Building Strong Families: A Parent Seminar at Donelson Christian Academy Session 3
4.08.19: How to Answer the Questions Kids Are Asking
Remember: Every child is only one choice from consequence, only one turn from tragedy.
Q #1: Is It Okay To Date A Non-Christian?
Rather than initially telling them the answer, helping our kids get to the right answer can be a powerful teaching moment that sticks. In this case, answering this question with more questions can be a strong approach. Here are a few questions to help them answer:
Do you want to spent the rest of your life sharing, a home, a bed, and a family with someone who doesn’t believe what you believe about God, the Bible and eternity?
Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t want to raise your children as you desire?
Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t want to pray, read the Bible, go to church and face all that life brings your way without Jesus at the center of it all?
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Being often asked Question #1 prompted me to begin asking Ten Z’s:
Do your parents ever talk with you about dating? Overwhelmingly: No!
– We just kind of throw them out there & hope they do right.
– Little to no guidelines, few conversations
– Tk @ how crazy that is!
Q #2: What Do I Need To Know About Dating?
The result: Most kids with no experience, no guidance, and no plan in place are making critical decisions solely on their own.
Students need answers to the questions the screen & more, whether they realize it or not.
6 DATING DETAILS
1. Answer the “why” & the “what.”
We teach our kids to answer the why and what questions in many areas of their lives having to do with integrity, responsibility, and accountability. Encouraging our kids to aspire to the same high standards in the area of dating is just as important.
Help your son/daughter these questions:
- Why date?
- Why date him or her?
- What do you hope to gain by dating?
- What kind of person would you date/never date?
Dating shouldn’t be something you do to merely to fill a Friday night.
Get our kids into the rhythm of asking the right questions.
2. Going solo is okay.
We need to give our kids permission NOT to date!
- My son/daughter doesn’t have to date just because h/she is a teen.
- Not every student is ready to date.
- My child needs to know that going solo isn’t for losers.
3. Communication is key.
“I don’t push myself on my son. But I let him know that I am here if and when he wants to talk. And talk is exactly what he has started doing. Early on in his dating years, he didn’t tell me a lot. But as he’s gotten older, I think he’s come to understand that I am safe. We now talk openly about it all, and our relationship is stronger because of it.” – Mom of a 17 year-old
ISN’T THIS WHAT WE ALL DESIRE—to have a close connection with our kids?
A great starting point: Clearly communicate your expectations.
– Rules don’t make you a legalistic parent, they make you a good parent.
4. It all begins with God.
- God wants to be involved in every aspect of my child’s life.
- Encouraging a close walk the Lord is essential.
To have a dating life that pleases God requires that I spend time with God.
“I am experiencing first-hand the benefit of having applied the time in the Word principle. I want you to know this discipline has paid off. The more I have been in the Word, the more confidence I have developed in my walk with God. Now that I am in college, I know my degree, my social status, or my future girlfriend do not define me. God does. I’m willing to patiently wait for the right girl who also desires to love God more than anything. Thank you for pushing us to get our priorities right with God.” – College Sophomore
5. Talk about abuse.
- Each year, 1.5 million high school students experience abuse while on a date.
- 10% of HS students who dated someone in past 12 months reported being slapped or purposefully hit and physically hurt by a dating partner.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23% of females & 14% of males first experienced dating abuse between the ages of 11-17.
Why the uptick: VIDEO GAMES & PORN!
– Extreme video games and the accessibility of graphic porn.
A few signs that your child may be in an abusive relationship:
- Declining grades
- Withdrawing from relationships and interests of importance
- Being secretive or sneaky
- A decline in self-care
Tell your son or daughter: No one ever has the right to abuse you in any way.
6. Pray before each date.
– You pray with them.
– Encourage your son to lead the charge praying with his date. Or your daughter…
Q #3: What’s The Big Deal About Sex?
- The #2 topic I discuss w/teens!
- Watch MTV for 30 minutes and see/hear over 2,000 sexual references
- Not @ the “TALK.” It’s @ the “TALKS!”
- My mom & dad had the talk with me.
- If I don’t talk with my children about sex, who will?
In CA in November 2018 where I spoke in the largest CHR school.
– A: “How many of your parents have talked @ sex with you?” – – Less than 3%
– A: “Where do you get your information about sex & dating?” – – Porn Hub
PORN HUB – the most visited Porn Site!
- Every minute 63,992 new visitors to the site…
- watching 207,405 videos…
- through 57,750 searches.
I tell parents:
I must love my kids enough that I am okay w/the uncomfortable.
I must love my kids enough that I am okay w/the awkward.
I must love my kids enough that I am okay if they don’t like me.
Students whose parents consistently communicate to them they do NOT want them to have sex until marriage are 50% less likely to do so.
