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The Marks of a Successful Teen

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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July 14, 2020 9:00 pm

The Marks of a Successful Teen

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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July 14, 2020 9:00 pm

Jeffrey Dean, author of the book, "Raising Successful Teens," knows that raising a successful teen is less about perfection and more about pursuit. Encouraging your kids to make good grades, get into a good college, and marry well is fine, but Dean says parents should have a bigger goal than that. Dean believes parents should be intentional about raising kids who love the Lord above all else. To see that happen, parents have to recalibrate their definition of success. Step one for parents is to model a faithful, loving walk with Christ themselves.

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Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

There are a lot of people a lot of voices trying to influence your children about how they should act how they should look what they should say Jeffrey Dean says there is one set of voices that is louder than any other in your teenagers life.

They may not always say a number showing the kids want mom and dad's involvement in so greater than a rock star or a popstar or a jock star kids of Wimbley teletype mom and dad drives the bus I'm in the passenger seat how they live. I live so no, it's not necessarily culture cool to say I mom and dad. Your kids are looking to use the greatest influence reality is student show us kids are watching your lead. The question isn't do you influence are using that influence. This is family life to date. Our hosts are Dave Mann Wilson I'm bopping you can find us what are the right strategies.

What are some moms and dads doing as they raise 13 seem to be working really talk more about that today with Jeffrey Dean stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us read to you something I just read you say something you just wrote.

I read this and I tell you I read it I thought that's true. I don't think about this as often as I should, but it's true and you need to be aware of you hating this now here in suspense.

Even what topic this might be. Here's the statement okay.

Satan is determined to destroy every team without exception I thought that's true and I don't live in that awareness and that reality Chris Houston.

He's determined to destroy each one of us. Teams are not an exclusive group but I'll tell you what you look at was going on the culture you think it sure feels like he's targeted that age group. Specifically, country parents, he would say amen to that.

I see that I wanted to do now know that I mean this in my family and friends and relatives that's really true and it's scary, really. As we got somebody joining us today who has been talking to and working with teenagers for decades. He wrote that statement that he did make every Dean joins us on family life today welcome back is a joy to be your Jeffrey is an internationally known speaker, as I said, he's been doing youth retreats and youth camps in high school assemblies and you travel around the country were talking about more than 100 events a year that you're doing evangelistic events, but also going to schools and talk about issues that teams are facing, but by the grace of God we have been able to share God's word with people in every state in America.

But one with the state of Wailea tells a Michigan waiting for the Kansai New Hampshire Hawaii Hawaii when I listened selflessly.

I think he needs a couple to go with the happy to follow you in your bio it says you've spoken over Nguyen people I know you're married you live in Nashville you got a wife and two daughters. Do you ever spent any time that is funny, but we go where the phone rings and how God leads and my family are two daughters hooting daughters and their crazy busy in sports in Nashville but there on the road quite a bit.

They've grown it.

It's their normal and we love having them on the road, but there are times I'll be honest when it's just me and it's those are tough times have you wrote a book recently for parents called raising successful teams. The successful define what you mean, what's a successful team. If we really struggled with this word is that working quite well. Just be misleading, then parents could even listen in our thinking so far from success. And so we decided to keep it and I really started thinking about my marriage, my family, my daughters and from me. Hope this makes sense because when I think about success. It's, it's less about perfection and more about pursuit that opposite week. We can't be perfect, but it's that pursuit will the question Jesus assessed in Matthew 22. What is the greatest commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your so with all your mind and to love others the same as that of the second greatest commandment. And so when it think about parenting my desire for my two daughters, Bailey and Brennan is that there on that pursuit that daily pursuit of learning to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your so with all your mind.

And so we use the word success is really a challenge to parents me as a parent to daily be at the grind of raising kids who one of the Lord and live for him and around that pursuit.

Though they can't get there to perfection the side of heaven. That sure is a great goal for so I saw the title and what popped into my mind I thought what verse talks about success and Joshua 18 came to mind for me. It says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on a day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. So you're taking in God's word, you're meditating your your love and then you're doing it and then it says, for then you will make your way prosperous, and you will have good success. Every parent would feel about a successful team if there meditating on God's word and doing everything according to a direct and in the Holman Christian standard version of that passage.

