The World of Youth

 

 

Youthhood is a period of kissing good-bye to childhood and running full speed ahead toward adulthood. It is a world by itself. Its laws, codes and ethics are different. That’s why the older generation so often clashes with it. Just like an Indian finds it difficult to fit in America, one finds everything  crazy in the world of teens. The wave of teenage rebellion has broken over us in India. Tragedy is looming large for the youth of this generation. That is why it is important for youth and parents to properly understand this world. There are five little worlds in it.

 

The World of Self

 

Self conscious as you are, you imagine yourself to be the Superman (or Spiderman!). You think everybody is looking at you and thinking of you and so you want to be your best. That is good. You hate a pimple on your face and spend a lot of time before the mirror.  You are so mindful of yourself,  your food, your things, your time and your friends that often you have no time for others. You are yearning to breathe free and you feel stifled at home. When parents pose restrictions you find yourself straining at the leash. This leads you to hate them or see them with squinted eyes. This is a process of growing up and cutting the apron strings.

 

This is the age when  you feel whatever  you do is right. You choose  to live a life according to your own dictates rather than tread a path parents choose for you. You hate correction, naturally, because it is a sensitive age. However the Bible says, “It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth” (Lam 3:27). Yoke means to be under a guide. There was a man who would not be guided but went his own way. Hear his cry when he was suffering a consuming disease: “Oh! Why didn’t I do what they told me? Why did I reject  a disciplined  life? Why didn’t I listen  to my mentors,  or take my teachers seriously? My life is ruined! I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life” (Prov 5:11-14  The Message Bible).   You don’t want to end your life, full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones, do you? Take up the yoke of Jesus. His yoke is easy and His burden light (Mt 11:29,30). Accept the guidance of elders and you are safe!

 

To Parents

 

Teenagers at home may be like smoking green wood to many parents. We should not shout at them when they spend time before the mirror or spend on cosmetics. Youth cannot face the world without self-confidence.  Appreciate their good looks. Pay them pocket  money according  to your means.  Encourage  them to  earn a  sum by helping around the house. Let them dress well and decently. Don’t pick on everything they do like the hair style or nail polish. Don’t expect them to be as you were when you were young. The  world has taken giant strides since then They may not seem to care when you are sick or may feel shy to acknowledge  you as parents.  Relax. Sometimes  it is

 

difficult for parents to counsel their own teenagers; in which case it will be a wise idea to introduce them to some godly friends who can befriend them and guide them.

 

The World of Sex

 

I know you feel guilty about your oceans of fantasies. Daydreaming is an unavoidable or necessary evil of youthhood. Actually, sexual awareness is not sin. Sexual instincts are God-given, like hunger. When utilised in the right way at the right time it is a boon to a happy life. Your days are filled with smiling Sandra or plumpy Parimala. You feel you can’t help it. I remember how I prayed to God to remove my sex instinct. My gosh! What was I asking God? I was asking Him to make me an abnormal person. Thank God, He didn’t answer my prayer! Don’t do that mistake. Rather commit your thoughts and imaginations to God and keep them clean. Don’t allow them to become corrupt by watching obscene movies or reading dirty novels.

 

I imagined I married a very smart missionary. I floated in my imaginations to the jungles of Africa and ministered to the tribes. We lived in a hut and fought lions! Crazy, isn’t it? But when suitors sought my hand in college and I was strongly tempted by non- christians I found I could not fit them in my dream world. When  proposals came to me from “good” Christians, but with no missionary vision. I kicked them out of my dreams, the moment they murmured at the missionary salary or panicked at pythons. But when Mr. Right came he walked straight into my heart. I had little difficulty identifying the man of my dreams. Imaginations help you construct your future.

