My husband and I recently updated and revised Passport2Purity a great resource designed to connect parents and kids with one another while tackling important issues tweens and teens face today. One of the issues we cover is peer pressure. Or, how can I guide my children to make sure they run with the right herd? The answer to that question is, “Teach your children what to look for in a good friend.”
We shared with our children, and incorporated into Passport2Purity, that Proverbs is full of verses telling you how to find and be a great friend. Maybe a challenge to your children to read through the book of Proverbs during their tween/teen years is a great idea!
Remind your children to look at the heart of the people that they hang out with—the people that they want to be their friends. Ask them a few pointed questions that can be a window into the heart of those they want to spend time with.
What are they thinking about in their hearts? Does your friend think about the right things or the wrong things? What do they think about movies? What does your friend think about music, or alcohol, or drugs? What is important to your friend? Is your friend really committed to Jesus Christ? Is your friend going to be courageous? Will he or she guard her heart or his heart?
Obviously, only God knows what’s going on inside a person’s heart, but the Bible does say that you can know a person by his fruit. You can also know them by what they do with their body parts!
Ask your children to look at their friend’s mouth. Do they use words to build up another person or to tear them down and be critical of them? Then, have them look at their eyes. What do they watch? What do they look at? What do they read? What are they looking at on the internet? Is it good; is it bad? Are they committed to going God’s way or to going their own way?
Then, lastly, suggest they look at their feet. Look at where their feet go. Who do they spend time with? Where do they hang out? Do they walk the narrow path, or are they quick to leave that path and turn to the right or the left as the verse said?
We were once teens and we raised six teens, and my husband and I have found that the best way to combat peer pressure is to make up your mind in advance. The question we posed to ourselves and our children was, “What are you going to do when faced with pressure to do wrong things—to toss aside your convictions?”
I encourage you to have these conversations and pose these questions to your tweens and teens ahead of time to help them stand firm in their convictions and be a positive influence on others in the process.