How Are You Preparing Your Children As They Head Back To School?
It’s that time of year again! Back to school time. I recently read that it is estimated that American families will spend $83.6 billion as they gear up to head back to school and college.
My initial thought was, “Whoa! That’s a lot!” However, when you are the parent of a few kids, you quickly realize that all of those clothes, shoes, and supplies add up.
This estimation got me thinking though. What is it that I am equipping my child for as they prepare to go back to school? Am I simply ensuring that they are dressed in the latest fashion trends? Am I taking the time to invest in their spiritual life? Am I preparing my kids for the worldly issues that they could end up facing during the 2017-2018 school year?
I was recently startled by the statistics that I came across in the 2015 report released by Covenant Eyes. Listed below are a few of the stats that really jumped out at me:
- 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18
- 6 out of 10 girls are also exposed before the age of 18
- 28% of 16-17 year-olds have been unintentionally exposed to pornography online
As a parent, I want the best for my child. I would prefer for my children to never encounter pornography, but I realize that we do not live in a bubble. Therefore, my job as a parent is to educate them.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and
when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 KJV
Scriptually speaking, my job description is simple: Teach my child how to conduct themselves in a way that is pleasing to God. If I fail to complete that one task assigned to me, I am turning my children over to the world. The world will teach them, and a large portion of what they will learn will take them down a dark road of sin, shame and pain.
Think about that for one second. That is like encouraging my child to open the door and step outside when I know that there is a pack of angry wolves waiting to devour him/her!
Talking to your children about sex, pornography, drugs, alcohol, bullying, violence, and more may not be the most comfortable conversation in the world. It is probably the most important one that you can have though! It is better to be uncomfortable for a few minutes than to watch your child try to break free from the strongholds of addiction later in life.
The path to purity, respect, and self-worth is easier than you think it is. The answers are found plain and simply in the owner’s manual…the Bible.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
Psalm 119:9 NIV
Someday, I will stand in the presence of Christ and have to answer for my parenting. The values that I instill in my kids today may save their life tomorrow, and they will hopefully be passed on for generations to come.
Parents, teach your sons about sexual integrity. You don’t have to wait until the “big talk.” Biblical sexuality should be an ongoing conversation. In a pornified world, teach them that sex and intimacy should be saved for marriage, and should not be exploited by other individuals. Encourage them to stand firm for what they believe in, even if the world around them falls prey.
In the same respect, teach your daughters to see themselves through the eyes of Christ. Instill self-confidence in them so they will not feel obligated to sell themselves short. Remind them that they are precious, and encourage them to remain pure.
If your child has recently been faced with the tough things in life, please do not turn a blind eye to it. Do not make excuses for it. Do not accept it as simply a phase that they are going through. Take a stand against the enemy, and fight for your kids! Pray for your kids! Help them untangle themselves from the gripping chains before it becomes a stronghold that they cannot easily escape.
There are a variety of resources that you can use when talking to your children about pornography.
The Conquer Series is a great resource for teenage boys. It does come with a PG-13 rating, so we encourage all parents to preview the material and make an informed decision based upon your teen’s maturity level.
For young girls, Pure Desire offers Behind the Mask which provides Biblical principles and practical strategies that can help young women move into sexual health.