- Seventy percent of all Ds and Fs are given to boys.
- Eight-five percent of stimulant drugs prescribed throughout the world are prescribed to American boys.
- Boys have fallen behind girls in virtually every area of education.
- According to The Demise of Guys, one in three boys is now considered a “heavy” porn user, with the average boy watching nearly two hours of porn every week.
- Some forty percent of boys will spend at least a part of their growing up years without a dad.
- Seventy to ninety percent of all boys leave the church in their teens and early twenties . . . and most will not return.
Staggering, isn’t it? As the mother of two boys, I take this very seriously. There are few things in this world more special and difficult to describe than the relationship a mom has with her son. There are few things in this world more vital and powerful than the relationship a dad has with his son.
“Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” Psalm 112:2
I know that our boys are a breed all their own. They have more energy than should be legal. They question things and have a need to understand. They explore…like Simba in the Lion King…they want to know what lies beyond the borders? They climb trees and fences. They have spitting contests. Our boys test their limits and think they are invincible. They have eternity placed in their hearts and have an adventure to live. I love that I can look into the eyes of my boys and almost read their thoughts as if scrolling across a screen. Boys will be boys and they are amazing.
However as a culture we are failing our boys to assume that “boys will be boys” translates to “boys will be bad boys”. I have watched over the years as adults assume that boys are rude, unruly, uncontrolled and misbehaving simply because there are 3 or 4, 14 year old boys together in a mall or hotel lobby. We assume that boys will sleep around, drink and smoke pot. The assumption is that simply by being a teenage male means you are up to no good.
The Lord has placed within the heart of young men a desire to chase a dream, conquer, fight for justice, reach for the goal, run faster, lift more, be a superhero, advance the Kingdom…He has placed a desire in their hearts to try and catch Him…to run hard after Him. All of which is good, powerful, beautiful and holy. All of which, without self-control, humility and compassion will destroy them.
But, should they learn to cover all the beautiful things that encompass their masculinity with self-control, humility, and compassion…we have the perfect storm. Our young men will achieve adventure, advance the Kingdom, and have their own REAL relationship with the Father…change the world…
The goal is not to temper or feminize our young men…the goal is to allow His Spirit to shape their masculinity into a heart full of life, adventure and strength…controlled by their 100% sold out hearts to Him.
Boys will be boys…and I love it!
Last weekend my pastor asked the question, “What do you wish you had more of?” It took me all of the twinkling of an eye to come up with my answer…TIME. I often find myself thinking, I wish I had more time with these teenagers whose years are flying by in fast forward or more time to kick a ball with my grandsons or pray over my granddaughter. I wish I had more time to take a walk with Brian and more time to find new recipes for my family. I would love more time to read and to write. More time to dance with my nieces and listen to my grandparents’ stories. I wish I had more time for dinner with friends and more time to laugh until it hurts. I wish I had more time to spend at the feet of the greatest Teacher and receive secrets that are only audible to your spirit when you take the time to listen for His unhurried whisper. I would love more time.
As is His normal fashion, when I began to discuss this with the Father, His response was not what I had expected. “If you don’t spend the time you HAVE in this way, what makes you think that if you more time, you would spend the additional time in these ways?” I have enough. He has provided all that we need. Something He continues to speak to me over and over is that I make my own choices. I make choices professionally, spiritually, relationally and certainly with my time.
Many are the plans in my heart but may it be the Lord’s purposes that prevail.
- I will love the one in front of me.
- I will be present in the moment and not think about the “next” thing.
- I will find beauty and be thankful in all circumstances.
- I will trust Him even when I cannot see Him and all I have to base my trust on is His reputation. That is enough.
- I will not wish for more time but will spend the time I have doing the best I can to fulfill His Purposes.
May your summer be full of love, laughter, excitement, adventure, family, and miracles!
Please join us!
Sunday, July 23rd 2-8pm
CareNet Center City, 1501 S Taylor Street
$25, Study materials, snacks, & dinner included.
We will explore God’s truth through Christine Caine’s “Undaunted” with videos and discussion. Don’t miss this one-day study as we “dare to do what God calls us to do.”
I’d love to see you there,
Honest: free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.
Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
Honesty is certainly a virtue that is fundamental, not only in being a successful person of character, but also in our faith.
Ephesians 4:15 “Instead speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
A person who is honest speaks truth and is free of deceit. That is what we are after as parents, that we and our children would grow up to look more and more like Him. This scripture tells us that when we speak the truth in love, we will grow into Christ Jesus.
When my children were younger, I told them that I always wanted them to tell the truth. I even said if you do something wrong, you will receive a more serious punishment if you lie than if you tell the truth. I am sure that you can relate.
The older our children get, the more critical it is that our children are honest with us. Untruths and lies have much higher consequences as they become teens. Understanding that is our responsibility to shape our kids and point them to Christ and His ways, what are some things we can do to cultivate honesty in our children?
- Spend time in prayer each day asking the Father to create an honest heart in them – to center them on His truth. Ephesians 6:14 tells us, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” Our belt covers the center of our core where much of our balance comes from. Truth brings balance and a centered-ness to our lives. When we understand truth we are grounded. It would serve us well to spend time praying each day that our children would be honest and lovers of the truth.
- Be a good example of honesty. Daily living creates opportunity for us to tell “white lies”…things like, “I’ll call the school and say you are sick so we can leave town a day early for vacation.” or “Tell them that we already have dinner plans.” Though it is a high calling, and difficult at times, our modeling of the characteristics we desire our in children is crucial.
- Don’t set them up to lie. If you know the truth, don’t put them in a position to lie. An example would be if you have given your child permission to go to the movies and stay the night with a friend. You find out from another parent that they did not go to the movies at all and were out most of the night at a party. Don’t ask you child how the movie was to see what they will say. We should say, “I know that you didn’t go to the movie or stay the night with your friend. I would like to talk about that.”
