“Y” You, Of Course!
We have come to the end of our series where we’ve taken one letter each month from the word PURITY and explored ways to inspire purity in our teens.
We started with the letter P and how it stood for the Privilege we have to offer Protection to our teens. If you remember, I didn’t mean protection in the way the world means it (birth control or STD prevention). No, I meant the kind of protection that God gives us as our Father just like Psalm 91:4 speaks of. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
The way we can offer this protection to our teens is to be proactive in their lives instead of waiting until something happens that requires a reaction out of us. We also must protect their eyes and ears from garbage that will trash their purity.
We also talked about the Six U’s of inspiring purity, which were:
- being Unified with your spouse and other support people on the subject of purity
- bringing teens under your Umbrella of protection
- offering Unending love and support
- allowing U-turns
- being User-friendly
- Unlocking their potential to change the world around them
We chatted about the letter R and how it stands for our Responsibility to inspire purity when parenting teens. We can’t stop our teenagers from going down the wrong path but we can put up road blocks, “slow down, there’s a BUMP IN THE ROAD” signs, caution lights, and bright beacons to light the correct way. Keeping the lines of communication open with them and making sure they know it’s safe to talk to you about the things they’ve seen and heard, is a good place to start. Taking responsibility for your own actions and thoughts and working toward purity in your life is essential.
The I in purity stood for Integrity! Specifically, sexual integrity. We’ve got to have it if we want our teens to have it. We have to be above reproach and try to be one step ahead of Satan if we’re going to be an example of sexual integrity for our teens. If you have a daughter that is preparing for college, I recommend this eye-opening book by Megan Byrd: Between Us Girls: Navigating College Life as a Christian Woman \.
Then last month we came to the T in purity. We talked about Treasuring your Time with your teens. Spending time with your teens can change their lives and it can change yours.
So now we get to the Y in purity. And it stands for YOU, of course. Whether you know it or not you really and truly are the most important person in your teen’s life aside from God—if you let yourself be.
Have you ever seen a nature program that shows animals that have lost their parents? They immediately become targets for the predators that lurk around in the bushes. I remember watching National Geographic one day years ago and it showed Cheetah kittens hiding in the bushes while their mother went out to hunt. She placed them there away from their den because she knew predators would look there first. They instinctively knew to stay put until she returned. But this one little kitten didn’t do as he was told. He wandered off. Guess what happened to him? That’s right! A hyena got him. I was so upset! But the truth was: he didn’t stay where his mother placed him. She knew that was the best spot for him.
How many times have we been that way? We’ve known where God wanted us to stay but we’ve strayed. It hurts to learn a lesson the hard way, doesn’t it?
My point in telling you this is to say that we must instruct our children in Godly ways, including their purity, or they will never know where the safe zone is. If they stray, then that’s on their shoulders. But just like a litter of kittens that has no mother at all will become feral in a matter of days, our children will be wild and untrained and out of control without our guidance. It is our responsibility and privilege to be a part of their lives.
You can have an impact on the life of your teens and make a difference in the way they view the world around them and how they view themselves. I want to encourage you to press on toward the goal, like Paul spoke of in Philippians 3:14. It’s hard work but when you embrace your parenting days with everything you’ve got and you parent purposefully, you will plant seeds that will grow and become firmly planted—seeds that are not easily uprooted.
With the holidays nearing, we’ll probably all spend a lot more time with our teens than we normally do. I hope you will take this time to show them your thankfulness for having them in your lives and to pass on some great family traditions that will help them see just how important it is to remain close to YOU!