ARE YOUR KIDS READY?
Max was a young man I’d known his whole life. I remember when his folks brought him home from the hospital. I counseled his parents when he went through an extremely rough stage of his life as a young boy. This family meant a great deal to me. He was a teenager now and had been homeschooled his whole life, in a wonderful Christian home. He was doing quite well. He was 17 and was telling his parents he really wanted to try public high school. They were open to the idea and advised him to meet with me first.
I will never forget him walking into the coffee shop where we met. He was a tall, muscular, really good-looking young man. He began the conversation by telling me, “Pastor Mark, my dad wanted me to get your advice as I really want to take my last two years of school at the public high school. So please be honest with me.”
Oh boy, he had no idea what was about to hit him. I thanked him for meeting with me, then told him I would tell him honestly and bluntly what to expect.
I then told him in no uncertain terms. “The girls are dangerous. They will be walking down the halls overtly flaunting their sexuality in clothing that shows you almost everything. Clothing that would never be allowed in a job environment. You will have a difficult time concentrating. You’re a very handsome young man. You’re also very kind, and this will make you even more attractive to girls. Do not give out your smartphone number to any girls, as some will literally send you nude photos of themselves.” His eyes were huge, and he was a bit stunned. There were other things I told him that were equally important, including wise warnings, insights and admonitions.
Our time ended, I prayed for him and we each went home. Almost 1.5 years later we met again for coffee. I asked him how he was doing and how things were going at high school. He got very quiet, looked me in the eye, and said, “Pastor Mark, everything you warned and advised me about was true. I wished I had taken it all to heart. It has been extremely difficult. This year I attended your Faithwalker Conference, and your message rocked and changed my world. I am not going back to that high school, I am turning my life around, and I will finish my classes at a community college instead.”
I was heartbroken, but also grateful. He was going in a new direction with his life and faith. That was some years ago now, and he is married now to a wonderful Christian gal, and walking with Christ.
Friends, I care deeply about every single one of you and your families. My only desire is your best interests, and the success of you and your children. I have put together a valuable list to help you think through this question, Are my kids ready to begin some integration into the world of public school? This was the thought process I walked through myself many years ago, when considering sending our teens to community college using the PSEO option.
1. Do they have strong convictions and do they presently live them out?
2. Are they prone to lead or follow? Are they easily influenced by peer pressure?
3. Do they, like Joseph and Daniel, have a strong sense of godly, spiritual destiny that guides them? That helps them know within themselves, I was made for something greater than the sin around me. Is your child a missionary or a mission field?
4. Honestly, what is their character really like? The Bible says a lad distinguishes himself by how he acts, whether his deeds are good or bad. This of course applies to your girls as well.
5. Are they currently, consistently faithful in little things? Such as things you ask them to do. Daily habits, prayer, time in their Bible, good choices, etc.
6. Are they trustworthy? Because you aren’t going to be with them all the time, you are going to need to be able to trust what they tell you about their daily activities and the choices they make, and things they share with you. Are they honest? Do you have a good, healthy relationship with them where they know they can share honestly with you? Remember how many times you kept things from your parents as a teenager!!!
7. Have you truly prepared them to withstand the onslaught and temptations they will face? Have they passed some tests already that you have observed firsthand?
8. How do they deal with the opposite sex? How does your son treat women? How does your son handle Delialahs? How does your daughter handle the Absoloms in her life? Is she prone to boy craziness?
9. Do they possess a strong sense of self? Are they assured and confident in a godly way?
10. Do they handle their emotions well?
These insightful questions can help you evaluate and make wise informed decisions about your teens’ readiness for greater integration into the secular world and school.
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling