Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers #84 – Don’t Worry About What Others Think or Know

Remember what used to happen to the teenage girl from church who got pregnant? Maybe you don’t, because you never heard about it. She just disappeared. Maybe to live with an aunt out of state. Then a year, or two later, she’d reappear and life went on as if nothing happened. There was a girl in my senior class who “disappeared” just months before graduation. There were rumors of course, but nothing was every said publicly.
That’s the way it used to be in the church when a family was in crisis. If others found out, the family was given judgmentfreely rather than grace. When we find ourselves in crisis, our first thought is often, “What will everyone think?” or “Who knows about this?” We do all we can to cover up the problem, deal with it quietly on our own, and then move on.

But this is a horrible way to live and it’s not helpful at all to our children. The message we communicate is we’re more concerned about what others think of us rather than the well-being of our children. It robs us and the church of the opportunity to be ministered to and to minister. It eliminates the power of much-needed prayer support. It teaches our teenagers that we should hide our sin rather than deal with it. Ultimately, it exposes the idolatry of our own hearts when we place our self-image ahead of the needs of others.
Living today in a “tell-all” society, where everyone’s dirty laundry is not only hanging on the line but celebrated, where is the proper balance we need? If sharing the crisis will help our children or those impacted, then we need to call in the much needed support of our church family. We can’t place what others may think ahead of the needs of our family. God gave us the church to teach, help and encourage each other. Give the church a chance to be the supportive family it was designed to be.

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:9-10 (ESV)

in HIS service,

Pastor Mark

P.S. The blog titles and main ideas come from Walt Mueller’s book “99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers”. I personalize and modify the message, and also add Scripture.