 

Indian  culture  in general  prevents  girls and boys mixing  up.  The result  is many young people fall in love with their cousins or neighbours.  You must be able to say

‘hello’ to boys or girls in the church or in parties and exchange at least a few words. Don’t  be  abnormally  shy  and  too  self-conscious.  Be  relaxed  in  the  presence  of  the opposite sex. Don’t act like somebody. Be your natural self. Be attractive by not trying to be attractive. Then you’ll have the filtered choice. If you make yourself too attractive even common  flies may come and you may end up with one! My scoring  point as a young girl was my simplicity. I wore simple voile saris and all the make-up I knew was face powder and that only twice a day! (You be better, please, I say!) I was flattered by the attention young men showed me in preference to my painted friends. Be moderate like Esther (2:15). Don’t be too quick to make big promises or give your photograph or write long, long nonsensical letters. Caution should be your watchword.  Don’t go out with  any Tom,  Dick  and  marry.  And  by all means  if anyone  ditches  you,  learn  to recover. The sky has not fallen. Remember, the world has better people.

 

Avoid physical contact with those of the opposite sex. It is best for young people to keep themselves in the company of others or in public places where the surrounding will pose restrictions on their closeness.  Avoid lustful men and women.  Can you imagine anything as ghastly as a youth being led astray by a married person and destroyed? It can happen to you if you are not wise. Beware of a married lover! (Prov 7:6-27).

 

To Parents

 

You should not become furious when your ten year old hangs around the opposite sex or ask  you  ear tingling  questions.  Draw them  close and try to answer  by some illustration  or  true  incidence.  Give  them  books  on  sex,  appropriate  to  their  age.

 

“Questions  Young People Ask” by Bruce and Carol Britten is must for every young person.

 

In the early teens, youth need strict supervision. Parents should know for sure where their children are and with whom. However as they grow up, relax your vigil a bit. You should not curb your teenagers’ every attempt to talk to or move with the opposite sex. Rather be gentle guides. They should be allowed to mingle in family functions, parties and school or college programmes. Parents are still responsible and should be able to say ‘no’ where a ‘no’ is necessary. You should know what kind of youth your children are getting to know. It is good to have in mind that each child is different. Some are too shy, while others are boisterous and take advantage  of the freedom given. These are precious years when you should keep your teenagers close to you. An outing, long chats at the dinner table, a family picnic, games, swimming are things they love. This is the time when you can impart valuable knowledge about sex, teaching them to choose the right and shun evil. Soon they will be on their own.

 

The world of Education

 

A basic education will give you a standing in life. A college degree is almost a must these days, even for girls who do not plan to work. Do not take up a subject just because someone  forced  you  to.  You  must  ‘enjoy’  your  studies.  Cutting  classes,  cheating  in exams, hooting the fairer sex, ragging and pulling the legs of teachers do not prove your chivalry.  Rather  prove  it  by your gentlemanliness,  good  manners  and  studiousness. Frequent the library and expand your knowledge (Prov 2:2).

 

If you find in spite of your best efforts, you are not able to excel in studies, do not feel guilty or condemn yourself or lose heart. It is none of your fault. God has not measured to all alike but has given each at least one talent (Mt 25:15). Your job now is to discover your talent (ability or gift). Do not waste your energy on pursuits for which you are not made. From among the things you can do well, choose and resolutely follow the best. Put  your  heart  and  soul  in  developing  your  gift.  It  may  be  a  game,  music,  art, soulwinning or a job like carpentry, farming, cattle rearing, etc. No work is undignified. Do you know that the great missionary William Carey was a cobbler? Many youths sit at home not being able to study, idling away their time. This only leads to bad habits and evil friendship. Never be lazy. Think of what you can do with what you have and start doing. Failure in studies is not failure in life!

 

Involve in sports and games. If you are weak then it is only a must. Physical fitness is indispensable.  Your glory is your strength (Prov 20:29). Join the N.C.C. or Scouts or Girl Guides. Do not avoid excursions, camps and social activities. It is a good idea for girls to learn cooking and house-keeping.

 

To Parents

 

Don’t be over-anxious  to make your children academic luminaries.  If they can do well, good. But do not push them into something which they cannot really perform. Let them choose a line. An individual  is soul, spirit and body.  One needs to develop all three.

