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Oct 10, 2009

Top Five Reason Why Young Men Won't Commit

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Guys today are hanging on to the single life longer than any generation in our history. The median age of first marriage for men has now reached 27, the oldest age in the nation’s history. In a Rutgers University Study titled: Young Men’s Attitudes About Sex, Dating and Marriage, researchers found that that the top 5 reasons men won’t commit to marriage are

  1. They can get easily get sex without marriage
  2. They want to enjoy single life as long as possible
  3. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises
  4. They face few social pressures to marry
  5. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate and she hasn’t yet appeared

Unfortunately too many young men believe that life should emulate a beer commercial and thus, cling to their single life as long as possible. When they finally meet a special woman and decide to commit, they bring a lot a lot of baggage and regret into the relationship, which decreases the likelihood that the relationship will last.
Marriage is a sacred covenant between a man, woman and God. Like nothing else, marriage reflects the pro creative and complimentary nature of God. Thus, marriage is the cornerstone of civilized society. and provides for the physical, emotional and economic health of children and communities.For guys, marriage is a commitment of the deepest kind. To esteem one person above all others, to become one flesh, to put her needs above yours, and to love courageously and sacrificially is the hallmark of a man worth marrying.


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Oct 09, 2009

Sex and Depression Among Teen Girls

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“I used to think it was cool to be a party girl, drink and hook up with cute guys–but what I really want is for someone to want to spend time with me and try to get to know me. After the sex, the guys are never interested in anything else—-its so depressing.
–Tanya, age 16

The truth is–the party girl, hook-up thing doesn’t work. Instead of the fun and liberation it promises, it delivers disease, heartbreak, shame and despair. Yet Hollywood and the star crazed media hold up the reckless and vacant lives of celebrities like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan as if they are doing something important.
Do Hollywood values actually work in real life for real girls? No way, but that hasn’t deterred the message from influencing the beliefs and behavior of millions of young girls who are buying the lie that everyone is getting drunk and “hooking up and that sexual freedom somehow empowers and liberates. Here are the facts.
First of all most (54%) high school kids have never had sexual intercourse. Of the 46% that have had sex, only 37% are currently sexually active and the remaining 63% regret having sex. So if Hollywood is merely “reflecting the values of the culture, then where are the television shows, movies, or celebrities that “reflects this reality and elevates virginity, sexual restraint and self control? Second, if hooking-up were actually liberating then sexually active girls would be happier and more fulfilled than non-sexually active girls. Right? Wrong. Sexually active girls are approximately three times more likely to become depressed and attempt suicide than non-sexually active girls. Is this liberating?
Why does having sex leave so many girls feeling depressed? In short, the human heart was not designed for numerous, loveless, sexual encounters so It is no coincidence that over 70 percent of girls report that they were drunk or high the first time they had sex. This is not how most girls dreamed about their first time.
Although Hollywood and the popular culture portray sex as “no big deal—it is a big deal. In truth, most girls want to be loved in the purest sense. They hope against hope that one day they will meet a guy who wants know their heart and mind, who sees their true beauty and pursues them for who they are and not just for sexual gratification.
An ancient proverb says. “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” How true…


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Oct 08, 2009

Substance Abuse and Depression Among Teens

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Most addicted teens don’t consciously intend to kill themselves. But many become so depressed that they just don’t care one way or the other.
I had been smoking marijuana for 2 years but pot wasn’t doing it for me anymore. II was failing school, lost all my real friends–I hated everything. So one night I got 5 Vicodin and was drinking vodka. I remember thinking that if I do this, I may never wake up. It was funny, the thought of never waking up didn’t scare me as much as the thought of facing my life sober. So I took the pills and guzzled the vodka.I didn’t try to die — I just didn’t try very hard to live.
–James a 16 year-old high school student.
Today’s teens live in a stressful and often dangerous world. Easy access to drugs and alcohol combined with the enormous social pressures conspired to create an epidemic of stressed out, depressed teens who routinely “self-medicate their sadness and low self-esteem. Like amateur pharmacists, some teens eagerly experiment with new drugs, frequently combining them alcohol.This dangerous attempt to alleviate the stress and pain in their lives always creates more problems than it cures.As abuse of drugs and alcohol escalates, so does their risk for overdose. For many depressed teens, drinking and drugging are a slow, quiet suicide.
Causes
Research shows that substance abuse and depression goes hand in hand. And, conversely, depression increases the risk for substance abuse. Here’s how. All drugs of abuse, including alcohol, act upon the same area of the brain involved in the regulation of mood. Experimentation with drugs or alcohol alters the balance key of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in this part of the brain. Regular use of mind altering drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and alcohol cause temporary surge in these neurotransmitters resulting is a short–lived “high. If the young person is already depressed, the “high will feel like a vacation from his or her emotional pain. But what goes up must come down — so the highs are followed by dramatic lows and the cycle starts over again. Tragically, most young substance abusers erroneously believe that the solution to their dark moods and life’s problems is to use more drugs or drink more alcohol.
What to do
If you are depressed or abusing drugs or alcohol take heart because these problems are highly treatable but you will need help. Talk with someone who can be objective and honest with you like a parent, trusted friend, pastor or family doctor. Treatment usually involves counseling, medication and 12 step meetings. Whatever it takes–do it. You life is precious and God has a purpose and plan for you.


