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2 posts from May 2011


In Chap Clark’s book, Disconnected, he says that parents are responsible for providing the boundaries necessary to help a child grow into the person God has created and redeemed them to be. That’s a pretty heavy task. It requires first that parents know where the child is—an ongoing challenge in itself. And second, it requires that parents know where the dangers lie, where the areas of caution are and what signals indicate that something might be holding the child back.

This Sunday May 22 we are starting a new series in Orchard Jr. High, we are talking with your child about dating. But more importantly we are talking about balance. In a world where finding a boyfriend or girlfriend sometimes becomes all-consuming, we want to remind students that dating is only one of many areas in their lives. Like everything else, it is good in moderation, when it is not taken to extremes. We also want to help them develop healthy relationships, whether those are dating relationships or friendships with the opposite sex, and help them understand the value in leaving a positive impression in the lives of those we come in contact with.

As a mother or as a father, you are in a better position than anyone to know and understand how dating works in your child’s life. Maybe they haven’t dated anyone, but they are constantly thinking about ways to find that perfect someone. Maybe they haven’t been alone since fourth grade. Maybe they’ve been dating the same person for the past two years. Wherever they fall on the spectrum, you are viewing the situation close-up. Their emotions are in it. You, who have more insight and more life experience, can look down the road for them when they don’t have the perspective to do it on their own. Are there dangers ahead? Is there something that might be holding them back from experiencing the life they were intended for?

I would like to challenge you to take a few minutes this month to reflect on your child’s situation—especially in the area of dating. Think of ways you can be creative and helpful as you set boundaries and help them navigate the wonderful and risky world of relationships.

Lovesick Main


Here is an overview of what we are talking about. Listed below each session summary is a “parent cue” to help you dialog with your child about the session. The question is intended not just to be asked by you, but to be responded to by both of you. Use this opportunity to find out what God is teaching your child, and allow your child to see what God is teaching you as well.

Series Overview

So you overslept, missed the bus, saw someone cute, aced the big test and you’re mad at that guy. So how do we know? Because you gave the world your play by play for the day on FB, Twitter and texted about it every five minutes. We live in a world where we know more about the people around us that we ever knew before. But have you noticed something? We can know a lot—too much—and yet not really know what’s going on. It’s so easy to let people know about us, and not really have a place where people really know us at all. So where and with who are you sharing your T.M.I.?

Session One: Say Anything
(April 27 High School - May 1 Jr High)

Well, we know how you feel about that TV show, that movie, lunch and your former best friend. Technology has given the world access to your innermost thoughts. All we have to do is follow your blog, read your status updates, follow your tweets. And while we do care about what’s going on in your life, there’s a time and a place for everything. It’s just a matter of figuring of the where and the when of what’s appropriate.

Session One Parent Cue: Look at each other’s FB page. Is there something you wish you wouldn’t have shared? Why?

Session Two: Dirty Little Secrets
(May 4 High School - May 8 Jr High)

There’s a time and a place to share your T.M.I., but there’s also a person. That’s right. We all need someone in our lives who knows us—really knows us. We need to have someone who we can trust our secrets to, someone who we can tell what’s really going on. Someone we can go to and say, “I really messed this up.” Because when our secrets become visible, when we no longer have to work so hard at hiding them, they lose their power over us and we are free to experience God’s grace and forgiveness.

Session Two Parent Cue: When you are dealing with a tough situation or a mess you’ve created, who do you go to? Why do you go to that person?

Session Three: Open Up
(May 11 High School - May 15 Jr High)

It’s great to have someone to go to when we’ve made a mess, but what about before things even get that crazy? What if we had a place where we could go and say, “Here’s what’s going on. I know what I want to do, but what should I do? How do I follow through by making the wise choice? What would God want me to do?” Because having people in our lives who know our T.M.I. is finding that person or persons who we can share things with, before we end up making some major mistakes.

Session Three Parent Cue: If you are trying to make a decision, is there someone (or more than one) you trust to help you find the best solution? What are some situations that person has helped you navigate?