Sunday, February 10, 2008

Got teens in the house? Lead them to truth. CS-4

My Way Sunday
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ying is not a problem that only afflicts our teenagers, we all have a propensity towards dishonesty. Words and deeds that we know are wrong find their way into our life so easily - and they can do so much harm.
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on grew up in a strict Christian environment. Although Ron's parents were really nice, they seemed to be overly protective when it came to Ron's social life. Ron was not allowed to go to movies or school dances. In the eyes of his parents many of Ron's friends were not good enough for him.

Ron was not a rebellious person but the attitudes of his strict parents caused him a lot of tension. The only things they wanted him to do were go to church or church youth group activities. But he wanted to do others as well.

When Ron turned 16 he began to lie to his parents about where he was going. He still was not doing anything wrong in his eyes but more and more he found himself lying aboout his whereabouts. He would tell his parents he was going to a church activity when actually he was going to the movies with some friends.

Ron complained over and over again to his parents about their strict attitudes but all he ever got from them was, "It's for your own good." Ron began to lie more and more.
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1. If Ron was your friend, how could you help him?

2. What difficulties could Ron's lies cause for his church Youth Minister? What could the Youth leader do?

3. If Ron's mom called you on the phone and asked if Ron had been at the youth group meeting, what would you tell her?

4. Read the advise St. Paul give in his letter to the Ephesians in Chapter 6, verses 1-4:
1 Children, obey your parents (in the Lord), for this is right.
2 "Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise,
3 "that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth."
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.
How does this scripture apply to this case?
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Cases Originally Copyrighted by Jim Burns 1987 - permission granted to use in work with teens.
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Buddhist, RN said...

Well, seeing as how we can't make his parents chill the heck out (I know what it's like to feel like him, though it wasn't my parents), we have to be a little more subtle.

What my parents told me was that if they are still supporting me, I can't make all my own rules. I hated it. I still don't think I'm better off for it. The parents do have the last say, but you'd think, if they had any faith in their kid, they'd at least open up a discussion. We always talked about it in our house. Even if I didn't always get my way, I could make my case and they might understand me more.

I don't think the youth leader should pry and tell the parents on Ron until he's getting into dangerous activities. Sometimes, you have to let the kid get caught in a lie and then they'll learn. Some things are better learned the hard way. I JUST experienced this in the house I was living in in Indy. Sure, she was 15 and doing things she shouldn't hae been doing, and lying about it in front of me to her mom while having me keep her secrets later. One day, she flaunted it while her mom was in the other room, in front of me. That's the day I told her not to confide in me until she at least expressed serious interest in coming clean. It worked out for the best that way. I would have NEVER told her mom unless I thought she was in physical harm.

Unfortunately, not all parents are right. Some are overly protective to the point of harm. I feel for this kid. He's not getting the social experience he needs to survive anywhere. Clearly, he's not in trouble yet. He's going to movies. It's worth it for them to sit down and discuss this and maybe the youth pastor can talk to the parents and tell them to compromise with their kid so that he gets a litlte more freedom as long as he's accountable.

The parents owe him an explanation more than "it's for your own good." Lack of communication just makes things worse.

Basically, I see fault on both sides.

My policy for youth group kids has always been to keep my mouth shut as long as they're not in trouble. I would never lie to parents, but I also don't disclose things kids have told me with the expectation fo confidentiality. That's why our relationships work. I let them talk to me and I guide them the best I can. Sometimes, you really do need to tak to someone who isn't your mom or dad, even if you're still a kid.

If I was his youth leader, I'd talk to him about it as much as I could. I might talk to the parents. I'm not sure how I'd approach it becuase I don't really know them and this is fictional.

Adrienne said...

If Ron's Mom called and asked a direct question, I would have to tell her the truth. I would also use that as an oportunity to chat with the parents about the problem.

If the parents were adamant about their refusal to allow Ron to attend other events I would council Ron to obey his parents.

Jeffrey Smith said...

Everyone quotes verse 1,nowadays, and forgets verse 4. Doesn't work very well.

uncle jim said...

I think v 4 is the key to a lot of problems in many families. I also think a lot of children go astray because fathers [parents] haven't learned the wisdom of v 4.