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No generation in history has faced anything like the incredible onslaught of destructive influences attacking todays teens. On every sideon the Web, in music and media, from their own peerstoday's world seems bent on destroying our young people.
Jeffrey Dean is the author of Watch This, This Is Me, and the One-Liner Wisdom books for Multnomah. The founder of Jeffrey Dean Ministries, he speaks to more than 150,000 teens each year about teen issues and culture. He lives in Nashville with his wife and family
Table of Contents
Preface: Desperate to Know How to Stand for the Right
The Fight of every Parent's Life
A Fist from Out of Nowhere: Grappling with the Enemy
Reality Is Hard to Hear: But It's Important to Know What's Happening
Dreaming Big for Your Teen: Keep the Goal in Mind
A Word to Fathers: Never Underestimate Your Impact
A Word to Mothers: Your Vital Role
The Issues that affect your Teen Most
The Struggle to Communicate: How to Talk to Your Teen About Anything
Media Madness: Helping Your Teen Learn to Filter What Comes In
Anything Goes on the Internet: Helping Your Teen Honor God Online
Unplugging Pornography: Helping Your Teen Escape the Trap
Dating with Integrity: Helping Your Teen Put Together the Relationship Puzzle
Talking About Sex: The Crucial Conversation Your Teen Needs...from You
The Drinking Game: It's Been Around Forever, but It's Got a New Set of Rules
Your Teen's Friends: The Most Important Influencers
The Secrets Teens Keep: A Brief Guide to the Root Issue
Hope Ahead for every Family
Going Public with God: Helping Your Teen Develop and Share Faith
Come All the Way: Helping Your Teen Live Lift to the Full
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.
Every teen is in a battle. Parent, did you know that? I’ll say it again: every teen is in a battle. Includingyourteen.
If this “battle” talk sounds like a bit of a stretch to you, let me tell you about Rhys. A few summers ago I spoke at a camp. After an evening session, one of the guy counselors, Rhys, asked if we could talk. A clean-cut nineteen-year-old, Rhys was heading into his sophomore year at a well known Christian college. His eyes reflected sadness that I couldn’t fathom. He told me he had a lot of nightmares and a lot of guilt. During his senior year of high school, Rhys and his girlfriend, Emily, were fairly typical Christian kids. They were both active in youth group, had pledged to abstain from sex until marriage, and were known in their circles of friends as “good kids.”
But on the night of their senior prom, everything went crazy. Rhys admitted, “One thing led to another, and we pretty much did it all that night. Fooling around, drinking, drugs…you name it.” Tragically, Emily overdosed on the drugs, went into a coma, and never came out of it. A week later, she died.
This is an extreme story, yes, but it happened. As I speak to highschool-age students around the country, I hear stories you wouldn’t believe. Welcome to the world of today’s teens. It’s a fight, and every teen today is engaged in it.
This fight is about a tsunami of information, communication, anything- goes ethics, and the inevitable moral experimentation that results. It’s a world of light-speed Internet, texting, unlimited access to online porn, oral-sex parties, MySpace, cutting, Wicca, drinking, drugs, and more.
The world of today’s teens moves at a pace you and I would never have dreamed of when we were teens. It’s a world wherehooking uphas nothing to do with a fishing lure,spamisn’t something you eat, andpharmingdoesn’t require a tractor. Almost weekly, teens write to me about addictions to types of drugs that weren’t around twenty years ago. At seminars across the country, I meet students who have contracted sexually transmitted diseases.
By the time they graduate from high school, most seniors tell me, they have consumed alcohol and been offered drugs. Most teens I meet say that marijuana is easily accessible. It doesn’t matter whether they attend public schools or Christian schools; students know where drugs are used, kept, and sold. Many tell me they know a friend or classmate who has abused prescription drugs.
Here’s the fact that keeps me awake at night: Rhys and Emily could have been anyone’s teens. They are from a generation of teens bombarded by lies, hungry for help, and desperate for truth. Not every teen will face exactly what Rhys and Emily faced, but war is the daily reality for every teen.
That is why I say that as a parent, you are facing the fight of your life.
Maybe you’re thinking this book isn’t for you. Your teen appears to be doing well. And it’s true: there are many Bible-believing, church-attending teens who desire to live lives surrendered to Christ. Your teen may be one of them.
Or maybe you’re at the other end of the spectrum. The choices your teen has made so far have pushed your family to the breaking point. You’re feeling hopeless, ready to throw in the towel.
Wherever your teen is at in his or her journey, this book is for you. No matter what the situation looks like on the surface, every teen faces struggles, temptations, issues, fears, and challenges. Every teen has to navigate the confusing waters of today’s culture. Every teen is only one choice away from hurt, addiction, heartbreak, and more.
The scary thing with teenagers is that often we don’t know exactly what theyR
Excerpted from The Fight of Your Life: Why Your Teen Is at Risk and What Only You Can Do about It by Jeffrey Dean All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.