There are the two words above all, when Moses is now past and God challenges Joshua to be strong and courageous in that passage, and to above all, follow those commands and so that's that's daunting when I think about that is apparent that above all, as my kids are looking to be my wife is counting on me and were in this together with that look like to unpack God's truth, so that my daughter strive to be successful and above all honoring God what a challenge for us all. And here's a point we just have to make to parent because I remember when I was raising my kids and I'm focused on what while I'm on the get good grades.

I want to go to good college. I want them to be successful adults. I want them to meet and marry somebody that is going to love the Lord so I got all you have any and said the most important one I want them to be great athletes to be partying different so I'm defining success in those behavior and it's not that those things are unimportant, but at the end of the day if they loved Christ and they want to know him and want to pursue him.

I will be happier about that than if I've got a Rhodes scholar who get drunk every weekend and then care by going to church right so we really do have to recalibrate in our own hearts and minds as parents what success me and Jeffrey is even talk to a lot of teens and a lot of parents how many parents do you think have ever even thought this is what success would look like when my child is a teen or beyond. Obviously, when you're 23 years old. Do you find most parents have never thought that through, or do you find most parents know they do have a goal and a note that goal is and are trying to raise her kid that what I think most parents.

At least it we come in contact with our ministry there in pursuit of that but they make not always know that they are the they want that success for their kids and this is when you begin to talk with them and they share their struggles with kid who's a porn addict or one whose struggling in math or who's making poor choices cycling their dating lives we begin to connect the dots backwards to that starting point, we find it. Parents truly want what's best for them and understand that God plays a critical role in that. I think the challenge for parents and I would say this for me someone is grown up in the word and loves the Lord and get him elected Christ as a Negro boy. I even subject they look at how do I how to bring it to fruition with that look at look like in my home and what it what is my responsibility spiritually. We talk in the book a lot about the power of influence and we know his parents or kids are watching us, they may not always show it or admit it or say it but they're looking to us and so what is that look like to lead them in a way that is God honoring that's why begin the book really challenging parents as I hold the miracle for myself as I say this that my influence life, my kids really begins my walk with the Lord. Yet you say in the opening pages of your book 5 foundational truths in the first one you just hit on. I want to hear you talk about this because I think a lot of us when we hear that we think dinner. I'm probably not the most influential person in my teenagers life anymore.

I was, but now it's their peers, and you state number one you are the most influential person in your teens life and we as parents can even believe that because we feel like our kids don't want to be with us. They don't even like most of the time, and yet you are saying we are the most influential we really try the tech of this book. From the perspective of students. We had countless thousands of conversations with kids and so the words and the challenges I bring to the pages of raising successful teens in so many ways are from conversations with Efrain kids so this is what kids are sharing with us across America inmate again not always say it or show it but kids want mom and dad's involvement in so greater than a rock star or a popstar or a jock star kids over Wimbley Tele site. My dad following his lead. They may not say those exact words but kids are telling us mom and dad drives the bus I'm in the passenger seat how they live. I live so though it's not necessarily culture cool to say I mom and dad. Your kids are looking to use the greatest influence reality is students show us and I as the megaphone for teens in America and writing in this book to so your kids are watching your lead. The question isn't do you influence how are you using that influence.

I've shared is here before but years ago.

My youngest son is now pastoring with me at my church, but he was in college, playing football, was home for a winter break.

Anyway ahead and preach a sermon with me. Sort of. We split this thing in half and so is his walk with God was really strong and I just felt like man he can share in the young people in our church especially be like wow you know that's what it looks like to be 2019.

Anyway, does this message and any does really well and some guys come up to me afterward. Some men that had a men's group, the cold band of brothers. They said they were having this little retreat this weekend. Any chance you could come over. You don't need to speak the retreat.

It's local. Could we have dinner and ask you questions just were younger.

Dad's Journal dad basically then then they said hey how Cody is on fire for. Could you bring him in May would ask him. I would Cody want to go yes we go there.

Long story short, at one point they asked Cody hey so you're obviously you know walk with Jesus is really cool to see that as a dad open her kid to do that as they get to college what did your dad do that helps your faith be so strong that are going I'm dying to hear the answer. I have rabies.

I was right there, but here I got my first thought was when I do I need so many things I mean thick-skinned. There's a million things he could pick. I was arrogantly thinking that we discern Bible studies, we had the four pillars of manhood in all the different things I'm sitting there like this of the this refund is a recess I look over and he just an egg as well. Any pauses for.

