hormones mixed with anger, resentment, and immaturity.
As I shared this mother's pain, I was drawn back in time when we faced a similar problem in our house. A time when our own daughter would shout back at us, "You can't make me!"
Kalyn's story of teenage disaster filled with sexual abuse and its resultant rebellion and wrong relationships is a story I have posted on before. But today let's explore the tough question that many are surely asking...
How can I make my teen/young adult child make wise, godly choices in relationships when they are enamored with the cheap cultural counterfeits of casual dating with its loose sexual morals?
My humble answer is....we can't.
Wow, that is not a very encouraging answer, is it?
Only our God can change a human heart. We, as parents, can work in partnership with Him as His agent, but we must have His grace to see true lasting impact.
We can't yell
our way to success.
For something about the area of "passion" in the human heart somehow defies the control of another.
However, we are not permitted to “do an Eli” (See 1 Samuel 3: 18) and park our head in the sand and let the kids choose whatever they wilt even if their behaviors dishonors the Lord.
Tricky, huh? Compel but not drive. Encourage but not provoke. Command but not dictate.
I think the only answer is to seek something deeper from our God. We must ask Him for revelation knowledge of His ways to be made real in the hearts of our kids: a personal conviction that causes THEM to run toward our discipling counsel and not away!
And then, while we are at it, also ask Him for supernaturally empowered leadership skills to be birthed in us as parents that will successfully guide our children into the pathway of light.
Surely our God would respond to such humble prayers!
He certainly did for us!
If you have never read the full story of Kalyn's testimony, check out our book, Unmask the Predators.
Image by Werner Kunz "Angry Little Girl"
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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This post is part of my series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:
Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys
Don’t miss this special sale on our Hot Romance DVD:
It's now only $10.00, which is half price. Now through February 14 at our store.