Suffice it to say, we could all write a book on 2020, so I won’t… Bring on 2021!
Those of you who know me well or even those of you who regularly read the blog know that often I can go through a gentle and quiet phase…but such as is my personality, on a regular basis, I cannot resist having a rant. So fair warning, this one has been a long time coming!
PLEASE…READ YOUR TEENS TEXTS, “GROUP ME” FEEDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA!
I don’t understand parents who choose not to ever check in on what your teenagers are discussing, who they are discussing things with and the colorful language your teen uses in these discussions…what would you have those of us moms do who do check up on our teens when we have serious concerns with what we see coming from yours?
Over the past few months, I have been sickened, concerned and heartbroken over posts to social media, things in group texts, Snapchat, Instagram or on the Group Me type apps. I have heard kids talking about porn, joking about the sexual exploits of their peers, stepping over the line razzing each other and using repulsive language. And I am not just talking about “teens”… I am talking about teens I adore. Teens that I respect. Teens that I have the privilege to cheer for at games and stand with during difficult life circumstances. It literally breaks my heart.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:9 – 10
I don’t care if we are talking about a teen boy or girl…this should not be.
- It is not okay for them to “F” this and “F” that all over texting and social media. I can’t believe the use of language that is ramped all over the place. If you allow your teen to speak and communicate this way, it doesn’t mean you respect their privacy or that “that’s just the way teens talk”. No, that is the way this teen speaks and they are proving that they have no self-control or discipline.
- It is not okay for them to be left unsupervised with a boyfriend or girlfriend. If teens are allowed to be alone with, take trips with, become much too physically familiar with their boyfriend or girlfriend (well heck with just any guy or girl these days)…then let’s try not to act too awfully surprised when someone gets pregnant or gets a disease. Let’s just admit that at best we did nothing to stop it and at worst we condoned it.
- It is not okay for them to look at pornography on their phones, ipads, and computer. I have no words to adequately communicate my heart on this one. We used to say, “boys will be boys…all teenage boys look at it.” Well, I’m not buying it. This is so out of control in our society that I have recently visited with 8-year-old girls who stumbled on to a porn site and now say they can’t stop searching for it. It is not normal, healthy or Christ-like. Stop allowing it in your home and turning a blind eye, not using filters, not taking time to check in and hold them accountable is allowing it.
- It is not okay for teens to get drunk and do all kinds of ridiculous things at parties and it certainly isn’t okay for one parent to supply alcohol and worse to someone else’s teen. I don’t have time or space to share all the stories I have heard about one person getting another’s teenager drunk. That is simply wrong and all so that a 40 year old adult can be called “cool” by a group of teenagers. I’d be happy to pass on a Prom King or Queen crown to you if that would mean you would leave our teens alone. Congratulations, you’re “popular”.
So my question remains, what would you have those moms do who do check up on their teens when they have serious concerns with what they see coming from yours?
Well I can only speak for myself, here’s what I will do… nothing. If something were said to you, you would likely be offended and probably rightly so. But, though I will not have the chance to and maybe shouldn’t have the chance to say to the teens I care so deeply about and am so concerned about, here is what I would say…
“I see you. Not the you that you are working so hard to convey, but the real you. I see some of your strengths, the things that make you… you… and wow, are you amazing. I see some of the talent that He has placed in you. You were born for greatness. You have a destiny and a calling and no one else on this entire planet can play your part. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and I cannot wait to see all that the Lord has in store for you.
This is not a game. You don’t get a pass because you are young. You have a very real enemy and he would love nothing more than to take you out. To gently distract and point you down a path that leads to nothing short of your demise. He will put temptations and obstacles in your path and he will count on you being like so many others. Weak. Insecure. Afraid and easily swayed… but he will be wrong.
Because you are not in this alone. Your parents are standing on your behalf and they will do all that they can to support you when you are following Him and to steer you toward Him when you aren’t. They are your protection and your provision. Trust them. And then there is Him, the King of all creation, and He is fighting for you. He has prepared good works in advance for you. He has called you to be something extraordinary… now let’s chase Him. And I can give you my word, that I am always in your corner and would do anything in my power to help you be all that you were created to be.
Is it easy? No. Is the bar set high? You bet it is! We need you to be more and to be great. We need you to change the world. Only Jesus is the King, but you are a hero in your story… act like it.”
Maybe we parents should take that last line to heart as well… Only Jesus is the King, but you are a hero in your child’s story… act like it.