From Pastor Brandon
After ministering to Middle School Students for a decade, I am now on the parent side, along with you, asking how I can speak Godly Wisdom into my own two children before they enter Middle School, so that I might be focused and equipped to hand them over to the loving Father in this phase of life. With all the messages our culture is speaking on the issue of sex and dating, this short Parent Guide is a simple tool for you to use in preparing for a conversation with your preteen or growing teenager. Mark Oestreicher is a Middle School expert, and Joel Mayward is a fresh voice, as both take steps to give you a brief theology on sexuality, reveal cultural myths, as well a church myths, and give specific helps for each gender, setting boundaries, and dealing with personal sexual issues. This book is a great springboard into diving in deeper on certain issues and pointing me in the right direction to face the truth in our modern day culture.
Helping your child make wise choices about sex and dating requires more than just one chat. It’s about building bridges of ongoing dialogue throughout the teenage years.
But youth workers Mark Oestreicher and Joel Mayward realize many parents don’t feel comfortable or prepared to have these kinds of conversations. That’s why they wrote A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Sex and Dating—to equip you to initiate healthy, honest discussions with your teenager. This book will also help you understand some of the relevant trends and issues in today’s youth culture.
Your role as a parent is to do more than provide your teenager with information about sex and dating. You have the opportunity and the calling to help your child live wisely and honor God in this sometimes tricky, occasionally awkward, and always vital area of life.
The space between expectation and reality in relationships can be difficult for middle schoolers to understand. Often, the only idea of what a relationship should look like for someone their age comes from what our culture and media portrays, not from their personal experience.
God’s design for sex is better than the world’s design for sex.
Talk with your student about expectations they have for both themselves and others. Help them see the difference between realistic and unrealistic expectations, and talk with them about healthy ways to respond when their expectations aren’t met.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6 NLT
My guess is that in your house—like my house—there’s a constant tension between rules and relationships.
Your nine-year-old is supposed to help wash the car, but instead decides that riding his bike is a far more important to the functioning of the universe than cleaning your dirty minivan.
How do you respond?
On the one hand, you need . . .
rules—boundaries, guidelines and limits that make life work and shape character.
On the other hand, you need. . .
relationships—love for each other, respect and even some basic kindness.
But rules and relationships always seem to be in tension with each other, don’t they?
Clamp down too hard on the rules, and the relationship suffers. Or work hard on relationship and the temptation is to slack off on the rules.
To make matters more confusing, in most families, one parent tends to be the relationship parent and the other tends to be the rules parent.
If you’re like me, a rules guy, you are tempted to ground your nine-year-old for life, pull all video gaming privileges and be angry enough that most observers would assume you discovered your son had joined a street gang, not failed to pick up a sponge.
If you’re more the relationship type, you’ll abandon your bucket in the driveway, get on your bike and go have a picnic in a green field with your new found best friend while gentle music plays in the background and your rules-loving spouse drives the car to the junkyard in protest.
Left unchecked. . .
The rules parent thinks the relationship parent is a left-leaning hippie type left over from the sixties who thinks love can solve every problem.
The relationship parent becomes convinced they have married someone who should probably quit family to become a drill sergeant, robot or warlord.
Recognize the tension? So what do you do?
For more parenting resources visit www.ParentCue.org