Encouraging parents in their efforts to raise their children to be enthusiastic servants of the Lord.
Author: Thereasa Winnett
Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking. Their daughter Katrina, who has been an integral part of their service adventures, attends Pepperdine University.
Let’s face it. To dedicate your children to God means you have to be radically different from the people in your community. Sadly, you may very well have to be willing to be radically different from the people in your Church. The very idea of standing out from the crowd and perhaps even challenging the crowd, makes most Christians settle for living a life that is ordinary.
Somewhere along the line, we have lost the willingness to be different and put everything on the line for God. We are afraid of being teased, unpopular or having people gossip about our unusual behavior and choices. Frankly, I am not even sure we would know what putting everything on the line for God would look like in our comfortable American lives.
If you are following the 12 month challenge to teach our children to live like Jesus, March is about having our children spend time with people who love Jesus. Sounds a little silly. After all, your home is probably filled with Christians and you most likely attend Church at least once a week. Getting your kids to read the Bible and pray on their own was a challenge, but this month your family can phone it in. Or can you?
Over the years, I have heard the same story over and over again. Parents whose children either no longer attend church or go somewhere the parents believe is teaching error because that is where their children’s friends are. Usually, if I ask a few more questions it turns out the child never made friends at Church and the school friends are the ones pulling their child either away from God or at least in a direction the parent is uncomfortable with on some level.
Parenting teens is hard. Part of you is proud of the adults they are becoming. The other part of you is terrified of the adults they are becoming. Not because they are necessarily doing anything wrong. Being a teenager just looks really different from the parental perspective. We thought we were so grown when we took on adult tasks like driving. Now as the parent of a teen the same age, we become almost panicky at the idea of our “baby” driving that huge hunk of metal!
The same goes for dating. We thought we were absolutely ready for the challenges dating presented. Now, older and wiser, we know all of the things we were totally not prepared for when it came to relationships. The idea of our kids dating is terrifying. We know every bad thing that ever happened in a dating relationship and we want to make sure none of those things happen to our kids.
I’ll admit, I was a bit boy crazy as a teenager. Thankfully, no acting out was involved, but I feel like I wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about when and whom I would marry. Eventually, I totally turned it over to God and of course met my wonderful, Christian husband shortly thereafter. Since then, I have been exposed to scores of teen girls – some boy crazy, some not as much – but all with lots of questions and confusion when it comes to the subject of “boys”.
I was thrilled when I was offered a chance to review Dannah Gresh’s new book, Get Lost. When my daughter was much younger, we loved Ms. Gresh’s Secret Keeper series. If you have young daughters, it is a “must” in my book for introducing your daughter to the idea of modesty in fun ways. I was curious to see if Ms. Gresh handled the ideas of purity, dating and marriage for teen girls with the same flair. She didn’t disappoint.
Admit it. If your child is little, your stomach tied up in knots just reading the title of this article. Even if you have tweens and teens, you may feel a little queasy wondering if you handled the whole thing “properly”. Teaching children about their bodies, sex and purity is often uncomfortable for the parent and the child.
Television sitcoms have added to the discomfort and confusion. Show after show has depicted “the talk” as one awkward conversation the “goofy” parent has about the basics of “making babies”which the child usually already knows. As a result, I think many parents believe they can get by with one “this is how babies are made”, “now don’t do it until you are married” conversation and move on with their lives.