Vol. 4 Issue 28 | July 13, 2018

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Three Things This Week

1. Is God a Woman?

What it is: This morning, Ariana Grande released “God is a Woman”, the third track on her forthcoming album Sweetener.

Why it’s confusing: With over four million views already today, the music video (warning: racy) features a contemporary version of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam”, starring Grande as God. Many Christians will find the song heretical, not least of all because she links her ‘divine qualities’ with her sexual prowess, but will your teens? Our guess is the song will spark some deep theological questions in their heart like: Does it matter whether my image of God is male or female? What does it mean that God made both male and female in His image? Does God even have a gender? Why do some Christians believe the Holy Spirit performs female functions? Like most hot topics, pop culture has already started this conversation with your kids, it’s up to you to join the conversation and guide the conversation toward a Scriptural view of God’s nature, character, and essence. Good luck!

2. FOMO

What it is: Have you not heard about FOMO? Well, you’re missing out!

Why it’s addicting: The desire not to be left out is both timeless and universal, but it’s especially potent for adolescents, and social media isn’t helping. The difference for today’s teens is that everything they are missing is unceasingly on display right in front of their faces through social media. In fact, “FOMO’s favorite weapon is comparison. It kills gratitude and replaces it with ‘not enough’”. Our new Parent’s Guide to FOMO gives you nine practical ways to foster gratitude and presence in your child’s life while training them to resist the temptation to grab their phone every time they feel like they are missing out on something. Get it here!

3. The K You Should Kare About

What it is: Kylie Jenner (20) is making waves thanks to Kylie Cosmetics and Forbes Mag: She’s worth ~$900 million and on track to be the youngest billionaire ever (even beating FB founder Mark Zuckerberg).

Why it’s illuminating: Jenner has turned her lips into an empire by simply (and cunningly) leveraging her social media following. If you’ve ever felt dazed and confused by this Age of Influencers, it’s worth reading the article to understand exactly how powerful an image is when curated correctly. Many of our teens might see her and hope to one day turn their social media presence into a career like she has, but the dollars aren’t the full story. Help your teens dig beneath the surface: What would it be like to have that kind of pressure on how you look or how often you post? Would it be worth it to never be able to be yourself or relax? Does having that much money make you free—or does it make you feel like you always need to earn more?

Divine Condescension

That God would become human in order for us to know Him is a strange mystery. But that’s what happened, and that’s what we believe. “Christ took upon himself this human form of ours…He has become like man, so that men should be like him.” Scholars call this incarnational act “divine condescension”. In this way, Jesus not only revealed the divine to human persons, He revealed humanity to itself. He met us on our terms, on our turf, so that one day we could ascend to His glory. Sounds a lot like good parenting.

What if we practiced our own version of divine condescension with our teens? Instead of insisting they meet us where we are, what if we humbly entered their world, listened to their music, used their apps, played their video games, and spoke their emoji language? It might feel undignified and a bit demeaning, but try it anyway. You just might earn the right to be heard about more important things.

Nothing so demonstrated God’s humility and love for us that He became like us. And nothing will so illustrate the love you have for your children than by validating their world.