 

Do not keep on condemning and criticising a teenager for his failure. That puts him down and makes him bitter. They are already sweating under the weight of their books. A tuition means another turn of the screw on the already taxed brain. One teenager wrote to us, “Please let me know if suicide is sin. My parents call me an useless nut. My teachers  call  me  a  fool.  Why  should  I  live?”  Who  knows?  It  may  be  your  son  or daughter! They don’t want to die, but they want a reason to live. Appreciate where they are successful. If all your son thinks of is cricket and cricket alone, encourage him. He may become a Ravi Shastri one day! Help the teenager earn the tag of a hero in some field,  any field for that matter, to help him love himself and give him self-confidence to face the world. Girls must be trained to do some household work and taught the dignity of  wifehood and motherhood. It is a neglected field of education in the modern world.

 

The World of Friends

 

Tell me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are, said a wise man. You need friends to share your hopes and fears and joys. But the Bible admonishes us to avoid friendship with murderers, thieves and the greedy (Prov 1:10-19), the angry and the furious (22:24,25), gluttons and drunkards (23:20). You must be able to affirmatively answer the question, “Will my parents be happy about my friends?” Never go with the wrong crowd and get lost. Be bold to say ‘No,’ when friends pressurise you to do wrong. Your buddies may call you chicken if you refuse cigarettes, drinks or drugs. But that makes you a lion for God. Everybody-is-doing-it is not a good dictum to follow. Remember, the majority choose the Broadway to hell.

 

If you have no friends it is likely you have built a wall around yourself and not a bridge. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Prov 18:24). Take the first step to friendliness by showing him kindness in anyway you can.

 

To Parents

 

Teenagers are sweet and sour creatures—if you have discovered their sweet side. A teenager who hangs on to the phone like a leech is a pest indeed. But learn to tolerate little   nuisances. They want to be treated like adults. Never belittle them before their friends. Treat them with respect. Be dressed up and behave in such a way that they are proud of their  parents  before their  friends.  Take  it a pleasure  when  your teenagers bring in their friends for tea or snacks. It may shock  you (or rock you!) to see your teenager giving off her best things to her bosom friend (1 Sam 18:3,4). Try not to raise your eyebrows.

 

At the same time you cannot allow your children to go with the wrong crowd or to a drinking  party.  What  if he  rebels  at  your  ‘No’?  Well,  this  is where  the  shifting  of responsibility starts. As parents you stand your ground. Be firm without anger. If they have been brought up in godly ways, it is unlikely they will disobey. They may shout, murmur, cry or refuse to talk, but if you do not shout back or abuse but be quietly praying, leaving them to decide, in all likelihood they will decide to obey.

 

The World of Family

 

Once when I was addressing a group of youth and parents, I told the youth that they must trust their parents. Immediately they shot back. “But they don’t love us!” I was shocked and saddened. The blame of this situation is to be equally shared by parents

 

and children. A few years ago you were constantly clinging  to your parents. You longed for their love and company. How is it they have become your enemies so soon? As you grew up your interests gradually shifted from the home to the outside world. But you must never  forget  that your roots are still in your home. You have a  responsibility towards your parents, brothers and sisters. These are the ones who will stick to you through thick and thin. This is the “natural love” or  “affection” that the Bible speaks of (2 Tim 3:2). Learn to be kind and understanding  to your brothers and sisters. Help them in their studies or in whatever way you can.

 

Try to show parents your love by your obedience. “Obey,” says the Bible, “that it may be well with you,” (Eph 6:3). Do you think everything goes wrong with you? Then why not try this? Speak to them with respect. Be careful about every word you speak to them   and about them. Show you gratitude to them by some kind words. Just plan it and speak it out. It may be thanking them for something or a word of appreciation, or encouragement.  Just learn to say it. “Thank you mom for the good meal,” or “Don’t worry dad, I’ll see to it,” or a simple “Good morning, how was your sleep?” Watch their reaction. Help around the house in some small way you  can. That will be the beginning of the healing of your strained relationship at home.

