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21 ways to win your teen’s
love and admiration

Mother or toddler—
Who’s the teacher here?

Key events of the future at a
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Enterprise Way ist Mark Twain (1835–1910) recalled, “my father was so igno-
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I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in
(07801) 442–317 seven years.” His father would probably tell the story differently!
This seems to be a timeless truth: Raising teenagers could be
Activated Africa the greatest challenge most parents ever face. Even with 12 years
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083 55 68 213 is happening to their children. But other parents see the need,
redouble their commitment, search out solutions to their teens’
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P.O. Box 5215
Being a parent of teens isn’t easy, but any parent can get
Bangalore – 560 001 all the help they need, one day and one problem at a time, if
India they know where to turn. God, who made us all, also set up the system by which we grow and mature—and He doesn’t make
mistakes. He knows what each of us need at each stage of our
Keith Phillips
lives and equips us accordingly.
So if you’re a parent and are finding it increasingly difficult to
meet your growing children’s needs, turn to the One who cannot
Doug Calder, Giselle Le Favre
fail. For every problem, He has a solution. For every question, He
has the answer. For every seemingly insurmountable obstacle, He
Doug Calder
will make a way over, around, or through. For every sacrifice you
PRODUCTION will ever make for your children, He has a reward waiting. He
Francisco Lopez loves you and your children, and He’s always there for you.
May 2004 Keith Phillips
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Unless otherwise indicated, all
Scripture quotations in Activated are
from the New King James Version of the
Bible © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
When other versions are quoted, some
typographical changes have been made
for the sake of clarity and uniformity.

2 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5

What a parent’s love can do

A partially deaf boy came home When he was a teenager, Jim

from school one day carrying a note worked for a grocer in Hamilton,
from officials at the school. The note Missouri. He liked the work and had
suggested that the parents take the plans to make a career of it. One night
boy out of school, claiming that he he came home and proudly told his
was “too stupid to learn.” family about his sly employer. The
The boy’s mother read the note and grocer had a practice of mixing low
said, “My son Tom isn’t ‘too stupid to quality coffee with the expensive
learn.’ I’ll teach him myself.” And so brand and thus increasing his profit.
she did. Jim laughed as he told the story at the
When Tom supper table.
died many His father didn’t see anything funny
years later, the about the practice. “Tell me,” he said,
people of the “if the grocer found someone palm-
United States ing off an inferior article on him for
of America the price of the best, do you think he
paid tribute to would think they were just being sly,
him by turning and laugh about it?”
off the nation’s Jim could see his father was dis-
lights for one appointed in him. “I guess not,” he
full minute. replied. “I guess I just didn’t think
You see, this about it that way.”
Tom had Jim’s father instructed him to go
invented the to the grocer the next day and collect
light bulb—and not only that, but also whatever money was due him and tell
motion pictures and the record player. the grocer he wouldn’t be working for
In all, Thomas Edison had more than him any longer. Jobs were not plenti-
one thousand patents to his credit. ful in Hamilton, but Jim’s father would
—GOD’S LITTLE DEVOTIONAL BOOK FOR MOMS rather his son be unemployed than
*** associated with a crooked business-
“My mother was the making of me. man.
She was so true and so sure of me, I J.C. Penny came that close to
felt that I had someone to live for— becoming a grocer. Instead he
someone I must not disappoint. The founded the retail chain that still
memory of my mother will always be bears his name. He shares the secret
a blessing to me.” of his success in the title of his auto-
—THOMAS A. EDISON (1847–1931) biography: Fifty Years with the Golden

“Go home and love your family.”


activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 3

SUCCESS with teens 21

There’s no question about it. Raising

teenagers is one of life’s special
challenges. The teen years are difficult,
Accept your changing role.