Clearly articulate MY desire & GOD’s design.
- 1 Man + 1 Woman = 1 Life!
- Not About Virginity! – – Purity!
- Communicate my desire for h/her to remain pure – even when in college!
The BIG LIE: Everybody’s doing it!
The BIG QUESTION: How far is too far?
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
– Wrong question: “What can I get away with?”
The #1 provider of birth control for girls: Their moms!
– No contraceptive on the market that: Can protect her heart from the hurt / guilt
We would not say do not drink and drive…
You must continually talk with your kids about purity!
Q #4: HOW DO I STOP LOOKING AT PORN?
- #1 issue people talk with about!
- Goal: Protect but also Prepare.
WHAT MY CHILD NEEDS TO KNOW
( I’m going to tell you” EXACTLY WHAT I TELL GEN Z’s.)
1. We All Have Sexual Cravings
- Acknowledging this helps answer the question “How did this happen?”
- When they see for first time – feelings of shock them, upset them, guilty.
- It also will awaken their sexual drives while urging them to repeat the experience. – Porn is a powerful influencer. When students see it, a new awareness ignites in them at a vulnerable stage of development.
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in many different pathways in our brains. Often identified as: the “molecule behind our most sinful behaviors & secret cravings.”
- It is an important driver of sexual desire and also increases essential survival behavior, such as eating and protecting ourselves from excessive heat or cold.
- When your S/Daughter looks at porn, it triggers an overwhelming amount of dopamine, which makes the impulse to look and keep looking increasingly hard to resist.
- Once hooked, hard to get unhooked!
2. Don’t Dance Around the Problem
- We have to talk about it!
- My kids need to know: It’s okay to talk with me about this!
- Critical: If I don’t talk about porn, who will?
- Many parents talk about porn and sexuality, but only indirectly.
I’m often asked at what age should I have this talk…?
– This conversation begins when they are 9, 10…maybe earlier…and continues…!
– If you haven’t been there, its’ okay! It’s never too late to do right.
– After tonight, no excuses!
3. Porn Can’t Fully Be Avoided
- We are mostly past the point of avoidance
- Sadly it’s about preparing just as much as protecting.
- It’s in so many forms.
- Porn will find my kids.
4. PORN Porn Will Never Satisfy.
- The problem with porn lust is that it never satisfies the “hunger.”
- It will always leave me wanting more, and more, and more.
5. Porn infects the brain’s hard drive.
“The hardest part about not looking at porn anymore is the pictures in my mind. I can still see those pictures!” – Chad, 21
Once your membrane takes a snapshot, it is very difficult to delete that image from your brain’s hard drive.
You may only look at those pictures one time, but they’ll stay with you—and continue to tempt you—for much, much longer.
6. Porn blinds you.
- I tell Gen Z’s: The more you look at porn, the more your view changes.
- You will eventually be “blinded” from seeing guys/girls as God sees them and begin to view them as “objects” to fulfill your desires be fulfilled. Your respect for them will greatly diminish as your view of them becomes distorted. You will begin to see them only as “eye-candy” and will have difficulty viewing them in any other way.
7. Porn encourages you to move from the cyber world to the real world.
- The online fantasy will eventually no longer satisfy.
- The online fantasy world being downloaded into your mind fights to make itself reality by enticing you to become sexually involved in your dating life.
- Bring the pornographic images to life with a real girl/boy.
8. Porn destroys relationships.
- Creates a fantasy world in your mind that can never be brought to reality- it just can’t exist in the real world.
- It’s impossible.
- Porn is clearly aimed at satisfying your own selfish desires.
- In time, any relationship you pursue with a boy/girl will be negatively affected by your desire for personal satisfaction.
- Relationships take two, but in your lust-driven fantasy, it’s all about you.
- The more time you spend in your alternate reality, the more you’ll destroy the basic character qualities traits needed in any healthy relationship…such like sharing, as trust, honesty, and faithfulness.
9. Porn destroys character.
- This is why: We need to be having this talk.
- This is why: I can’t buy the lie that my kid is safe! NO KID IS SAFE!
10. Porn destroys my relationship with God.
You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction- Galatians 6:7-8
Even if you think your son/daughter is not yet involved with porn, don’t wait to have this talk. If your child spends time online, it is inevitable that they will be exposed to porn. If you have caught them viewing porn, at first he/she may deny that the struggle exists or try to minimize its effects.
It is critical that you explain how hard Satan works to get people hooked.
What an awesome moment this can be to strengthen your relationship with your child and help them see you as someone who longs to protect them from harm.
WHAT I NEED TO DO
1. Love my child; hate the sin.
“I did what you suggested I should do and told my parents. I thought they would hate me. They were disappointed in me but also told me they were glad I came to them. It felt so good to finally come clean, and knowing they still love me made all the difference in the world.”