 

The devil is at work causing teenagers to leave their homes when they are still too tender to face the hardships of the world. He will whisper lies in your ears. Do not believe the lies of the devil and buy your passport to peril. Even if you had gone away from home in the quest of freedom, if you miss home sweet home, if you have realised your mistake, come back. The world is no safe place for a loner. True liberty is being under the subjection of loved ones.

 

To Parents

 

The home  must  be  an oasis of unconditional  love and  understanding  in a  world withered  of true  love and  care.  If there  is constant  criticism,  bickering  and  lack of loving attention, the ticking time bomb called teenager may explode any time or he may even choose to walk out. The Bible admonishes  us not to exasperate our children by coming down hard on them  (Eph 6:4). Another translation reads, “Do not irritate your children.”  Parental  outbursts  of  anger  in  the  form  of  physical  or  verbal  abuse,  or shouting,  screaming  and  threatening  must  stop.  Firmness  without  anger or force  is necessary. Berating, finding fault in everything they do, quoting their childhood flaws, showing partiality between children, letting them down before others, teasing, pushing them beyond their ability, bossy attitude rather than a gentle and loving approach, etc, trample on their nerves.

 

Respond by silence to all unreasonable shouting and when they want to argue, listen first and then answer very gently and softly. Stop correcting their laziness, untidiness, over-sleep, ungrateful remarks, surly and sulky attitude, etc. too much. There are far more grosser evils to grapple with on which you have to be hard on them.

 

Don’t  be  too  busy  when  they  are  around.  Cook  their  favourite  dishes.  Modern parents are selfish in their craving for job, money and partying, that they are blind to their children’s needs. Learn to converse about their favourite  topics like cricket  or

 

Michael Jackson.  Let them love to be with you. Accept  their acceptable  suggestions. They may demand you change into a better dress when all set. Do it and give them the honour. Let them choose the curtain colour and feel important. Tell them you love them and want them and show it by your actions.

 

Don’t expect a miracle overnight. God is working on them His rough draft. Know for sure He is preparing them for a final copy!

  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

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The World of Youth

 

 

Youthhood is a period of kissing good-bye to childhood and running full speed ahead toward adulthood. It is a world by itself. Its laws, codes and ethics are different. That’s why the older generation so often clashes with it. Just like an Indian finds it difficult to fit in America, one finds everything  crazy in the world of teens. The wave of teenage rebellion has broken over us in India. Tragedy is looming large for the youth of this generation. That is why it is important for youth and parents to properly understand this world. There are five little worlds in it.

 

The World of Self

 

Self conscious as you are, you imagine yourself to be the Superman (or Spiderman!). You think everybody is looking at you and thinking of you and so you want to be your best. That is good. You hate a pimple on your face and spend a lot of time before the mirror.  You are so mindful of yourself,  your food, your things, your time and your friends that often you have no time for others. You are yearning to breathe free and you feel stifled at home. When parents pose restrictions you find yourself straining at the leash. This leads you to hate them or see them with squinted eyes. This is a process of growing up and cutting the apron strings.

 

This is the age when  you feel whatever  you do is right. You choose  to live a life according to your own dictates rather than tread a path parents choose for you. You hate correction, naturally, because it is a sensitive age. However the Bible says, “It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth” (Lam 3:27). Yoke means to be under a guide. There was a man who would not be guided but went his own way. Hear his cry when he was suffering a consuming disease: “Oh! Why didn’t I do what they told me? Why did I reject  a disciplined  life? Why didn’t I listen  to my mentors,  or take my teachers seriously? My life is ruined! I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life” (Prov 5:11-14  The Message Bible).   You don’t want to end your life, full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones, do you? Take up the yoke of Jesus. His yoke is easy and His burden light (Mt 11:29,30). Accept the guidance of elders and you are safe!