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Oct 07, 2009

Specific Actions Parents Should Take When They Pray with Their Child

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  1. Help him or her recognize who God is! He is real, and He hears us, even though we cannot see Him with our eyes.
    • “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
    • ‘Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
  2. Teach them to pray using the pattern that Jesus gave us in Matthew 6:9-15.
    • We pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus. (Matthew 6:9, John 14:6, Hebrews 4:14-5:10).
    • We praise and thank Him for who He is and what He has done. (Hallowed be Your name.) There are many varied and wonderful gifts for which to thank and praise God. In teaching our children to discover these gifts, we teach them more about God.
    • We pray for God’s will to be done in our family as well as others’ lives.
    • We ask God to provide what we need today.
    • We confess our sins, ask forgiveness from God, and one another (I John 1:9).
    • We pray that we might not give in to temptation, and that God will protect and deliver us from Satan.
  3. Write down prayer requests. This will help your child as well as you to see God’s answers and give thanks for them. Your son or daughter needs to know, as you do, that God answers prayer. He does not always answer our requests on our time schedule or as we would desire Him to answer. God’s perspective and His wisdom are infinitely greater and wiser than ours.
    • “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
  4. Let your child know how you are specifically praying for him or her and why. As he or she observes your personal knowledge and insight of who he or she really is, your love will be apparent to him or her.
  5. Study Matthew 7:7-12 with your child and discuss what you should ask from God, and why it is good that He does not always give us what we ask.
  6. Help your child understand the importance of praying for others and their needs.

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Oct 06, 2009

How can I pray for my child…a 10 point guide

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Whatever you do bathe your son or daughter in prayer. Here are 10 Scriptural truths of prayer to encourage and guide your prayer life for your children:

  1.  It is a sin not to pray for them:
    “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. (I Samuel 12:23)
  2. You should not grow weary or give up in prayer: persevere:
    “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1f)
  3. When you pray for your child, try to clear your mind from clutter and your heart from selfishness ( or those passions and sins that are so often uncontrolled in our lives):
    “The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (I Peter 4:7)
  4. You should pray with faith and trust that God will answer you:
    “I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. (I Samuel 1:27)
  5. As busy parents, you can pray at any time for your child: when changing diapers, watching ball games, being a chauffer, etc. However, you should also schedule a regular, hopefully, uninterrupted, quiet time to pray for them:
    “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:18)
  6. Prayer changes things for good for your children and you:
    “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
  7. Your character is developed and reflected in and by your prayer life:
    “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:1-12, see especially vs. 12)
  8. Do whatever it takes to keep your prayers unhindered before God:
    “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Psalm 66:18)
  9. Since you are passionate about your children, your prayers will become quite passionate as well; yet always remember who God is and submit reverently to Him:
    “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.  (Hebrews 5:7)
    “Not my will, but Yours be done. (Luke 22:42)
  10. In all your prayers remember that your tireless interceder in God’s presence is the Lord Jesus who sympathizes with your weaknesses, has been tempted like you, but without sin:
    “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

I pray that these Scriptural truths will motivate and encourage you to pray for the children God has entrusted to you. By the enabling of the Holy Spirit, may these passages warn you about the enemy, your feelings of frustration and weariness, and your attitude in what you may perceive as God’s silence or lack of answers: at least the answers you expect on your time schedule. God’s answers may be different than what you want or not when you desire them. But will a loving Father give His child a snake or a scorpion? Or will He give him what He knows is best? (Luke 11:11-13) No matter the circumstances, persevere like the widow in Luke 18. You will not regret your perseverance when you stand before the Lord in heaven. When God says to a parent, “Well done, good and faithful servant, it will most likely be the case that He will turn and say the same to the children He placed in your care: for they will be there with you!


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Oct 05, 2009

How can I pray for my child…what’s most important

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What is the most important thing I can pray for my child?