It felt like to manage your sweat so that I can always get so many do in the which I think the office at all. I cannot get all he really didn't know what the picky Friday go to. So finally I elbowing like Cody, Manny goes yeah he didn't really do much but I remember one thing while I'm thinking wow with that what you all those thing he just said. I remember a Bible study member. Any things he taught and we did that mission trips he lived it. He loved it and I knew he loved me and he was always there.

That's it turns out that was sent by God of tufted matter corset matter, but it hit me right there.

Of all the guys he hung out with the most influential person in his life was me with an onion. You Artie said it there watching CNN and of course how imperfect are all kinds of flaws but man when you're taken that role and realizing I am going to be the most important person in my son or daughter's life, even when their 30 or 40 years old are dad so that when our life right in essence, we said you and so man I remember when they were in high school. Having that thought on that that important anymore to I was, but now it's other things in your reminding us know you are as foundational truth number one was going over to number two is your teen wants you to be involved in his life piggybacks from number one. I'm sitting here listening to you talk about your son and the stories and I'm remembering walking to the house my head now. I grew up here in Little Rock. Straight back and raise my country. By the way and have an American in years and I remember my dad met a few words didn't lead us in a lot of Bible studies.

We prayed around the dinner table and had a family devotional but a man of few words, godly man, but not that leader vocally in the home. It is on listening to you talk in the sticks on you and your story. I'm remember as I close my eyes I can think about. I can be. I could see myself at the Little League baseball field. I don't know if it's still here in Little Rock but rounding the bases in week after week playing ball and my mom and dad in the stands and the noises of a busy ballpark and kids playing on the other side and the other fields in the umpire and team tolerant coaches hollering.

But above all those voices because I'm telling you I can close my eyes and remember it like it was just a second ago hear my daddy holler from the bleachers. All right, son, and it's that all right send it literally puts the chill bumps on my arms of remembering though my dad was a man of few words. He was a man that was there and involved in those fights son moments have carried me and I think of them. I get emotional when I think about it is not the voice in my home and remind parents listening today that you were the voice louder than all other voices in the playing field of your students life and so they are listening to your voice watching your lead.

What a powerful influence but yes foundational principle number two. They want you and Bob and again may not always show it in a way that you desire. They show it, but they sure want your involvement is okay so but the parent who's listed as a single and it doesn't feel that way for love. That way when they were 11.

It felt like they were listening.

It felt like they wanted me involved. Now other 14 pushing and pushing the salary thing is I don't want your stuff. Just leave me alone. I can do this and and as they get to the end of those 10 years step of those college years. I know for me as a collegiate student, I found myself looking back a lot and we all know this. Right now our kids are in the middle of their memory making years and though they may not fully know what they are making mere memories that are going to be impressed on their membranes hard drive for the rest of their lives. And so, in the moment.

It may not feel it and it may make you fighting mad because you don't fill it but study so and more importantly our kids tell us, and as a student myself now. Looking backwards, often I see the power mom and dad's influence even in the moments in the seasons when I didn't want it washer. No one needed it and so is apparent in this is the tough part to do. I have two teams living at home.

We have to rise above that emotion Amanda doesn't feel like they love me right now doesn't feel like they respect me right now to stay the course because as God challenged to Joshua and Joshua one. Above all, I don't answer to how my kids feel about me the moment I answered the call. God's place in my life to be there parent I can remember when one of our sons was getting older and this is a son that was super affectionate, so we would read the Bible at night. We pray inherently same under the covers under the covers. So this one night lead training heist help probably want me to get under the covers and just lay there for a second talk to him that his day lift up the covers. He does when he doing. I said I listen again to Us why I cannot get out of here, sir.

I just slunk out of there. I started to cry can hurt your feelings. You can feel that he can't gain you can feel Don I remember even my sister calling her who had older sent and she said he stayed the course stated that your feelings get in the way they love you they don't always tell you that. Stay the course and one of the things I agree with this kids wanted us involved, even when their friends were over. We had so much food to their fans would hang out with sit and talk to their friends get to know them and they would tell me later thanks for talking my friend. He's really hurting right now and some the things he said to him, really encouraged and even praying for them and those are some of those sweet moments because they kinda coming down come and go downtown. He sure did you do one thing and listen you thinking one thing we hear from my daughter's friends. The most we try to be that home where the kids come to after the games and we try to have those parties and those celebrations in the backyard where our kids want those parties and one about their friends.

