Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Helping Teenagers Gouge Out Their Eyes

Monday, October 29, 2007

Helping Teenagers Gouge Out Their Eyes

This is the column I wrote for our church newsletter. I wanted to share this particular month's entry with the Lair readers.

By the time you read this today, our teenagers, and possibly your child, have already experienced multiple attacks by their daily battle with temptation and the evil one. These attacks lurk on the computer desk where the internet is a click away, at the after school get-together in a home without an adult, and in the seemingly innocent, but time destroying game console in your living room. What are adults and parents to do with the alarming number of temptations our teenagers face in a given day?

First, I am absolutely convinced that revival in the church begins with revival in the family. That connection is one I will address another day, but for now the need is imminent for families to worship together. We all fail in this regard. Whether it be an apparent lack of time or the embarrassment of never doing it before, we simply do not meet together in the home with our families to read Scripture, discuss our day, and pray together. The consequences of the absence of family worship are deadly. Start tonight. Call me or stop me in the hall and ask me about resources for family worship. I have a few resources I highly recommend that will get you started.

Second, do not be afraid to help them gouge out their eyes. The reference is of course from Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking in hyperbole and provides instruction in eliminating the potentiality of sin, namely, by cutting off the source of that sin. As crazy as this may sound, your teenager is not entitled to their cell phone, computer, or car. As a parent or guardian, we have a Scriptural admonition to raise our children in the ways that please God. This might very well mean removing some things from your teenager that is causing them to stumble. This should be done with conversation and love. The great English theologian John Owen wrote a small book called “Mortification of Sin.” He describes part of the process of “killing sin” as the determination to identify the steps that eventually lead up to that sin and begin removing or changing those.

Lastly, this is not to suggest that we lock our teenagers in a room so that they can never be tempted. Part of responsibility, growing, and development comes from the experiences teenagers must be allowed to freely go through. Just like us, they will sometimes fail. Our focus here is that we remain in close contact with our teenager so that we are able to discern the areas of need and, when necessary, help them to remove some of the stumbling blocks that might be in their way. All for the Glory of God!


Blogger Barry said...

What a great message! I'm going to see about getting a copy to our youth and their parents, if you don't mind?

October 29, 2007 10:17 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...

Of course, I am happy for you to use the article. I hope it helps.

October 29, 2007 11:57 AM  

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