Vol. 4 Issue 15 | April 13, 2018

Three Things This Week

1. Family First

What it is: Remember Rick Moranis? With his birthday next week, the comedy star’s name has been resurfacing, causing people to wonder why they haven’t seen him on screen since 1997.

Why it’s a cool story: Often when people disappear from Hollywood, the reason is tragic and heartbreaking (Winona Ryder and Robert Downey Jr. come to mind). But in Moranis’ case, it’s powerful. After his wife died at 35, he retired to be a stay-at-home dad and make sure his home “was just a joyful place to be” for his two small children. It’s tempting to think how sad it is to have had to end his career at its peak, to give up so much. But as Moranis says, “I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. My life is wonderful.” His unfaltering commitment to his values above even fame, fortune, virality, and the coveted limelight should be an encouragement to all of us, including the “YouTube Generation.”

2. Teen Monitoring Apps

What it is: New research suggests internet monitoring apps may be causing more harm than good in the parent-child relationship.

Why they’re not enough: The study also found that parents who relied exclusively on monitoring apps were less relational and more authoritarian with their kids, leading to major trust issues. Furthermore, apps like FamilyTime or PhoneSheriff shouldn’t be used as a “magic bullet” to keep your kids safe online. “The use of parental control apps, as opposed to more engaged parenting styles, might be symptomatic” of a lack of parental involvement. Yes, our kids need roadblocks to protect them on the internet superhighway, but more importantly they need us. Raising kids who resist lewd content online involves changing their habits, forming their heart, and strengthening their will-power. Here are five ways to do just that!

3. No Regrets Teen Connection Toolkit

What it is: Our brand new three-part video series gives you the framework and road map to understand your teen’s world, start life-changing conversations with them, and connect with them on a heart level.

Why it’s your secret weapon: We’re here to help you join the conversation culture is having with your kids, guide the conversation toward biblical truths, and deepen your relationship with them during the challenging teen years. This kit provides you with a personal assessment of your relationship with your teen, as well as a road map for connecting with their heart. But it’s only available for a limited time, so get your free kit today!

Raising Peacemakers

MMA fighter Conor McGregor was charged with three counts of assault for his violent rampage on Saturday at a UFC media event where he and his squad attacked a bus full of fellow fighters in retaliation for disrespecting his teammate. McGregor’s persona puts flesh on a fallen version of masculinity that teaches boys to be violent, antagonistic, and emotionally detached for fear of appearing vulnerable, weak, or feminine. According to this worldview, “real” manhood consists of brute strength, physical dominance, and getting even. Get hit and always hit back even harder, that’s the world’s mantra. But is this a Christ-like response to conflict?

In her article “Rearing Boys to Be Peacemakers in a World Bent on War,” Abby Perry ponders aloud how to raise countercultural kids who creatively embody the “Christian belief that strength often finds its full expression in chosen love and tenderness rather than force.” To our sons, this might sound boring or even soft in comparison to McGregor’s “manly” version of justice. But while his desire to defend his friend is honorable, the way he did it missed the mark. Proper peacemaking is in fact a demanding and even courageous task. It often requires us to place ourselves between the weak and the violent, between the oppressed and the oppressor, and to take on pain instead of inflict it. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Peace is not merely the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.” Peacemaking is therefore not passivity, quietism, or weakness; instead, it is the active application of truth and love in the face of a violent world.

Jesus began His ministry by proclaiming, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and then ended His ministry by saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” Ask your teen how Christ’s peace is different from the world’s version of peace. Why does it matter? If His peace is the embodiment of suffering love, not violent aggression, how can we raise our sons (and daughters) to utilize their courage, honor, and strength to confront evil and injustice without resorting to evil and injustice? Here’s five life-lessons that will help your kids become peacemakers in a violent world.

P.S. We Need Your Teens To Take Our Smartphone Survey!
Ever wish you had another reason to help your kids put down their phones? Here’s your chance to help find one. One of our editors is doing research on the correlation between smartphone use and teen income. Having your teens fill out this survey will be of great help in getting the data he needs to do this research. Parents, fill out the first section and then pass the computer off to your teen. Teachers, if you want to have a whole class fill it out, just have them answer the first part to the best of their knowledge or mark rather not say. Thanks!

P.P.S! We’re hiring an intern for the summer to research and write about faith and culture. Email us for more details!

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