and often teens will “share” those
difficulties with those living around The transition from childhood to
them. young adulthood is so gradual
that many parents don’t see the need
Their sometimes crusty, disrespectful, to stop treating their teens like children
or rebellious exteriors can be until it’s long overdue. Teens are in
intimidating and leave parents in a state the process of discovering their own
of shocked confusion, wondering where personalities, abilities, and goals, and
they went wrong. This is when many separating themselves to a greater
parents, not knowing how to try to help extent from their parents is part of that
their teens, pull back. That’s a tragic process. Teens want to be treated as
mistake, because all the while, inside, emerging adults and respected for the
their teens are desperate for direction, individuals they are. In their quest for
encouragement, love‚ support, independence, teens put up their guard
understanding, and guidance. Teens against their parents’ “parenting.” If you
have an intense need to feel secure can learn to treat your teens as friends
and loved unconditionally. They need to when appropriate, they’ll be much more
know someone notices their problems likely to drop their guard.
and is concerned enough to help them
at any cost. It’s not an easy ride by any
Put yourself in your teen’s

COMPILED FROM means‚ but parents who hang on and
keep loving and reaching out to their place. Feelings of insecurity
MARIA FONTAINE AND teens are far more likely to see them are normal during the teen
DEREK AND MICHELLE through to victory than those who take years. Teens are no longer children,
BROOKES a less active role. but neither are they fully adults.
Here are 21 tried and true ways to Their bodies are going through huge
improve your relationship with your changes, and their emotions and
teen. hormones are running wild. They are
4 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5
ways to win your teen’s love and admiration

learning to handle more independence

Respect your teen. Respect is
and the responsibility that comes
with it, and they face decisions and
pressures they’ve never faced before.
Remembering these things should
4 a sign of faith. When teens are
having a hard time having faith
in themselves, a little respect can
boost their confidence, spur them on,
help you to not take their emotional
and help them succeed. Conversely, if
and verbal outbursts personally. If you
they think you don’t have faith in them,
sincerely try to empathize, you’ll gain a
they’ll be much more likely to give up
better understanding of them and their
before reaching their potential.
problems and they will feel they have
an ally in you.
Don’t tease or belittle. When

Keep your cool. Don’t allow
yourself to be offended by some
of the outlandish things they
5 your teen is feeling vulnerable—
which is most of the time—he
or she is likely to take things said in
Inside, teens
are desperate
jest personally and consider it ridicule for direction,
say or do. Sometimes teens say and
rather than innocent fun.
do odd things just to see what kind
of reaction they’ll get. Sometimes
they’re trying to express what’s going Be positive and supportive.

love‚ support,
on inside, but don’t know how or don’t Most teens feel inferior in some
understand themselves. Other times way or another, and their negative understanding,
they’re simply being self-centered, as view of themselves often spills over into
teens tend to be. Your getting upset their actions. Try to remain consistently and guidance.
or expressing shock or horror will only positive and supportive in your
make matters worse. Learn to roll with reactions. You can’t gloss over serious
the punches. If your teens know you problems or wrongdoing, of course,
will try to understand and sympathize but you can put a positive spin on
when they vent themselves, they will almost any situation by talking mostly in
feel safe around you. terms of solutions and lessons behind
activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 5
them, rather than expressing conversation—especially teens. than their parents. No other
anger or disappointment. When teens confide in you, investment will form stronger
Dwelling on the positive is a they like to know that what they bonds between parent and teen
sign of unconditional love, which say will be kept as confidential or pay higher dividends.
counteracts low self-esteem. as possible. It may seem like a
Praise your teen every chance small matter to you, but it may
Admit your own
you get.

Avoid unnecessary
be a very big matter to them.
Betray their confidence, and
it will probably be a long time
12 shortcomings.
Teens hate double
standards. It takes humility to

7 rules. Too many rules

and restrictions can cause
almost any teen to rebel. At
before they confide in you again.

