We live in San Diego, so going to the beach is a common activity. As prudent parents, and now grandparents, we always select beaches with a lifeguard on duty. From their viewpoint in the tower, they have a vantage point that helps them spot dangerous rough waves, hidden under currents or predatory animals that could attack innocent swimmers. Those lifeguards are also on call to help rescue those who might get into troubled waters while at the beach. In short, they are heroes because they protect lives. To succeed they must do a few things well: remain vigilant while on guard, communicate warnings, and respond swiftly to needs.
In the Old Testament, God commanded leaders to be “watchmen on the wall” with very similar duties: In Ezekiel 3:17 God rouses the prophet: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” In !0 Questions Kids Ask About Sex, we explain that YOU, as a caring parent, are like the vigilant watchman.
While we were parents, youth leaders, then pastors working with families, we developed several proven tools that helped our children navigate safely through the ever changing rough waters of culture and the dangerous under currents of societal immorality. Our sons made it safely to shore. They were young men with relationship integrity who have become godly leaders married to godly young women. In addition, families who have used these tools have also seen a much higher rate of seeing their own children make wise relationship and life choices. Here is a list of tools we are very grateful that God allowed us to develop, and since it is back to school time, think of it as easy as A, B, C:[tweetthis]The ABC’s of parenting. #bestdecisionsaparentcanmake[/tweetthis]
A is for Ask: Kids will ask questions, so we parents should have answers. And sometimes, it is we parents who should ask questions of our kids, tweens, teens and college students need to develop answers for. In 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex we prepare your to talk with your kids (pre-school through premarital) giving bullet points and wording to use to explain the “birds and bees” at each age and stage.[tweetthis]Our job is to work ourselves out of a job by preparing our kids for life & passing baton of faith[/tweetthis]
B is for Baton Pass: Our job is to work ourselves out of a job by preparing our kids for life- then passing the baton. Raising a
Modern Day Princess (and Becoming a Modern Day Princess Journal) and for guys, Raising a Modern Day Knight are rite of passage programs churches or parents can use to prepare a young person for adulthood, and mark the moment with a spiritual celebration.
C is for Contracts: Spell things out. In our book 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, we explain how to lay a strong foundation of character using our Learner and Leaders Who Love God contract of privileges and responsibilities, a fun family day accompanied with a gift and prayer each year before school begin. The gift is selected based on three things.
- Practical, something I might have to buy anyway.
- Personal. The child should be able to tell I thought about the gift.
- Prophetic, meaning that it speaks the truth about the uniqueness, the calling or the strength we see God building into each child.
Then, we add in more tools and conversations, year after year. Desire, hormones, love, sex—these topics are much too important to leave to innuendo, guess work or hint! We use a set of agreements to have those very important conversations:
Teen Relationship Contract is an interactive tool with verses on God’s views on managing relationships and sexuality in a wholesome way.
Driving Contract is a series of questions to gain agreement of all the details that come with the privilege of driving.
Media contract helps those as young as 8 thru college make wise choices on use of all types of media.
Education contract helps parents of teens and college students gain unity on the best plan for a young person’s future.
Freshman Foundation is a series of 5 Dinner and dialogue questions covering vital areas a college student needs to take responsibility for to succeed.[tweetthis]God is calling you to be the Lifeguard, the “watchman” , the HERO, over your children’s lives[/tweetthis]
Yes, God is calling you to be the Lifeguard, the “watchman” over your children’s lives, but what is really needed is a host of parents willing to train their own kids to become watchmen—lifeguards—HEROS to their own generation, as well.
Our goal– and YOURS– is to complete the baton handoff, generation after generation:
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! (Psalm 22:30–31).
Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, authors of 40 books on marriage and family including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex. Find out more about their many parenting resources and the Talking to Your Kids About the Birds and Bees seminar at http://www.Love-wise.com