Parents can help their kids achieve the level of advanced preparation they’ll need to stand by

  • helping them figure out why they should care;
  • giving them the tools they need to succeed; and
  • walking them step-by-step through the process of making good choices.

Why should they care? What’s in it for them if they stand on God’s Word in the face of peer pressure, risking friendships, popularity, good times? Our teens need to believe that the Lord has a plan for them and His ways are best. The most effective ways to instill those beliefs are to model them and teach them. A time-invested parent, who prays as much as she talks and listens as much as she prays, will have the best chance of raising a child eager and willing to say NO and mean it.

What tools do they need? Our teens and preteens need options. A busy life with wholesome things like church activities and sports—alternatives to the negatives. They need to be a part of a family that is serving the Lord, and they need to be watching parents who practice what they preach. They need to continuously grow in the knowledge of the Word and in relationship with God.

How can they walk through this? They need you to walk with them, hand in hand, step by step. Mom, Dad, Guardian—they need you to be aware of what’s going on. They need you to know them well. This requires time, communication, and Godly insight into the minds of your teens.

We Can be Confident Parents, Even in These Scary Times!

Today’s choices have such far-reaching and permanent consequences for our kids, it’s hard to trust that everything will just work out fine in the end. Some of our teens’ decisions will affect the rest of their lives. Knowing that they’re ill equipped to make those choices, it’s very difficult not to panic. It would be easier to lock them up for a few years and check in at, oh, around twenty-two.

We do have a promise to cling to, though.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

Let’s break that down into bite-sized chunks:

Being confident of this: You can be sure that this is the way it is. It’s a promise.

He who began: Who began it? “He” did. Not you. Not your teen. God started...

A good work: The work He started is a good and righteous thing.

Will carry it on to completion: It will be finished. He didn’t start something only to see it fall to pieces because of some teenage mistakes. It will be completed. It’s a promise of God, and I choose to believe Him.

Until the day of Christ Jesus: Here’s the thing, though. Every one of us, including our teens, is a work in progress. This work, which will be completed, has a long way to go...until the day of Christ Jesus, to be exact.

The battle we fight in protecting, shielding, and preparing our teens for life’s hot-button issues isn’t as black-and-white as a physical battle in which the wins and losses can be easily quantified. We must often blindly face the battles for our kids, operating more on faith than on sight, being obedient to the call of Christ and reliant on the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have been given tools in God’s Word to prepare us to guard against the confusion of this world, however. And we’re granted partnership with the Holy Spirit, who will lead and guide us according to godly wisdom and sight. That guidance is invaluable as we prepare our kids for life’s battles.