Pray. Whenever
admit your shortcomings and to
apologize when you’ve made
a mistake or you’ve hurt your
the same time, some rules are
needed because it’s unwise to
give your teen complete free
10 you aren’t sure
what to say or how
to react when your teen is
teens, but being honest about
your own faults and failures will
help your teens be honest and
rein. When you feel a new rule having a problem, pray. Send open with you about theirs. It
is necessary, try to discuss and up a silent prayer for wisdom, will help you and them put their
decide together, rather than asking the Lord to give you His problems in perspective.
dictate. Explain your reasoning, understanding and solutions.
hear your teen out, and get his
or her agreement on the terms Have a
and consequences for breaking
the rule, as much as possible. 13 sense of
There’s a time to be
serious and focus
Give your teen

8 responsibility. Teens
need guidelines, but they
also want to be independent and
on long-term goals,
but there’s also a
time to lighten up.
Teens admire adults
feel trusted. Trust your teen with
who know how to
adult responsibilities, and he
have fun and enjoy
or she will try harder to act like
life. Just make
an adult. A wise person once
sure your humor is
said, “Treat people as though
in good taste and
they were what they ought to
not at someone
be, and you help them become
Spend time together. else’s expense, because teens
what they are capable of being.”
Your teens will make mistakes,
as everyone does, but when
they see that doesn’t diminish
11 Many parents spend
a lot less time with
their teens than they did when
emulate adults whom they

their children were younger.

your love and faith in them, they
That seems natural since teens Express your love.
will keep trying and eventually
need less supervision than
children and teens want to
assert their independence, but
14 Teens may not like
to be kissed and
cuddled the way they did when
Earn their confidence it’s often a mistake. Teens need they were younger, but we never

9 by being confidential.
Teenagers are sensitive
about the things they are going
lots of support, guidance, and
fresh challenges. They need
someone to coach, mentor, and
outgrow our need to feel loved.
Try not to let a day go by without
you putting your love for your
through. No one likes to be the teach them, and no one is in a teen into words and backing up
subject of gossip or careless better position to meet that need those words with actions.

6 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5

convinced of your love and Be willing to change.

Listen. Every teen

15 needs a confidant—a
true friend they
know they can trust with their
readiness to forgive and forget
and start anew.
You may need to
work on changing a
few habits or the way you react
innermost secrets. Teens have to things. Why not let this be the
Have conviction. If
so many things going on inside
that it can be quite confusing,
yet often they’re afraid to
talk about it for fear of being
18 you’re not careful,
parental pride,
emotional attachments, and
motivation you need to get out
of the rut you’ve been in, or to
make changes in areas you’ve
known for a while that you need
the instinctive desire to protect
misunderstood, ridiculed, or to? It’s often easier to change for
your child can cause you to
considered naive. Take time to someone else’s sake than solely
give in‚ go easy, pull back, or
hear them out. They need to our own. What better reason
run to the rescue at the wrong
feel that someone understands could you have to strive to be
time. You may even feel their
(but avoid “when I was your a better person in every way?
anger, frustration, and rebellion
age” responses, which most Seize it!
as your own. That’s when
teens hate to hear). A common
it’s important to remember
mistake parents make is not
that your teen is learning to
listening long enough and
exercise good judgment, and
therefore jumping to the wrong
that whether or not they act
conclusions. Rather than
like it, they will take their cues
“showing them the light,” gently
from you. If you don’t have
guide them to come to the right
the conviction to do what is
conclusions themselves as they
right, despite some unpleasant
articulate how they feel.
consequences, chances are
they won’t either. Sometimes
Befriend your teen’s “tough love” is the best love.