 

To Parents

 

Teenagers at home may be like smoking green wood to many parents. We should not shout at them when they spend time before the mirror or spend on cosmetics. Youth cannot face the world without self-confidence.  Appreciate their good looks. Pay them pocket  money according  to your means.  Encourage  them to  earn a  sum by helping around the house. Let them dress well and decently. Don’t pick on everything they do like the hair style or nail polish. Don’t expect them to be as you were when you were young. The  world has taken giant strides since then They may not seem to care when you are sick or may feel shy to acknowledge  you as parents.  Relax. Sometimes  it is

 

difficult for parents to counsel their own teenagers; in which case it will be a wise idea to introduce them to some godly friends who can befriend them and guide them.

 

The World of Sex

 

I know you feel guilty about your oceans of fantasies. Daydreaming is an unavoidable or necessary evil of youthhood. Actually, sexual awareness is not sin. Sexual instincts are God-given, like hunger. When utilised in the right way at the right time it is a boon to a happy life. Your days are filled with smiling Sandra or plumpy Parimala. You feel you can’t help it. I remember how I prayed to God to remove my sex instinct. My gosh! What was I asking God? I was asking Him to make me an abnormal person. Thank God, He didn’t answer my prayer! Don’t do that mistake. Rather commit your thoughts and imaginations to God and keep them clean. Don’t allow them to become corrupt by watching obscene movies or reading dirty novels.

 

I imagined I married a very smart missionary. I floated in my imaginations to the jungles of Africa and ministered to the tribes. We lived in a hut and fought lions! Crazy, isn’t it? But when suitors sought my hand in college and I was strongly tempted by non- christians I found I could not fit them in my dream world. When  proposals came to me from “good” Christians, but with no missionary vision. I kicked them out of my dreams, the moment they murmured at the missionary salary or panicked at pythons. But when Mr. Right came he walked straight into my heart. I had little difficulty identifying the man of my dreams. Imaginations help you construct your future.

 

Indian  culture  in general  prevents  girls and boys mixing  up.  The result  is many young people fall in love with their cousins or neighbours.  You must be able to say

‘hello’ to boys or girls in the church or in parties and exchange at least a few words. Don’t  be  abnormally  shy  and  too  self-conscious.  Be  relaxed  in  the  presence  of  the opposite sex. Don’t act like somebody. Be your natural self. Be attractive by not trying to be attractive. Then you’ll have the filtered choice. If you make yourself too attractive even common  flies may come and you may end up with one! My scoring  point as a young girl was my simplicity. I wore simple voile saris and all the make-up I knew was face powder and that only twice a day! (You be better, please, I say!) I was flattered by the attention young men showed me in preference to my painted friends. Be moderate like Esther (2:15). Don’t be too quick to make big promises or give your photograph or write long, long nonsensical letters. Caution should be your watchword.  Don’t go out with  any Tom,  Dick  and  marry.  And  by all means  if anyone  ditches  you,  learn  to recover. The sky has not fallen. Remember, the world has better people.

 

Avoid physical contact with those of the opposite sex. It is best for young people to keep themselves in the company of others or in public places where the surrounding will pose restrictions on their closeness.  Avoid lustful men and women.  Can you imagine anything as ghastly as a youth being led astray by a married person and destroyed? It can happen to you if you are not wise. Beware of a married lover! (Prov 7:6-27).

 

To Parents

 

You should not become furious when your ten year old hangs around the opposite sex or ask  you  ear tingling  questions.  Draw them  close and try to answer  by some illustration  or  true  incidence.  Give  them  books  on  sex,  appropriate  to  their  age.

 

“Questions  Young People Ask” by Bruce and Carol Britten is must for every young person.

 

In the early teens, youth need strict supervision. Parents should know for sure where their children are and with whom. However as they grow up, relax your vigil a bit. You should not curb your teenagers’ every attempt to talk to or move with the opposite sex. Rather be gentle guides. They should be allowed to mingle in family functions, parties and school or college programmes. Parents are still responsible and should be able to say ‘no’ where a ‘no’ is necessary. You should know what kind of youth your children are getting to know. It is good to have in mind that each child is different. Some are too shy, while others are boisterous and take advantage  of the freedom given. These are precious years when you should keep your teenagers close to you. An outing, long chats at the dinner table, a family picnic, games, swimming are things they love. This is the time when you can impart valuable knowledge about sex, teaching them to choose the right and shun evil. Soon they will be on their own.