I'm telling you the thing we share the most step that we love the most from our daughter's friends is we love that you guys love to be together and we really strive to be that family that creates that atmosphere that were together. We may not always agree we may not like. Always something someone does or may not agree with the choice a family member makes but we strive to be together.

I write a lot of book about list looking for those moments to be together and remembering that we don't parent based upon how we think our kids will respond to our parent and I think that's the true import after my myself though because my daughters don't always like me to be okay that you love them so much that okay there like me yeah that's not easy. As a parent I remember sitting in a we can remember was the co-speaker of that weekend in Austin Texas with Mickey Yoder yeah and Mick was an older speaker probably what 10 years older than I am, at least, so he's older than me, he's my cospeaker.

So I'm sitting there listening then talk to the men we split the men women up on Sunday morning and I never forget this. I have pry my oldest was nine or 10 years old. Three boys and he's up there saying this is just what you said. He said when you're boys are our daughters or sons or daughters hit teenage years are going push you away and he goes that's totally normal and they should.

Why because we are becoming men and women are finding their own identity, life and goes. Most parents at that point go oh okay they don't want me around. I'm sort of done and they said let me tell you guys.

When that happens I'm sit back there like this is two or three years away from me. He said pursue pursue pursue.

They need you. They want you in their life. Even though there saying I don't want you they really insider saying are you there with me and I'll never forget as a young dad. It was a mentoring moment for me like okay when CJ my oldest kids that age any sir, like, okay, dad.

You know you can drop me off a mile from the school play in our whatever you know fight through it because I would be the same lab you like okay I'm going to respect that and step away know it's like date your daughters hang out with your sons. They really want you silent under freely. CJ had that again you sort of doing this, you know, before is like yeah I want to go on the car with the Dallas go to the park then was like that I can you give me the keys on I would never send this and it was like this. Okay, CJ's a techie guy every time I said the seed you hate will go to Best Buy sure he's like yeah where in the car yes and I'm hanging with the Austin want to go to a bookstore and look at look up Cody was a sorrowful boy up and I just member that was all somebody saying what you just said it's a foundational truth. They really do want you in their life key for parents to know that because will step away read again we can overdo it. You know were laid in the bed every night when their 14 okay, it's time for me to bed but you are saying just what you said okay sorta list a number three yeah right ready I'll read it to you talk about it no matter what is culturally accepted. Nothing is more authoritative than the truth of God's word. Yeah we we could talk for hours about this. How can young man keep his way pure someone 19 by living according to the word. Verse 11 I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you in the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. In verse after verse. We can think of the power God's word and what it looks like in our lives, but what is it really look like the impact that in our homes.

You you guys know that we live in a world that is screaming dark is that right isn't right and wrong is wrong and what feels good when seven. It feels good do it and it's less about what's right is what about more about what feels right. And so it may not be culture cool to celebrate God's word but will my kids sure are counting on me to be the one to teach them how to celebrate it and how to learn to apply God's word to everyday challenges I tell my daughters often in a moment of struggle look for specific Scriptures to help you with those specific struggles and my wife Amy. She's a master this. If you guys were to come in to our home in Nashville where we first take you to Nashville had chicken somewhere that's what you come to the home and you probably have this in your home and see it here in the halls of family life. My wife has's is learn to celebrate God's word. We have Scripture throughout the home and she writes little notes and and lipstick on on their mirrors and drops it in their lunch boxes and we look for creative ways to get God's word into the heart to get in and of the membrane so that they live it out and we want to remind remind parents listening today into the pages of this book just yes you know the power of God's word and teaching our kids whatever season of life there and that God's word works in sure the culture may not think it's cool but God's word never comes back void and we know it is true that is powerful is life-changing. The headwinds are strong today, in particular areas. When you think about gender and sexuality when you think about guys you said what's right and what's wrong.

Kids were to say I'm live my life according to God's word are to be unpopular there to be out of the norm. They're going to be there can be people disable your hater because of how your choosing to live. We as parents have to prepare our kids for that reality so that they know this is not your ticket. The popularity of all God's word.

