By: Sara Goff, Ask NOW column
Can you imagine emotional pain so deep it seems only physical pain can alleviate it? Can you imagine cutting yourself to ease tension? One out of eight people in the United States practice NSSI, or Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, and it is most common among adolescents, generally starting between the ages 12 and 15.
Click to Tweet: Cutting is an attempt to escape negative feelings.
If you think about it, emotional pain has no boundaries or time frame. It lingers and escalates without warning, and it gives you every reason to believe you’re doomed for life. Physical pain, however, generally has a beginning and an end. There’s even a rush when the worst is over. The initial sting leaves you feeling relieved–and relief from pain is a good thing. Right? Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to justify cutting: “It makes me feel alive.” “I deserve it.” “My boyfriend (or best friend) does it.” Or, simply, “I can’t stop.”
Cutting is an attempt to escape negative feelings, and it can be as addictive as abusing drugs or alcohol.… continue reading
By Wendy Fitzgerald, the On Cause and Effect Column
Choosing the Moments…Planning for the Future without Fighting about it
Recently I had a conversation with my teen daughter. We were discussing the options she had for classes during the upcoming school year when she made a statement that bothered me. She said, “Everybody has been telling me that I need to have the ‘high-school experience.’” At first, I could not put my finger on why the statement bothered me. And so, like every good mom, I started saying all of the wrong things. Soon we found ourselves fighting from opposite perspectives toward the outcome. In retrospect, I probably should have taken the time to ponder my thoughts, pray over them, and bring them up at a time when she was ready to listen. Nonetheless, I did not, and we found ourselves in a heated conversation for over an hour, with tears in our eyes, before we were able to see the other’s perspective.… continue reading
By: Nate Stevens, Preparing Teens for Marriage
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25 / NIV)
Many men are willing to die; not enough are willing to truly live. Dying is easy; living is hard.
Dads, this one is for you in your role as fathers. Many fathers find it difficult to express genuine emotions or to be an emotional support for their families – even though they do feel genuine emotions inside. The difficulty men face is expressing authentic emotions effectively in a society that has conditioned them to hide their emotions.
Unfortunately, in our country emotional expressions are stereotyped by gender. Girls are conditioned to believe it’s okay to cry when hurt. For boys, it’s never okay to cry; when hurt they must suck it up and play through the pain. Girls are encouraged to express emotional authenticity; boys are encouraged to bottle everything up inside.… continue reading
By Tara Fairfield, the On Identity Column
TAMING THE TONGUE
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:9-10
Every word passing our lips is either a blessing or a curse. We can build up and encourage those we love or damage their self-esteem. As a young mother, I desired to instill in my children confidence, faith in Christ and loving hearts. I have to admit, my words did not always match my intent, and taming my tongue was one of the most important lessons God worked in my heart. I hear conversations in a whole new dimension now and am amazed at how easily the tongue trips up even the most faithful of believers.
Here are some of the most recent messages I’ve heard delivered to children by loving parents:
Stop being so whiny.… continue reading
By Amy Joob, On Emotions Column
As I hustled and bustled about town preparing for Christmas and mentally checking things off, I began to ponder all the expenses of this time of year. Not only do you have the regular bills, but then we add all the holiday activities, gift giving and travel and the unexpected things that happen, like your dryer breaking and car repairs.
I know for a number of years my mantra was, “work harder and all will be well.” I nearly worked my fanny off in the modeling and auto show industry zigzagging across the country and taking as many jobs as possible. I would count how many days I worked in a row (record is 42) or how many bookings I could squeeze in in one day (record is 3).
While our culture here in America praises this kind of work ethic, what does God really think?… continue reading
Below is a sample from our Powerline365 devotional for parents of teens. This is a daily devotion that can be delivered to your inbox every day for a full year. Or, if you like what you read, we’d love to gift you with a 30-day FREE trial.
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Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV
I am a people pleaser. As a firstborn, I come by it honestly. I was the “good girl” growing up, always conscious of what I was doing and whom it might affect. Now, I am not saying this is the worst trait to have as a teen, but after coming to understand Galatians 1:10, it’s definitely something I’ve talked to my teens about.… continue reading
By Steve Repak, the On Family Money Matters Column
Luke 13:3 (ESV) “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
As I think of the word repent, terms that come to mind are “to see the error of my ways”, “to feel regret”, “to atone for”. If you really want to transform into a “New You” there really isn’t a choice but to change the way you think, the way you feel, and most importantly the things you do. Before I go on about change as it relates to finances, I want to let you know that I would rather you be spiritually rich and financially broke than vice versa but I also believe that God wants you to be a good steward of what He has given you no matter how much or maybe not so much it may be. My intentions for the article are not to make you feel bad, imply that you are a bad person or make you think that you are doing anything wrong.… continue reading