 

The world of Education

 

A basic education will give you a standing in life. A college degree is almost a must these days, even for girls who do not plan to work. Do not take up a subject just because someone  forced  you  to.  You  must  ‘enjoy’  your  studies.  Cutting  classes,  cheating  in exams, hooting the fairer sex, ragging and pulling the legs of teachers do not prove your chivalry.  Rather  prove  it  by your gentlemanliness,  good  manners  and  studiousness. Frequent the library and expand your knowledge (Prov 2:2).

 

If you find in spite of your best efforts, you are not able to excel in studies, do not feel guilty or condemn yourself or lose heart. It is none of your fault. God has not measured to all alike but has given each at least one talent (Mt 25:15). Your job now is to discover your talent (ability or gift). Do not waste your energy on pursuits for which you are not made. From among the things you can do well, choose and resolutely follow the best. Put  your  heart  and  soul  in  developing  your  gift.  It  may  be  a  game,  music,  art, soulwinning or a job like carpentry, farming, cattle rearing, etc. No work is undignified. Do you know that the great missionary William Carey was a cobbler? Many youths sit at home not being able to study, idling away their time. This only leads to bad habits and evil friendship. Never be lazy. Think of what you can do with what you have and start doing. Failure in studies is not failure in life!

 

Involve in sports and games. If you are weak then it is only a must. Physical fitness is indispensable.  Your glory is your strength (Prov 20:29). Join the N.C.C. or Scouts or Girl Guides. Do not avoid excursions, camps and social activities. It is a good idea for girls to learn cooking and house-keeping.

 

To Parents

 

Don’t be over-anxious  to make your children academic luminaries.  If they can do well, good. But do not push them into something which they cannot really perform. Let them choose a line. An individual  is soul, spirit and body.  One needs to develop all three.

 

Do not keep on condemning and criticising a teenager for his failure. That puts him down and makes him bitter. They are already sweating under the weight of their books. A tuition means another turn of the screw on the already taxed brain. One teenager wrote to us, “Please let me know if suicide is sin. My parents call me an useless nut. My teachers  call  me  a  fool.  Why  should  I  live?”  Who  knows?  It  may  be  your  son  or daughter! They don’t want to die, but they want a reason to live. Appreciate where they are successful. If all your son thinks of is cricket and cricket alone, encourage him. He may become a Ravi Shastri one day! Help the teenager earn the tag of a hero in some field,  any field for that matter, to help him love himself and give him self-confidence to face the world. Girls must be trained to do some household work and taught the dignity of  wifehood and motherhood. It is a neglected field of education in the modern world.

 

The World of Friends

 

Tell me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are, said a wise man. You need friends to share your hopes and fears and joys. But the Bible admonishes us to avoid friendship with murderers, thieves and the greedy (Prov 1:10-19), the angry and the furious (22:24,25), gluttons and drunkards (23:20). You must be able to affirmatively answer the question, “Will my parents be happy about my friends?” Never go with the wrong crowd and get lost. Be bold to say ‘No,’ when friends pressurise you to do wrong. Your buddies may call you chicken if you refuse cigarettes, drinks or drugs. But that makes you a lion for God. Everybody-is-doing-it is not a good dictum to follow. Remember, the majority choose the Broadway to hell.

 

If you have no friends it is likely you have built a wall around yourself and not a bridge. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Prov 18:24). Take the first step to friendliness by showing him kindness in anyway you can.

 

To Parents

 

Teenagers are sweet and sour creatures—if you have discovered their sweet side. A teenager who hangs on to the phone like a leech is a pest indeed. But learn to tolerate little   nuisances. They want to be treated like adults. Never belittle them before their friends. Treat them with respect. Be dressed up and behave in such a way that they are proud of their  parents  before their  friends.  Take  it a pleasure  when  your teenagers bring in their friends for tea or snacks. It may shock  you (or rock you!) to see your teenager giving off her best things to her bosom friend (1 Sam 18:3,4). Try not to raise your eyebrows.