This is not gonna make you everybody's favorite person, but this is gonna make you the person the people to come to when they're hurting that they're in a come to when they're really in trouble when things are going the way they want to there and I know there's something about that person.

They their life has a foundation to it that my life doesn't have. You just have to get your kids prep for that because the headwinds are strong and that's what our Savior did you remember John 15 to 3 chapters. There were Jesus pulls together as followers of course he knows what the company pulls them together and he reminds him he the world hate you the commute time to go throw you out of the synagogue to kill you produce Jos in their doing so in my name and so we go through two chapters of this and he gets to the end of chapter 16. After he's given them this powerful warning that the world is gonna hate you because it hated me first one is you say is of told you these things not to freak you out but to give you peace in this world you have trouble. But I'm here and I've already overcome the world that I listened you to think about that challenge Jesus gave us equally.

He hands it off to us for us to pay for. Do our kids to prepare them for these moments the world will hate you. That's not easily digestible for our kids today. You know this in the social media it's all about me driven culture. Our kids are looking for a popularity online and they want to attain the hundred light club on the next post and so to tell them hey embrace God's way and you won't be accepted and popular, and cool. Again, that's not something to easily digest for them.

We prepare them as Jesus did for us in the Scriptures of knowing that though the world hate you guys in it with you. There's great peace in that and I find comfort in that. And I think it's important to add is especially as parents with the authority of God's word for our kids, teenagers, and beyond. If it's not real in our life as a parent.

They sniffed that out right in the second. It's like you know dad or mom to say in this because the unit but if they see it like it's the authority and their parents life much greater chance is going to stick in their life.

I think for me, even as our kids are growing up. I'm always asking that this question got what you want me to Notre Dame when he teaching me today in your word, and so then I would want overflow into my kids because it's not force its overflow. Remember the dinner table like you guys won't believe what that showed me today are what God's doing or who I talked today and I think especially teenagers.

It's much more palatable to receive it that way about how God is really moving in mom's heart rather than eating, and being aware that anything you see, these are foundational principles we talked about and we can hear some of these things and go yeah I forgot. I know that and kinda dismiss it but debut you are involved in sports long enough to know that you gotta keep coming back to blocking and tackling. You gotta keep coming back to the foundation because as many times as we heard these things, we have to be reminded. You can't forget it. Yes, your kids, you're the most important influence yes you need to stay involved in their lives. Yes, you need to keep pointing them back to God's word is the source for all of this. These foundational truths are going to make your parenting journey what your be raising successful teams. That's what the goal is that's the name of the book that Jeffrey has written and in fact we will make this book available to any of our listeners would like to get a copy today go to our website. Family life to or give us a call at one 800 FL today and let us know you'd like a copy of Jeffrey's book were making it available to those of you who can support the ministry with a donation. The book is our gift to you when you go online to donate a family life to or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today make a donation of family life today and just asked for your copy of Jeffrey Dean's book, raising successful teams and work happy to send it out to you. We appreciate your ongoing support for this ministry.

Now we know that the last several months have been challenging for many of us for most of us we been dealing with stress and strain from unusual circumstances and that puts strain on our relationships with one another. Your family life. We put together a resource we think is good. I hope it's a free resource that we want to make available to you this call taking your marriage from good to great. This gives you access to a couple of online many courses you can take one on how to resolve conflict when it happens in a marriage, and then a series called lightbulb moments in marriage. We also are including access to messages on marriage from Paul David Tripp from Dr. Gary Chapman Bodie Baucom and Julie Slattery and some conversation starters, there's a there's a whole bunch available in this taking your marriage from good to great resource that is available to you for free.

Go to family life to to get access to all of this content were making available and everybody who registers to get the content you are automatically going to be eligible to win a prize. We put together. We'd love to fly a couple to join us here at family life for a family like today recording session and then dinner that night with Dave and Wilson. So again, find out more go to family like register for the taking your marriage from good to great resource and maybe you will be the couple who join us here at family life for recording session and dinner with Dave and and whether you win the prize or not you will benefit from the content that's available. So go to family life to get the taking your marriage from good to great resource now tomorrow working to continue our conversation about raising successful teams and part of the strategy means you got to know who your kids are hanging out with know what's going on in their lives in their Jeffrey Dean's could join us again tomorrow. Hope you can be here as well. Thank our engineer today.

Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Wilson about the pain. See you back next time for another edition. Family life today.

Family life to day is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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