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4 Truths in a Culture of Lies

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Ian Murray
Teens need these spiritual insights from their parents, now more than ever.

I glanced at my daughter’s cellphone screen and scanned the conversation she was having with a boy who was her friend. At one time I thought our five kids would need my husband and me less during the teen years, but after reading her innocent flirting that might be taken more seriously by her friend, I realized they actually needed our guidance more. We not only had a discussion about the misleading direction of her text messages, but we also started to remind her of valuable spiritual truths.

My husband and I found that staying ahead of our adolescents was one of the toughest parts of navigating the teen years. Teens are exposed to strong messages from the entertainment industry, advertising and social media — and those messages are relentless. The lies our children hear about identity, sexuality and relationships often plant seeds of confusion in their minds. That’s why we, as parents, need to make sure our teens know four key spiritual insights:

Absolute truth does exist

In this world of moral relativism, right and wrong is often based on how culture feels about an issue. Society’s influential voices are screaming that the world is gray while God’s Word declares that black and white — right and wrong — do exist.

One evening I found myself sorting through this confusion about relative truth with one of our teens, whose friend insisted there were many paths to God. Our son was trying to make sense of this argument, so we opened God’s Word to John 14:6 — “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

We followed that up with John 8:32 — “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” My teen needed to be reminded of this key spiritual insight as he navigated discussions with his friend.

Rules are designed to protect us

Rules exist to shield us from negative and painful consequences. God gave the most well-known rules, the Ten Commandments, for the well-being of His people. He wanted to guide them so they would stay on the straight and narrow in the same way a car needs to stay on the road and out of ditches.

Our teens need to understand that good rules — whether at home, at school, in the Bible or through the legal system — are designed to shelter us from unnecessary pain. When one of our sons received a speeding ticket, he needed the spiritual insight of Titus 3:1 — “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.” We talked about how the ticket was actually protecting him from causing an accident and hurting himself or someone else.

Perseverance and commitment are essentials in life

Perseverance and commitment are waning in today’s environment of instant gratification. But when life gets hard — and at some point, it will — our teens need to learn the importance of remaining “steadfast under trial” (James 1:12) and of not giving up (Galatians 6:9). They need the spiritual insight that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

The younger that teens can learn this, the better, but this lesson often has to be revisited. We had a conversation about perseverance with our youngest son in his post-college job search. He had expected the search to be easier and faster than it was. His struggle was a good reminder that sometimes life is challenging and we have to persevere.

Wisdom comes from God

The world encourages both self-created and others-created wisdom. Our teens are tempted to turn to the internet and friends for wisdom, but they need to seek the real wisdom that comes from God. This is where our future adults can use the spiritual insight of Proverbs 28:26 — “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” When our daughter wanted to make a relationship decision based on feelings rather than wisdom, we reminded her of the importance of looking for guidance in God’s Word. It wasn’t an easy conversation with her, but it was a necessary one.

Our teens desperately need us to connect the dots between real life and God’s truth. They may resist it, but when we lead with love, listen well and resist lecturing, we can plant seeds of truth in the soil of their maturing hearts.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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