The most important matter for which we must pray is our child’s salvation. Because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for our sins (John 3), our child could be born again at an early age, as was apparently true of Jeremiah and John the Baptist in their mothers’ wombs (Jeremiah 1:3, Luke 1:39-45). It is possible our child may not know or remember a day he or she did not know Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior.
Other children may not profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior and live as though He is until they are older. As parents, our responsibility is to pray the following for our children, persevering in our prayers as we anticipate seeing God’s work manifested in the fruit of their lives:

  • salvation
  • conviction and repentance of sin
  • a heart of flesh and not of stone that is tender toward God
  • public profession of faith: confessing Christ before men
  • living witness that bears testimony of the Lordship of Christ

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Oct 03, 2009

How can I pray for my child…why we as parents pray

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Too frequently, our prayers are general and lack careful thought or Biblical arguments. “Lord, bless Johnny and keep him safe today. In Jesus’ name, Amen. There is nothing wrong with praying for God’s blessing on our son or daughter or asking God to protect him or her. However, our prayers often stop there. They lack specificity that should arise from our loving and careful observation of our children. They also lack our intentional and meditative consideration of the particular traits that are part of who our child is and is becoming. What are his or her struggles, strengths, and weaknesses? We need to be as dedicated to prayer as an attorney is to the case that he desires to win. As we earnestly come before our Heavenly Father, He helps us know what and how to pray for our children. We want to consider what He would say about our child and ourselves. As we pray with the Bible open before us God speaks to us through His Word. We will in this manner increase our knowledge of Him, ourselves and our children. Jesus knew firsthand the necessity of prayer. We need to know it as well.
We are promised in Proverbs 22:6: “if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it. Chuck Swindoll’s interpretation of “in the way he should go means more than training our children in spiritual virtues. It means discovering their particular calling or “bent. What has God placed in our child’s personality? What are his or her abilities? What is the “bent of his or her heart and mind reflecting his or her peculiar gifts? We as parents need to look for his or her “bent and pray this into reality, so that when he or she grows older, he or she will answer God’s call and be used for His glory.
God has given us covenant promises concerning our home and our children. A covenant has two parts, blessings and curses. God tells us if we obey His precepts and keep His commandments, He will bless not only us but also our children. However, if we do not obey Him, not only we parents, but also our children and future generations, will be cursed instead of blessed. (Genesis 9:9, 17:7, 18:19, Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 103, Luke 1:50, 72-75, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 7:14)
All parents have had fears about losing their children, as when walking in a crowded mall or their innocently wandering away from home. We have worried about accidents that might potentially affect them and sometimes fear their moving far away. This often arises because we fear that we will not see them or our grandchildren as much as we would like. From the time they are infants, we should pray for God’s will in their lives and that He would use them for His glory. That may mean that He will call them to be missionaries in a foreign country. It may mean that God will choose to call them home to heaven at a young age. In any case, we must remember that they are the Lord’s. Our prayers for them should reflect that truth. We must entrust our children back to God. They can be in no better hands.
It is never too early to begin praying for a godly spouse for your child, a life’s partner who would walk with him or her in the faith and be an encouragement to his or her growth in grace. If God has not called your son or daughter to be single, the most important human relationship he or she will have in life is the one in which Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church, is to be reflected. Marriage is ideally a testimony of the way Christ loves us and sacrificed Himself for His people (Ephesians 5:21-33). Parents know personally how important the relationship of husband and wife is to every other relationship, and to the joy and fulfillment of life. Earnestly asking God to show your son or daughter the best tools of godly discernment in choosing a marriage partner is a critical element in seeking the righteousness of not only your “child but also his or her children (Psalm 103:17-18). Our children and their children are a treasured object of God’s covenant promises to believing parents. We parents bear a vital responsibility in the development of our children’s discernment in the choosing of a life’s partner. This partner will be the father or mother of our grandchildren, as well as our “child’s most intimate companion for his or her life. Our praying for this from conception onward will cause your heart and mind to be attuned at the appropriate times to those specific godly truths you can teach and exemplify in helping them grasp and treasure romance, marriage, and family.
 


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Oct 02, 2009

How can I best pray for my child?

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As a parent, our greatest treasure is the child God has entrusted to us. We cannot make a more lasting investment than the spiritual qualities we nurture in our children. No other person holds a more influential key to molding our children than you have as a mother or father. Others may influence our children’s lives for good and for eternity, but God has created in every child a desire to look to his or her parents for love, security, and direction unlike any other people in his or her life. We have been given an amazing power to influence and affect our children. Along with power comes responsibility. God holds you and me accountable for our stewardship of these lives. We should be earnest prayer warriors on their behalf.
Our children have an enemy. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy the life and the plans that God has for each one of them. This should spur us on to daily lift up our children in prayer to the Father. If you knew that someone was harassing or physically harming your children, you would do everything in your power to protect them. It should be more of our concern to protect their spiritual well-being than their physical health. We parents have the same enemy they do: an enemy who does not want us to pray for our children.
You and I would never send our children out in the cold without a coat. Yet, on a regular basis, we send them out into the world without spiritual armor. In Ephesians 6:10-20, we read about the spiritual armor, which is essential for each member of the body of Christ, regardless of age. I have a dear friend in the Caribbean who never allows his children to leave home without prayerfully placing each piece of armor on them. Because we are often in a rush so we won’t be late, this spiritual exercise sounds a bit tedious. Would you go out or allow your child to leave home naked? The reality of spiritual warfare should cause us to pause and consider the importance of our prayers for our children.


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