16 friends. Show a
sincere interest in
your teen’s friends. Look for
Teens are very idealistic and
will respect you more if you
stand up for your convictions,
the best in them, and they will even when it’s hard on them or
probably consider you the coolest they don’t agree, than if you’re
parent they know. Then don’t be too lenient.
surprised if your house becomes
Point them to

the main hangout for your teen
Be genuine. Jesus. The teen

and his or her circle of friends.
The noise level and food bill may Teenagers can years are turbulent
go up, but the trade-off in knowing smell a fake a mile times. It’s like being lost at sea
where they are and what they’re away! Even if you’re sincerely in a small boat during a storm.
doing will be worth it. trying to relate to them, if you’re Be a lighthouse, pointing your
trying too hard and laying it on teens to the safe harbor—Jesus.
Forgive and forget. too thick, they won’t take you No matter how much you love

17 Face it—your teens

will make mistakes
for which they will need to ask
seriously. The secret is to be
natural. Teens don’t want to be
patronized or cajoled, but they
your teens, Jesus alone can
answer their deepest questions
and meet the deepest needs
and receive forgiveness. Like do want friends—people they of their spirit. You’re not their
the rest of us, teens often feel know they can count on and feel Savior; Jesus is. You can’t be
they can’t confess their mistakes comfortable with. If you accept with them every second or
or wrongdoing because they them the way they are, they will rescue them from everything,
will forever be labeled by their feel comfortable around you and but you can point them to the
mistakes. They need to be accept you the way you are. One who can. ◊

activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 7

BY RUTH CORTEJOS We parents want our children to Natalie. They’re her favorites.” She
be liked and get along well with other held up three or four cards from the
children. I certainly did when my Go Fish game.
first child, Danae, was beginning to I tried to explain that I didn’t want
play with other kids. I tried to teach her to give them away because then
her how to interact lovingly, and she our set wouldn’t be complete, but
did well in most Danae persisted. “But I really want
aspects—making her to have them!”
friends, not Again I tried to explain. “Danae,
fighting, being these cards belong to our Go Fish
considerate and game. If you give them to Natalie, we
helpful, and even won’t have them anymore and the set
letting me play will be missing pieces.”
with the other “That’s okay, Mommy, because I
children. Teach- have the other cards.”
ing her to share I thought perhaps she didn’t under-
her toys was the stand that when she gave something
biggest chal- away, it was gone for good, so I tried
lenge. again to dissuade her. “If you give
To give her those to Natalie, you can’t go and ask
more opportuni- for them back tomorrow. Once you
Danae (left) and friend, Natalie ties to learn this, give them to her, they’ll be hers.”
we started inviting other children her A look of concern came over
age over to play. That small step was Danae’s face. For a moment I was
the key to helping Danae discover that happy that she seemed to understand.
it’s fun to share with others—a lesson Then she smiled and said, “Well,
I needed to brush up on myself, as it that’s okay, I want her to have them
turned out. anyway.”
My daughter One evening Danae had invited a What could I say to that? I sat qui-
friend, Natalie, to play with her. Nata- etly for a moment and prayed. Then
taught me a lie was one of her more frequent play- it came to me: I had been trying for
mates, and their favorite thing to play so long to teach her to share, and now
lesson that
with was the brightly illustrated deck that she had learned that important
day, and it’s of cards from a children’s card game lesson, I was trying to stop her. What
called Go Fish. Although the girls were was I doing? I was just about to make
one that I still too young to follow all the rules and a very stupid mistake! What did it
play the game as intended, they liked matter that our Go Fish game would
get tested on.
looking at the pictures and finding the be incomplete? It could be replaced,
ones that matched. if need be. What mattered was that
That evening, after Natalie my daughter was learning the joy of
left, Danae came to me and said, giving, that she was thinking about
“Mommy, I’d like to give these to others instead of herself, that she was
8 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5
trying to make her friend happy. Isn’t thought is often how I can talk them
that what life is all about? out of it, but when I stop to think
My daughter taught me a lesson about it, I always come to the same
that day, and it’s one that I still get realization: Things are not forever,
tested on. I now have three children, but children are. The values I instill in
and fairly often one of them will come my children today will be part of who
to me with a toy or stuffed animal they are tomorrow. ◊
in their hands and say they want to
give it to one of their friends. My first RUTH CORTEJOS IS A FULL-TIME VOLUNTEER