- Communicate every day that regardless of behavior, you love them.
- This is a HUGE key to helping them defeat this…
- Knowing you love them & knowing you are in it with them.
2. Understand that a promise isn’t enough.
- Their initial response may be to quickly apologize, plead for your forgiveness, and promise never to do it again.
- May be genuine, but the addiction will usually win.
3. Acknowledge, be specific, and confess.
- God is aware of every image in my teen’s mind & still loves them.
- Help my child reconcile the darkness & take the steps necessary to renew a relationship with God.
“If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.” – 1 John 1:9
God can handle the truth.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”- Matthew 11:28–30
Encourage completely honest with God as h/she confesses mistakes and receives God’s forgiveness. God wants us to be as specific as we can be about our sins.
“We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and turned against you, your commands, and your laws.… Lord, you are good and right, but we are full of shame today.… But, Lord our God, you show us mercy and forgive us even though we have turned against you.” – Daniel 9:5, 7, 9
God offers forgiveness no matter what.
“I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin….You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” – Psalm 32:5, 7
4. Remove the source…no matter what it is.
- Consider the types of media outlets in your home.
- Cable, Netflix, Hulu, music platforms, & internet.
- No computer in bedrooms. No phones in bedroom.
- Place ALL devices in a high-traffic area and ensure no access unless I am present.
Which of these sources might tempt h/her
What does she watch?
What does she watch?
- One dad told me he removed the door from his daughter’s bedroom door frame!
- No questions, no rationalizing.
- Remember, where we began: John 10:10 – This is WAR!
This is war. You can’t expect to defeat Satan if you invite him into your home. Of course, such a purge will not eliminate access to all the porn in the world. But by removing the immediate sources, you will send a strong message to your child that you are prepared to take extreme measures to break the bondage.
– Jeffrey Dean, Raising Successful Teens
5. Develop a strategy.
- Unrealistic to think that just because you remove sources, never tempted again.
- There is no one-size-fits-all strategy.
- Outline a game plan before discussing it with my s/daughter.
Game Plan should include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Establish daily routine.
- Son/daughter needs to see the importance of a disciplined, routine schedule. This does not mean completely isolating h/her from daily activities, hobbies, and interests; it means setting boundaries on what h/she is allowed to do, which helps develop a greater sense of security.
- Keep h/her schedule full so h/her mind remains occupied.
- Chores, sports, a part-time job, and volunteering can be appropriate outlets.
- Know what you can’t do.
– Our kids probably know that “switch” in their minds
– Being online too long, or being in the shower too long
Know your way out.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”- 1 Corinthians 10:13
“I used to feel tempted to look at porn at night in my bedroom when I used the Internet. So I started reading Harry Potter. It took my mind off of it and helped me avoid feeling tempted.” – Teen boy
I tell guys: If you’re in bed thinking some impure thoughts about that girl in algebra class, get out of bed and turn on the lights.
- Go for a run.
- Call a friend.
- Open your Bible and read a chapter or two.
- Bathe the dog.
6. Approve friendships.
- Our friends can play a huge role in decision-making.
- Gen Z’s often tell me that they view porn while at a friend’s house.
- Talk together about ways to refuse a friend’s invitation to view porn.
- Choosing friends who are in line with God’s will for his life is a critical step to overcoming the temptation to check out porn.
“Bad company corrupts good character.”
-1 Corinthians 15:33
7. Kill the lies.
- Satan often wins when he wins in their mind.
Communicate that Satan will work to sell lies:
- “What’s the big deal? It’s just a picture of a naked person.”
- “Besides, looking at porn is a lot better than sleeping with someone.”
- “You are so good in every other area of life. This is just one ‘bad’ in your life.”
- “No one is going to know.”
- “And what harm will really come from it?”
- “I deserve this. I’ve had a really tough week.”
8. Prioritize scripture.
- Memorize scripture: SSSS! “Specific scriptures for specific struggles.
- Psalm 119:9-11 is THE verse!!
- Display verses throughout your home.
- Write them on note cards and drop them their lunch box or backpack.
- Laminate a card with a personal note & include a verse & put it in wallet/purse.
- Hang verses on their bathroom mirror.
- Be creative & look for ways to get God’s Word in their life.
Jesus begins His ministry in Matthew 4 in the dessert.
– 3 times He was tempted, and three times He responded by quoting Scripture.
9. Pray like crazy.
- Prayer is my greatest strategy.
- Pray specifically.
- Pray Scripture.
- Pray for my child. Pray with my child. Pray over my child.
10. Never give up.
God never gives me permission to give up on my kids.
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31