It’s the time of year when many families are anticipating the start of a brand-new school year. If you have a child who is about to enter middle school or high school for the first time, they are about to experience the not-so-wonderful world of peer pressure.
Parents in this stage of life can learn a lot from Dennis Rainey, the president of the Family Life ministry,
Yesterday I shared that Dennis believes it’s critical for us to prepare our kids for the choices they will face, and to challenge them to be leaders rather than followers.
He also reminds us to teach our kids the benefits of righteousness. He says this isn’t an easy concept for a teenager to grasp. They know they will gain popularity and acceptance if they adopt the values of their peers, but they may be ostracized if they don't.
Dennis says “At some point, every Christian needs to learn that the approval of God is infinitely more rewarding than the approval of the crowd.”
He quotes Peter 3:14-17, which says even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts ... for it is better….that you should suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.’
Talk to your kids about the benefits of obedience, and the cost of conformity.”
Dennis also encourages us to teach our kids the fear of God. He quotes John Witherspoon who said "It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of men." And Proverbs 16:6 tells us, "... by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil."
If our kids develop a reverential awe of God, their desire to please Him will help them to overcome the fear of what others will think them.
To read more of Dennis’ thoughts on helping your kids deal with peer pressure, go to familylife.com and click on “Parenting.”I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.