A Parent’s Prayer
h, heavenly Father, make Reduce, I pray, the meanness
me a better parent. Teach in me. And when I am out of
me to understand my chil- sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my
dren, to listen patiently to what tongue.
they have to say, and to answer May I ever be mindful that my
all their questions kindly. Keep me children are children and I should
from interrupting them or contra- not expect of them the judgment
dicting them. Make me as cour- of adults.
teous to them as I would have them Let me not rob them of the
be to me. Forbid that I should ever opportunity to wait on themselves
laugh at their mistakes, or resort and to make decisions.
to shame or ridicule when they Bless me with the bigness to
displease me. May I never punish grant them all their reasonable
them for my own selfish satisfac- requests, and the courage to deny
tion or to show my power. them privileges I know will do
Let me not tempt my child to them harm.
lie or steal. And guide me hour by Make me fair and just and kind.
hour that I may demonstrate by all And fit me, O Lord, to be loved and
I say and do that honesty produces respected and imitated by my chil-
happiness. dren. Amen.

activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 9

Endtime Timeline 6

1 2 3 4
➤ 30 days (?) ➤ ➤
➤ ➤ ➤
3 ½ years ➤ 3 ½ years ➤
=1260 days (Revelation 11:3; 12:6)

sacrifice 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) ➤
begins ➤ 1335 days (Daniel 12:12)
➤ 2300 days (Daniel 8:13–14)
➤ Antichrist’s 7–year reign ➤
1. SIGNS OF THE TIMES reign, the Antichrist breaks the the Antichrist, even as martyrs
Happenings that Jesus said covenant (Daniel 9:27b), abol- (Revelation 11:3,5–6; 12:11).
would signal His return and the ishes all religious worship (Revela-
end of the world as we know it tion 13:7–8), and declares himself 6. NUCLEAR WAR
are taking place today (Matthew God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). At some point, possibly toward
chapter 24). the end of the Great Tribulation,
5. GREAT TRIBULATION the Antichrist and 10 “kings”
2. RISE OF THE The final three and a half years who have joined forces with
ANTICHRIST of his reign is the time of great- him will destroy “Babylon, the
A Devil-possessed man known est trouble the world has ever great whore” in a final judgment
as the Antichrist conspires to experienced (Matthew 24:21). (Revelation 17:12–13,16–17;
lead an anti-God world govern- The Antichrist government 18:2,7–8).
ment (Daniel 8:23–25; 11:21,24; demands that the entire world
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4). worship the Antichrist and his 7. THE RAPTURE
“image”—which could be a com- At the end of the final three and
3. CONFIRMING OF THE puterized robot—and persecutes a half years, Jesus returns to
COVENANT those who refuse (Revelation rescue His children out of this
The Antichrist is welcomed as a 13:11–15). A mandatory eco- world and they receive new
savior when he initiates a seven- nomic system is put in place, by immortal bodies (Matthew 24:
year agreement, or covenant, which everyone is compelled to 29-31; Revelation 1:7).
that temporarily brings a mea- receive the “mark of the Beast”
sure of peace and security to (Revelation 13:16–18). Mean- 8. MARRIAGE OF THE
the world (Daniel 9:27a). This while, God lets loose pestilences LAMB
signals the start of the last seven and plagues on the Antichrist In Heaven, Jesus unites with
years of man’s rule on earth. and his followers (Revelation those He rescued in the Rap-
chapter 8; 9:1–11; 11:3–6), and ture, and at the Judgment Seat
4. BREAKING OF THE God’s two special Endtime of Christ rewards His faithful
COVENANT prophets lead the believers in children with eternal “crowns of
Halfway through his seven-year performing miracles and defying life” (Revelation 19:7–9; 2:10).

