Earlier this month I blogged for the teens about understanding exactly what it means to be pure. Feel free to hop on over and check it out. I felt it was important for them to know what purity means since we’re spending so much time on the subject in this column.
This month for parents, since we’re focusing on the letter U in purity, I want to discuss the 6 U’s of inspiring purity in your teens.
There are a lot of words that start with U. You might be surprised at how many there are. I spent some time in my thesaurus looking for the perfect word to focus on this month and was unable to narrow it down to one. So that’s why we’re going to focus on six U words. But I’m also going to sprinkle in a lot more of them for effect.
Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
In order to inspire purity in your teens, you and your spouse must be unified on the subject. This includes making decisions about clothing, music, and other lifestyle patterns. It is a big undertaking and it’s important to have an undivided team working toward this goal. Your spouse may be unfamiliar with the importance of purity in today’s world. This would be a good time to acquaint him with the facts and statistics.
If you’re divorced, this step might be a little bit harder for you because you may not have an ex who agrees with inspiring purity. He may undermine what you’re trying to accomplish. You may be fighting an uphill battle but it’s not unrealistic to achieve success in this area. Ask the Lord to help you and your spouse/ex-spouse/grandparents to come together for an uninterrupted time of raising Godly, pure teens.
Just like when it rains, raising pure teens means bringing them under your umbrella of protection—like the mother hen who covers her chicks with her feathers. If our teens go out into the world (to school, work, friends’ homes, college, etc.) unguarded and unprotected, they will not return unscathed or unharmed. We are not living in the 50s when everyone was expected to behave and be virtuous. The world assumes (and maybe even expects) that your teens live sexually active lifestyles. Unless we tell them that our expectations and hopes for their lives are different than the world, how can we unleash the power that has been placed within them to remain pure and to influence their friends to remain pure? Remember, the protection we give them reflects the protection God gives us.
Psalm 5:11 says, “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”
Unending love and support –
We must, first and foremost, let our teens know that we love them. That love must remain unconditional and unchanging no matter what we may face. Our support must also be unstoppable and unparalleled. Remember, the world offers love and support to teens every day in the form of sex, drugs, alcohol, porn, gangs and more. We want them to turn to us first so that we can show them the unfailing love of the Father.
Job 4:4 says, “Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.”
Allow them. God does. Whenever your teen makes a mistake (and she will) remember what forgiveness is all about. Look at her through the eyes of God. Don’t let her feel unworthy of your love and support. Remind her that she is welcome back underneath your umbrella. Mistakes may appear to be the undoing of everything you’ve worked towards as a parent. Do not let Satan have the victory. Don’t let him unravel your family unit. When an unplanned event happens with your teen, grab hold of the opportunity to show grace. Guide her back onto the path she needs to walk on.
John 1:16 says, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.”
Be it! I’m not saying you need to dress in teen clothing or talk like a teenager. (In fact, please don’t.) You don’t need to dance around like GaGa or Bieber (I’m not saying not to though, haha!). But you do need to be ready, willing and able to listen to what your teens want to talk about—even if it doesn’t interest you. This will be unforgettable to your teen when she needs to be upfront with you about something that may be uncomfortable and unpleasant for her to talk about. But once she unloads what’s on her heart and you uplift her in a user-friendly fashion, she’ll return to you repeatedly. Hopefully, she will feel comfortable enough to talk to you about something instead of seeking the advice of her friends who may lead her into an unhealthy and unsuitable activity.
Your teen has the potential to change the world around her. When she glows with unmistakable purity, people will be drawn to her. There will come a time when you have to sail in the uncharted waters of “letting go” of your teen. I’ve been there. It’s not easy. But when you see these amazing children of God step out and do what is unpopular among most people their age, unblemished, undaunted, and united with others like them, you can rejoice in the Lord above that the quest was worth the effort!
Let’s unveil the true potential in our teens by starting first with inspiring purity in them!
Sherri Wilson Johnson
Sherri Wilson Johnson is an inspirational romance novelist, speaker, former homeschooling mom, and women's ministry leader who loves to share God with others while sharing her life experiences with them. She loves to laugh and make others laugh, and she's passionate about purity and sexual integrity and living on a shoestring. Sherri is available to speak to audiences of teen girls, college girls, women, and homeschool moms at conferences, retreats, or women's ministry events throughout the U.S. Topics include marriage, dating, sex, purity, modesty, living on a budget, writing, and grief. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More and Song of the Meadowlark as well as an upcoming novel with Choose NOW Pubishing. www.sherriwilsonjohnson.com
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