Friday, July 13, 2012

Pieces of Heart

I am so concerned for teens and the relationships that come into their lives. So many of them are looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. School and, hopefully, we as parents give them information regarding "safe" sex and relationships. However, I think we concentrate too much on the sex and not enough on the relationship. Our kids are smarter than that. If we give them info, I truly believe they can be wise enough to use it when needed.

Parents: Talk to your kid BEFORE they are involved with someone. By the time they are "in" a relationship, it won't matter as much what you say.

Urge your teenager to make a list of qualities they would like in another person. The best time to do this is BEFORE they are involved with somebody. This makes it much easier to see if someone really meets your qualifications before you get all tingly. ;)

Talk to them about rules regarding your house. Rules are not always the same at someone else's house. Tell them no matter whose house they're at, no closed doors. Even better, not being alone together. A lot of things happen just because temptation is always there if it is just the two of you. There is a lot to be said about group dates for teens that seem to be dating younger and younger.

Let your kids talk to you....even if it is embarrassing for them and you. It is better for them to get correct information from you....then wrong information from other sources.

A little bit of prep work will help the heartache later.

TV shows sex with little or no consequences. Movies like Friends With Benefits assume that people can have sex and not include the emotional aspects or complications that come from sex in uncommitted relationships.

I had read about a demonstration with paper hearts that shows the effects of sex on relationships. So I brought some construction paper and glue to school on one of our lunch Tuesdays.

We cut or ripped out hearts from 2 colors of paper. (You need 2 colors to see the after effect)  We glued the hearts together. Ideally, we would have left them together longer, but I think my friends still got the point. I told them some of the things mentioned above and then had them pull the hearts apart.

Before                                                                             After

The point was/is that when sex is introduced into a relationship no matter what happens, a piece of that person will go with you.....always. Sometimes it can make it hard to leave a relationship you might not have stayed in if you had not gotten physical. Sometimes you make a baby you didn't plan on. That's not fair to you....or the baby.

One of the things I used to tell my youth group kids is that there is no condom big enough to protect your heart. So much for "safe" sex.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Kiss it!

Tonight I was reminded of the power of a kiss. Not a romantic kiss. The kind of kiss that can heal the hurt and (non-bloody!) boo-boos. I was also reminded that over time the power of the kiss can wear off.

There was a young girl on America's Funniest Videos that fell off her bike on her derriere....and with a big smile on her face asked her daddy if he wanted to kiss it. Gotta love kids when they are discovering their humor! :)

When kids are younger, it is so easy....and they are so just stop what they're doing, let us "kiss it" or "tiss it" (depending on the kid!), and make it "all better". It's enough. And playtime continues.

Fast forward a few years and kids start to realize a kiss doesn't really fix it. It's just a distraction to keep them from focusing on the hurt. (Ouchie and boo-boo no longer apply)

Fast forward a few more years and the kid is a teen and barely wants you to hug them let alone tell you what the problem is! The power of the healing kiss is gone. As a parent, I miss that.

As a mom, it's hard to come to the realization that there are things I can't fix. Things I shouldn't fix. Things my kids will have to live through the hurt, deal with it and go on. I have to trust that I have given them a strong enough foundation to fall back on when life knocks the wind out of them. I can still be listen, to encourage and to help deal with the hurts.

The look of the kiss may change, but the intent is the same.

The Parable of the Lost Son
Luke 15:20 (NIV) “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Monday, July 02, 2012

And Little Children.....

Matthew 11:25 (NIV) At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 

Ahhhhh.....summer! The days are warmer and longer. Time to catch up with family and friends. Cook-outs. Potlucks. Graduations. Summer is also the time when many churches hold VBS (Vacation Bible School). School's out.....BUT we never stop learning.....or shouldn't anyway. 

VBS....such a busy time, so much planning, so many volunteers needed.....but, oh so worth it! 

Our church splits the kids into groups with a variety of ages in each group. My kids are older so I forget how interesting it is to sit and talk/listen to 4 and 5 year olds. They get so excited. They haven't learned classroom rules much yet, so when they are asked a question even just to think about, they answer....loudly. They like to share the things they do know....even if it does not pertain to the the way we're talking about it.  (ex. Noah and the Ark....kid: My friend's dad has a boat.)

There was one little boy in our group who got extra excited and liked to share. "Did you know Noah's Ark was bigger than the Titantic?" He would almost steal the conversation. The other adults and I would smile at each other. I would quietly start edging up and put my hand on his back to get his attention and tell him he could tell me later. We only had 10-15 minutes for story time. However, as the nights continued and we would review the story, I would also feel kind of bad because I did not want to squash his excitement! He was so cute and so sincere it was impossible to get too frustrated with him. By Wednesday night, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I love you!". On Thursday night, he shared that he knew he had Jesus in his heart and would go to heaven.

Oh my. Sometimes as an adult I am not that excited or that secure in my faith. The learning continues......

Matthew 19:14 (NIV) Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”