10 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5


45 days(?) ➤

(75 days) ➤ 1,000 years ➤ 13
9 sanctuary GREAT WHITE

9. WRATH OF GOD During this time the Devil, who 13. THE GREAT WHITE
The horrific plagues of the great plagued humankind throughout THRONE JUDGMENT
“wrath of God” are poured upon history and possessed the Anti- The unsaved of all ages are
the Antichrist and his forces christ, is bound and cast into resurrected, stand in judg-
(Revelation 11:18; 14:9–10; the bottom less pit (Revelation ment before God’s throne, are
16:1–11). 20:1–3), while those who survive rewarded or punished accord-
the cataclysms surrounding ing to their works, and assigned
10. THE BATTLE OF Armageddon live on in a simpler to their places in the hereafter
ARMAGEDDON but righteous world ruled by (Revelation 20:11–13; 2 Peter 3:
On a plain in northern Israel, the love (Isaiah 2:4; Revelation 2: 9; 1 Timothy 2:4; ).
Antichrist musters his armies for 26; 20:4–6).
his greatest campaign against 14. THE HEAVENLY CITY
the nations that still oppose 12. THE BATTLE OF GOG AND THE NEW EARTH
him, but Jesus and His heavenly AND MAGOG God’s great heavenly city
army, including the resurrected At the end of the Millennium, descends to the re-created
believers from throughout the Satan is released from the bot- earth, and God and Jesus dwell
ages, return to earth to utterly tomless pit for a “little season” in the city with the saved (Rev-
destroy the Antichrist and his and recruits followers who form elation chapters 21–22).
forces (Revelation 16:12–16; an open rebellion against Jesus
19:11–21). and His government—a rebel-
lion that is obliterated in the For more detailed explanations
11. THE MILLENNIUM Battle of Gog and Magog . The of soon coming Endtime events,
The earth is restored (Isaiah entire surface of the earth is order The Future Foretold from
11:6–9; 14:7; 65:25; Hosea 2: re-created, and the Devil, along the Activated desk nearest
18), and Jesus and His saints with death and Hell, is cast into you (addresses on page 2),
set up the kingdom of Heaven “the lake of fire” (Revelation or visit the Activated Web site:
on earth, where they rule for 6:14; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation
1,000 years (Daniel 2:44; 20:7–10; 21:1).
7:18, 22,27; Revelation 5:10).

activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 11

ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS Bridging the Generation Gap
Q: Things
changed so
much since
I was grow-
ing up that
I don’t
even know
where to
start in
to and
helping my
How can I
bridge the

How far would you go in school? What

A: The world has changed a lot in would you do when you grew up? Who
the last generation. On the surface, the would you marry? How could anyone ever
generation gap appears to be widening, want to marry you?
but appearances can be deceiving. Inter- You probably didn’t understand what
generational differences are manifested was happening at the time, and your
differently from generation to genera- daughter probably doesn’t understand
tion, but the core issue remains the same: it now, but it’s the process of discover-
teenagers’ God-given need to find their ing yourself and establishing your own
place in life. identity.
To better relate to your daughter, try to At this stage in their lives, teens look
To better
remember how you felt at her age. If you to their peers and parents for clues. They
relate to your were a typical teen, you felt awkward and constantly compare themselves with their
unattractive in your constantly changing peers to determine where they fit in, and
daughter, try body. Every pimple or bad hair day was a they scrutinize their parents’ attitudes,
to remember life-altering crisis. You worried about how lifestyle, and values to determine whether
you fit in with your friends. You compared they want to be like their parents when
how you felt yourself negatively with others in your they become adults.
class who were more beautiful, smarter, The teen years are when most children
at her age.
more popular, or seemingly more self- become at least a little rebellious. After
confident. You faced bigger decisions all, how can they establish their own
than you had ever faced before, and knew identities without cutting loose from their
that even bigger decisions loomed ahead: parents? Many parents make a difficult

