Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Words to Help Our Teens Make Good Choices on the Internet...

We once had a pastor who taught on the story of Abraham offering Isaac to God on the altar (you can read the Biblical account here) - our pastor had teenagers at the time, and commented that since Isaac was a "youth" and in Jewish stages of development that meant he was either a teenager or young adult, that perhaps it wasn't as hard as we imagined for Abraham to offer that boy!  Of course it was a joke, but the memory always made me smile when facing our own teens' challenges!

Abraham didn't have to deal with the internet, either.

We have done all the things recommended: monitored online activity, implemented stay safe rules, and routinely check the social media accounts.  But just recently, a good friend of Sweet Teen's shared someone else's inappropriate post online...

Now what?

First of all, there was prayer!  And then conversation - a lot of it! 

Our teens are getting older and there are a lot of things they are being exposed to that we, in reality, cannot control.  In addition, teens may not "see the whole picture".  In our case, the inappropriateness was totally missed by the teen in question, as the contents of the article were deemed important and valid (and for the most part, were important) and the image meeting my mom's eye wasn't even considered (!).  So, it was one of those "normal teenage mistakes" that really gave us as parents the opportunity to give them some additional guidance.

We eventually will have to let them stretch their wings and fly away from our carefully guarded nest and into a world full of inappropriate things.  We need to give them the guidelines in how to navigate those arenas, whether they use them or not.  And sometimes in the teenage world/mind, those guidelines we have already taught don't seem to apply (I do not know why this is true, except perhaps it has to do with having a strong-willed child?) I am betting that you, dear reader, have had or are having similar experiences!  

During prayer, God gave me these four scriptures and in this order:

"I have the right to do anything," you say--
but not everything is beneficial. 
"I have the right to do anything"--
but not everything is constructive.

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and 
the building up of one another.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--
his good, pleasing and perfect will
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, 
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The other mom brought 1 Timothy 4:12 into the mix.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, 
but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, 
show yourself an example of those who believe.

Finally, as the conversation with Miss Sweet Teen and myself went in all sorts of fascinating directions, she asked what was my objection to the post in question, as there wasn't any specific curse words and the Holy Spirit gave this verse:

Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)

As parents, we are asking the girls to choose one of these scriptures to memorize and hold in their hearts, (see Psalm 119:9) but it would certainly be possible to memorize all of them!  Consider it as part of a summer memorization program!  There are six verses and six weeks of summer left!


Pea bea said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

As a mom of very now adult children, I can so relate to the worries of the teenage years. The talks with the sons about consideration of the girls when it was appropriate to approach that subject and the daughter also. We made it through those years, but oh how I love that you have the Christian home as a support system. Enjoyed reading your post. Hadn't visited in quite some time, but glad to see you're still blogging. :)