How to Ruin Your Relationship with Your Teenager

There are lots of ways we push our kids away.  No parent is perfect.  In the article below, you will find helpful information on some easy ways parents often push their kids away, and how we might be more conscious of our interactions with them.  Teenagers are hard to deal with some times, but they are passionate, fun, sensitive, and generous.  Nurture those good qualities, share with them the gospel, live the gospel, and they will thank you later!

Read this:

http://www.themid.com/family/how-to-ruin-your-relationship-with-your-teenager?u=vQjs3im0tH

Matt

Work, Work, Work

Parents, work is important!  At 16 I started working at Blockbuster Video.  Sure, I was an idiot, but the importance of working outside the home, especially in a retail environment, is crucial for teens.  It teaches work ethic, respect for the customer as well as other retail workers, and the value of the earned dollar.  But employment is becoming increasingly difficult for teens to find, and often they are ill-prepared for interviews, applications, and assessments.

Coach them up, encourage them, and don’t be afraid when they push back.  Read this:

http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2015/04/16/why-cant-teens-find-jobs-pre-hire-personality-tests-are-a-stumbling-block/

Matt

The Reality of Sexting – It’s NOT GOOD

Sexting among teenagers is real.  Once we face the facts we can address them.  Sexting is not good – it leads to reduced physical boundaries, shame, and lustful hearts.  We should seek to stop this behavior, but even more so we should seek to address the root of the problem – a broken sense of identity and love that can only come from the Lord, through His Son Jesus.  Communicate this love, demonstrate this love, and be gently resolute in the home.

Read this:

http://sexualintegrityinitiative.com/2015/04/14/these-facts-about-sexting-might-make-you-rethink-pressing-send/

Teens and Empathy – Don’t stunt it’s development!

Adolescents are still developing their ability to empathize with others, research shows:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/teen-years-are-a-window-of-opportunity-to-learn-empathy-1429051107

Despite what you might think about stand-up comedian Louis C.K., the first minute of this interview with Conan OBrien should remind us that technology is no substitute for face-to-face contact:

Technology isn’t evil.  However, families need to find ways to encourage face-to-face human interaction.  Ask question, be persistent, and be affectionate!

Thoughtful Words on Smartphones from a Teenager

Gillian quickly reflects on the damage smart phones are doing to her ability to interact with her peers.

While smart phones aren’t inherently bad, the effect of constant social media acting as a face-to-face social barrier is real.  Gillian writes, “my conversations consist of dehumanized, emotionless messages used for necessity that are conducted without essential facial expressions or body language.”

Click here to read Gillian’s thoughts:
http://www.theintell.com/life-style/reality/why-my-iphone-is-ruining-my-adolescence/article_bddc52f2-1b22-5eb4-93b9-0d88c597fb66.html

Matt

Good Friday Prayer Walk Reflection

Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum

Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος ὁ Bασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων

ישוע הנצרי מלך היהודים

It is said that the Romans would crucify only the most heinous offenders of the empire.  They would often set the cross at a cross-road so passers-by could look upon the condemned and fear the just and mighty arm of the emperor.  A couple of guards would sit near by, to make sure the sentence was carried out to completion, while the dying slowly drifted into non-existence…naked, broken, and alone.  Above the condemned hung a description of the crime, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”  Sarcastic, but profoundly accurate.

This morning, the morning of Good Friday, a group from a number of local churches gathered at Crosby Lane Beach for a prayer walk – a time to reflect on the work of our King on the lonely and violent cross.  The skies were grey with clouds, the air was crisp as it rushed passed your ears, and the seas churned with the passing morning showers.  Upon a small hill we stood a simple wooden cross draped in purple cloth – a reminder of both the humility and glory that took place on that day upon that lonely and violent cross.

I walked alone through the sea grass, 50 yards or so back from the beach.  The brown, dead grass moved with the air.  The uneven, sandy path lay before me.  The silencing rush of wind surrounded me.  Save for the temperature and the sound of crashing waves, I could nearly imagine myself to be walking the hills around Jerusalem.  I stopped for a moment to survey the beauty of the land around me, and as I turned to look back upon the way which I had come I could see that simple wooden cross draped in purple cloth.  It stood lonely on the hill, surrounded only by the swaying grass and the grey skies above.  As I paused I could feel the loneliness of Christ on the cross – “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” – abandoned by his followers and friends, with only a few guards keeping watch and a few loving women mourning near by.

Christ endured the lonely and violent cross so that we may never be lonely again.  The Father’s arms are open to us because He was forsaken on that day.  The embrace of the church is open to us because He brought it into being on that day.  We are safe from all harm because He endured the horror of the cross, giving us hope that if we too endure whatever befalls us, in faith, we will enjoy forever the eternal love and glory of our Father.

Good Friday is the day in which all sin converged to produce horrific violence and crippling loneliness.  But without Friday we would never get to Sunday.

May we endure in the glorious name of Christ, our Savior.  Amen.