12 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5

situation harder by overreacting to their times be downright ornery and unlovable
teens’ rebelliousness, which nearly always to underscore the point. But more often
leads to greater rebellion and a deeper than not, whether the teens realize it or
rift between the generations. not, what they’re really doing is testing
The wise parent will accept that a cer- their parents’ love. They seek affirmations
tain amount of rebelliousness is natural, of their parents’ love, because love is an
and will understand that many of the indication of value, and teens need to
outward changes they don’t like in their feel they have value. Parents who dem-
teen—the outlandish clothes or hairstyle, onstrate unswerving love for their teens
the dreadful music, etc.—are all part of through thick and thin give their teens
the separation process. the validation they so desperately want
The wise parent also understands that and need.
experimentation is a necessary part of It takes great love, patience, and self-
growing up, and that not every experi- control on the part of the parents to
ment is going to be a success. On his loosen their grip and let their teens go
way to inventing the light bulb, Thomas through the growing up process. It also
Edison tried hundreds of combinations takes faith—faith in their teens; faith that
of materials that didn’t work before he the values they tried to instill in their chil-
struck on one that did. Like Edison, most dren when they were younger will now
teens will recognize what isn’t working guide them to make the right choices;
and move on to something else. Allow and faith in God, who created the pro-
your teen latitude to experiment, within cess. This last point is where parents who
bounds. “Nothing harmful to yourself or believe in the power of prayer and have
others, and nothing illegal” makes a good a personal connection with God through
starting point. Jesus are at a great advantage; they know
Many parents where to turn when they and their teens
Closely related to experimentation is
make a difficult the issue of self-control. Many teens lack need help.
self-control, mainly because they don’t Another thing that works to believing
situation harder see any reason for it. They like to have parents’ advantage is the fact that more
fun, they enjoy their greater indepen- people accept Jesus during their teen
by overreacting
dence, and they’re learning by trial and years than at any other time. Teens, in
to their teens’ error. It’s often not until they experience general, are seekers—pilgrims in search
the consequences of poor decisions that of truth and the meaning of life. If you
rebelliousness, or someone else can lead your daugh-
they learn self-control—but wasn’t it that
which nearly way for you? ter to Jesus—”the way, the truth, and
While teens want to be their own the life” (John 14:6)—He can put things
always leads person, they’re generally insecure in that in perspective for her like no one else.
to greater new role. It’s a bit like standing at the top He can give her unconditional love and
of a high diving board for the first time: acceptance. He can give her peace in her
rebellion and They’re about to take the plunge into heart. He can give her answers as she
adulthood and wonder if they’ll survive learns to take her problems to Him in
a deeper rift
the impact. prayer.
between the Nothing counters that insecurity like And once you and your daughter share
unconditional love. Teens often act like a strong, living faith, you’ll have more in
generations. they don’t want or need their parents’ common than ever before. Jesus is the
love and support, and they can some- ultimate bridge for the generation gap! ◊

activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 13


BY SARA KELLEY One of the most important things to ensure they stay close is by setting
we can spend on children is time. It aside one hour after dinner as official
seems we parents often need to be family time and making sure it’s qual-
reminded of that important principle. ity time. During this hour, the parents
When our days are busy and our agree to not disturb one another with
children are in school throughout the any other business. That way, the chil-
day, the short amount of time fami- dren know they can count on having
lies have together in the evening and their parents’ full attention.
on holidays and weekends should Whether it’s an hour or more, it’s up
be cherished and guarded as special to each of us parents to make a con-
“family time.” That’s our chance to scious effort to put aside our work and
show our children just how important other concerns and give our children
and special they are to us. our 100 percent. It may be inconve-
How we spend our time together nient or seem a sacrifice, but if we will
Family time and how much time we spend be consistent and put the necessary
together should be important to effort into it, it will make a noticeable,
will make a
parents and children alike. However, positive difference in their lives and
noticeable, it’s really up to us parents to make this our kids will love us for it!
time both fun and worthwhile for the To make family time all it can be,
positive kids. One thing that shows kids that get involved with your children. Don’t
they’re special to their parents is when just do the same thing separately
difference in
the parents make sure those times in the same room—like watching
our kids lives together are not interrupted. TV—but get on their level and talk
In many homes, the first time of the with them, make conversation, find
and they will day the whole family gets together is out what they’re thinking. Step out
at dinnertime. Dinner conversation of your adult world into their world.
love us for it!
is good, but it’s not enough. Some Have fun. Relax. Learn to really enjoy
parents with strong bonds with their your children.
children have found that the best way If you have both younger and older
14 activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5
children, you will probably want to
do different activities with each age
group. Perhaps one evening Mom
can play with or read to the younger
children, while Dad does a special art
or carpentry project with the older
Maturation is an on-
ones, or helps them with their home-
work. Then the next night the parents going process.
can switch roles. Or if you’re a single Philippians 3:12–13
parent, you may need to spend time Honesty pays 2 Peter 1:5–10
with the younger ones first and the One father confessed that he hadn’t
older ones after the younger ones are realized how dishonest he’d been with Our speech and actions
in bed. The point is to spend some his son until he learned a hard lesson. reveal the level of our
quality time with each one. His son received a very low grade in maturity.
If one of your children has a special Proverbs 9:6
English. In spite of scoldings and extra
aptitude or talent, such as typing, Proverbs 15:2
study, it seemed the boy simply could Proverbs 29:11
art, or playing a musical instrument, not bring up his grade. One day he said Ecclesiastes 10:12–13
family time can be a great opportu- to his father, “I guess when you went to James 3:2
nity to help develop this talent and school you got all A’s in English.”
provide parental support at the same We become mature
“What makes you say that?” the
time. (Be sure your other children when we learn to
father asked.
don’t feel slighted.) take responsibility
“Well, if you didn’t do well,” said the
The main key to success is to have for ourselves and
son, “you wouldn’t scold me the way
ideas planned out and organized in others.
you do.”
advance. You don’t need lots of special Lamentations 3:27
skills or fancy equipment to keep your The way he had corrected his son
Romans 14:12
kids happy and challenged at family was a misrepresentation of the truth. Galatians 6:2
time. Just as your children are very “No, the fact is that I had a really hard Philippians 2:12
special to you, you are very special time with English,” the father replied.
to them. Spending time with you is “Especially spelling.” Steppingstones to
what will mean the most and have From that moment on the boy did maturity:
the greatest lasting effect. Give it your better, freed from the impression that Proverbs 20:11
best shot, and you and your children he was inferior and a failure. Seeing Proverbs 23:24–25
can all look forward to family time as that his dad had the same problems, 1 Corinthians 13:11
Ephesians 4:14
a chance to do your favorite things but succeeded, gave him hope.
Titus 2:4b,6
with your favorite people! ◊ —ANONYMOUS
2 Timothy 2:22
1 John 2:13b–14

Spiritual maturity
depends on our
connection with the
Lord and His Word.
Psalm 16:8
Daniel 11:32b
Matthew 13:3–8,18–23
John 15:4–5
1 Timothy 4:15–16
2 Timothy 3:15–17
activated VOL 5, ISSUE 5 15

Parenting through prayer

It’s not easy raising children in today’s world. Many of the godly values that you want to encourage in
your children are constantly being attacked by others who are going the opposite direction. You worry
that even your best efforts will fail and that your children will turn their backs on the values you hold
dear. I know you’re tempted sometimes to give up, but don’t. Your concern and care are not in vain.
There’s only so much that you can do, even though you try your best. But I’m capable of doing much
more than you ever could, and I am here to help. I also understand your children even better than you
do, and I know how to best handle their problems. I want to work with you to shape your children into
the godly people you and I both want them to become.
Commit your children to Me in prayer. Through
prayer you can be the better parent you want to
be. Through prayer you can help protect your
children from harm and unwholesome influences.
Through prayer you can find My solutions to their
problems. Through your prayers I can do what you
can’t do.
Set aside time each day to pray for your children.
Each time you’re faced with a troublesome issue,
ask Me for the answer. Start today to be a better
parent through prayer. Changes that you haven’t
thought possible will come to pass through the
power of prayer.