 

At the same time you cannot allow your children to go with the wrong crowd or to a drinking  party.  What  if he  rebels  at  your  ‘No’?  Well,  this  is where  the  shifting  of responsibility starts. As parents you stand your ground. Be firm without anger. If they have been brought up in godly ways, it is unlikely they will disobey. They may shout, murmur, cry or refuse to talk, but if you do not shout back or abuse but be quietly praying, leaving them to decide, in all likelihood they will decide to obey.

 

The World of Family

 

Once when I was addressing a group of youth and parents, I told the youth that they must trust their parents. Immediately they shot back. “But they don’t love us!” I was shocked and saddened. The blame of this situation is to be equally shared by parents

 

and children. A few years ago you were constantly clinging  to your parents. You longed for their love and company. How is it they have become your enemies so soon? As you grew up your interests gradually shifted from the home to the outside world. But you must never  forget  that your roots are still in your home. You have a  responsibility towards your parents, brothers and sisters. These are the ones who will stick to you through thick and thin. This is the “natural love” or  “affection” that the Bible speaks of (2 Tim 3:2). Learn to be kind and understanding  to your brothers and sisters. Help them in their studies or in whatever way you can.

 

Try to show parents your love by your obedience. “Obey,” says the Bible, “that it may be well with you,” (Eph 6:3). Do you think everything goes wrong with you? Then why not try this? Speak to them with respect. Be careful about every word you speak to them   and about them. Show you gratitude to them by some kind words. Just plan it and speak it out. It may be thanking them for something or a word of appreciation, or encouragement.  Just learn to say it. “Thank you mom for the good meal,” or “Don’t worry dad, I’ll see to it,” or a simple “Good morning, how was your sleep?” Watch their reaction. Help around the house in some small way you  can. That will be the beginning of the healing of your strained relationship at home.

 

The devil is at work causing teenagers to leave their homes when they are still too tender to face the hardships of the world. He will whisper lies in your ears. Do not believe the lies of the devil and buy your passport to peril. Even if you had gone away from home in the quest of freedom, if you miss home sweet home, if you have realised your mistake, come back. The world is no safe place for a loner. True liberty is being under the subjection of loved ones.

 

To Parents

 

The home  must  be  an oasis of unconditional  love and  understanding  in a  world withered  of true  love and  care.  If there  is constant  criticism,  bickering  and  lack of loving attention, the ticking time bomb called teenager may explode any time or he may even choose to walk out. The Bible admonishes  us not to exasperate our children by coming down hard on them  (Eph 6:4). Another translation reads, “Do not irritate your children.”  Parental  outbursts  of  anger  in  the  form  of  physical  or  verbal  abuse,  or shouting,  screaming  and  threatening  must  stop.  Firmness  without  anger or force  is necessary. Berating, finding fault in everything they do, quoting their childhood flaws, showing partiality between children, letting them down before others, teasing, pushing them beyond their ability, bossy attitude rather than a gentle and loving approach, etc, trample on their nerves.

 

Respond by silence to all unreasonable shouting and when they want to argue, listen first and then answer very gently and softly. Stop correcting their laziness, untidiness, over-sleep, ungrateful remarks, surly and sulky attitude, etc. too much. There are far more grosser evils to grapple with on which you have to be hard on them.

 

Don’t  be  too  busy  when  they  are  around.  Cook  their  favourite  dishes.  Modern parents are selfish in their craving for job, money and partying, that they are blind to their children’s needs. Learn to converse about their favourite  topics like cricket  or

 

Michael Jackson.  Let them love to be with you. Accept  their acceptable  suggestions. They may demand you change into a better dress when all set. Do it and give them the honour. Let them choose the curtain colour and feel important. Tell them you love them and want them and show it by your actions.

 

Don’t expect a miracle overnight. God is working on them His rough draft. Know for sure He is preparing them for a final copy!

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Dr. Lilian Stanley
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