Saturday, November 8, 2014

Parenting the Internet Generation

Being an adolescent is a really difficult time in someone's life.  You're not a kid anymore, but not quite an adult yet.  Your thoughts and emotions fluctuate from happy to sad, depressed to being filled with glee, suicidal to feeling all right.  Your desires rage, your body changes, and you're caught in between clinging to immaturity all in the name of Youth and trying to convince your parents and other adults that you're old enough to handle responsibility, money, and should no longer be treated like a child.

I am really thankful to have lived at home with my family through the years as my now sixteen year old brother grew up.  I learned so much about kids and how easily influenced they are, what causes them to feel sad or important, what brings them joy and makes them mad, etc.  Kids can be so cute.  ...then comes the teen years.  Having been a teen myself not too long ago, I can sympathize with the many-temptations teens face on a daily basis; especially now with internet access on a smartphone or gaming system.  I know the pressures of wanting to fit in and not be labeled a prude.  I understand what it's like to be a teenager and how rampant it is to turn literally anything into a perverse joke.

God graciously rescued me from destroying myself through the myriad of temptations available and grabbed hold of me.  For this, I am truly thankful!  God has blessed my friendship with my brother and given us a special bond.  My brother is quite intelligent and has always had a heart for God and other people.  He is respectful, kind, and a genuine friend to me and many others.  He takes school seriously and wants to succeed in life.  He recently said that it is difficult to maintain integrity in the midst of so many unbelievers at school.  We have conversations often about purity, God, choices, and seeking to honor God instead of pleasing self through momentary decisions that may very well have lasting and awful consequences.

As I thought about him being at school and the need to remain focused on God and become strong in Him, I realized what a blessing it is to live in America where we have so much freedom pertaining to web sites and stores where excellent, Biblically accurate resources can be sought out and studied!  One of my favorite web sites is the Covenant Eyes blog.  They have several e-books that can be downloaded for free here.  (If you do not use an internet filter on your computer and all other devices - and especially if you have children living at home of any age - I highly recommend and plead with you to sign up for the Covenant Eyes filtering service.  It blocks sinful content from showing and in so doing, will spare your family from unexpected exposure to the filth of pornography.  If you sign up using my affiliate code here, you'll get the first month free).

Whether you are a parent, teacher, mentor, pastor, or friend who deals with children and youth on a regular basis, I encourage you to study resources which expound purity, spiritual growth, communication, family relationships, etc.  You could make a major difference in the lives of those you know.  So many kids are in need of trustworthy and godly mentors or parents/teachers/pastors that reach out to them in pure sincerity and gracious care.

A few ministries/resources I would point you to include:

Please take the time to invest in the lives of the young people God has placed under your care.  Being a youth is a time where direction and guidance in life is imperative.  Honor God and put Him first.  Pray that He would lead, guide, and equip you to be there for the youth who desperately need a friend and mentor in life.


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