Home > Parents, Teens, Youth Workers > I don’t care if you do drugs or sleep around…

I don’t care if you do drugs or sleep around…

This has been an interesting conversation lately. Parents often come to me with concerns about their teens experimenting with one or more of many things. Usually, it’s alcohol, drugs, sexual immorality, social status, peer pressure, language or attitude. My first statement to the parent is usually “I don’t care what they do.” It has a tendency to make them take a step back.

My main concern is to know why they do what they do. We can stop them from drinking but they will find something to replace that action with.  My question for students is “What was it about that decision that enabled you to justify it over your faith in Christ?” If students truly value their faith in Christ, then they have to somehow make these poor decisions “more right” than their relationship with Christ. It goes back to what Christ said about our thought lives being just as valuable as our physical lives. In most cases, our thoughts justify our physical sins. Whatever the decision is based on, whether it’s because “she loves me” or “it was just this once” or “I didn’t mean anything by it”, it has compromised their faith in Christ.

They can cut the action out but if we’re only concerned with stopping the action, we’ll probably watch them move to another action to replace the one that they just stopped. The real issue isn’t what they are doing but why. What is the heart issue that allows them to justify this choice and abandon their faith in the moment? In many ways, it’s like weeds in the yard. My wife could go tell me to pull the weeds and that they never should have been there but it doesn’t address why they’re growing in my yard to begin with!

Oddly enough, since I’ve adopted this approach, I’ve gotten more honesty from students. They don’t hide what they’re doing nearly as much. I am often in discussions and conversations with students about sex, drugs, cutting, eating disorders, lust, loneliness, abandonment and other dark stuff that teens don’t normally want to get into. I’m not condoning what they are doing but have come to the realization that, like Christ, I’ve begun to see that the issues teens are dealing with are bigger than the actions we see. It’s about the condition of their heart. Christ didn’t care is someone did good things if it was just for a show. He also went straight to the heart to address the real issues while at the same time confronting the sin.

So no, I don’t care what students do… I care why they did it.

Categories: Parents, Teens, Youth Workers
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