- Be sure to recognize and point out their honesty when you notice it. I think rewarding good behavior and choices is as important as punishing poor behavior.
Raising godly children isn’t easy but you are equipped for every good work. Fight the good fight, sharing truth in love.
I remember it so vividly…particularly when I hear a certain Bon Jovi song or smell Butterfinger and soft serve ice cream…Middle School. Middle school is such an awkward time that breeds insecurity like 6-week old gym socks breed fungus! In my estimation, middle school is one of the most difficult times in life. You are at the mercy of your environment and the environment in middle school can be extremely toxic and overwhelming.
I laughed myself to tears watching the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” One of my favorite scenes is when the PE coach announces that they will be playing football and it will be shirts vs skins…and as was any middle school boy’s fear, the skinny, small guys are chosen to be skins! My boys and I have always joked that in middle school there are the haves (have started puberty and their growth spurts) and the have-nots (those who are a little more delayed in the process). Never again is this difference in development quite so pronounced.
Everything seems so overwhelming and frightening. In middle school, our brains have trouble controlling our awkward, fast-growing limbs; our over-sized feet have trouble cooperating as we try out for the sports team; our face breaks out on picture day; our moms knows we have a big test and out of her abundant love and concern for us she rolls down her window, blows us a kiss and quotes Philippians 4:13 as she drives out of the parking lot. Middle school is a difficult time.
It is also far funnier when someone recounts stories in a blog than it is to stand by, feeling helpless, as you watch your children live it every day. I understand that. My oldest son is now 23 years old. I have a son in who will be a freshman in college and a daughter in 11th grade. We have now had three middle school experiences lived out in the Gibbs home. And as is true with any experience, it is unique to each individual. We have dealt with a wide array of middle school issues some small things that seemed huge and some huge things that seemed even bigger. I know what it feels like to drop a child at school and spend all day worrying about a math test or a bully, only to look about at 2:30 that afternoon in amazement that such thoughts have monopolized your day. But, oh, how we love our kids…
Do you have a child entering Middle School this upcoming school year? I am praying for you, as we try to avoid anyone getting the “cheese touch” or locking themselves in their lockers…while raising them to be leaders and influencers.
Over the past 20 years, I have had the privileged to speak at many events. From 20 adults in a small bible study group to hundreds of teens to thousands of banquet attendees. Speaking to groups about God, His restoration of my own life, and His plan for yours is my joy and honor. I love to share with teenagers and parents how God can call us to walk above the waves of adolescence without fear of drowning in the culture around us. I love to speak with women about how God has called them to rise up and walk in their calling. I would be honored to be a part of your next event! Contact my assistant, Ana, for more info!
Below are a few suggested topics–all can be tailored for your event schedule and modified for your event theme.
Women’s Events: A few of Candy’s favorite topics for Women’s Events include The Seven Jewish Feasts, Believing in the Miraculous, Focused & Fearless, and In a Moment. Candy loves speaking with women and challenging them to rise up to be everything God is calling them to be–as a mother, wife, friend, coworker, minister, and more. These topics can be tailored to fit your event theme and schedule.
Rescue: Candy presents portions of her book, Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture, in a dynamic and engaging way to parents. Adaptable for any format (from a 45 minute presentation to an entire weekend seminar), topics include Technology, Sex & Society, Pornography, Homosexuality, Communication, Faith, Identity, and more.
Parenting: The Rescue topics from above can be broken down into one-time talks or tailored to fit your event schedule. Technology & Social Media is the most requested one-time talk for parents, covering such topics as apps, filters, trends, and pornography.
Purity Talk for Teens: Candy regularly speaks to teens and has a knack for getting their attention and trust right off the bat. Purity is beyond not having an intimate physical relationship before marriage. Purity is being pure in our thoughts, in our hearts, with our mouths, and with our bodies. Candy reminds teens although it isn’t easy, they CAN “guard their hearts above all else.”
Moms & Daughters: As a mother, you have the privilege of raising the person who will grow up to be one of your best friends. The bond between mothers and daughters is sacred, valuable, and lifelong. It must be fought for, protected, and grown. What a joy!
Moms & Sons: Being a mother to a “man-child” can be tricky business. Our sons need our support and our nurturing, but they don’t want to be coddled and babied. How do we hold his hand, yet come along side our husbands in raising him to be a mighty man of God and the leader of family? Oh, it can be done and there is much laughter and adventure along the way!
The Sex Talk for Parents: Take the God-given and powerful authority you have over your child’s life. Let’s discuss sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, degrading terminology, casual sex, and the list goes on and on. But facing this culture with your eyes wide open, armed with the Word of God, and by the power of His presence…you win!
Influencers for Teens: Christian teens have been called for such a time as this! Candy will remind you that God has equipped you to make an impact…to be an influencer! Find your passion in Christ, seek Him with your whole heart and He will thrill you!
Chosen for Pre-Teens: You have been summoned by a great King! You are an heir in His Kingdom. Candy focuses on the fruit of the Spirit and applies it in a practical way. What does kindness look like to a 10-year old when your best friend is being mean to you? How does you show strength and self-control when the bully is targeting you? Candy will remind pre-teens in an upbeat, fun way how to live in a manner worthy of being His son or daughter because…You are CHOSEN!
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16
I came into the office this morning and told a friend that I feel like I am coming out of the fog of graduation. My son, Jake, graduated last Thursday and we have had more wonderful gatherings and celebrations than I can count. We enjoyed relishing in the outstanding character and accomplishments of he and his friends. I love that when we reach these milestone events in life, we have the privilege and honor of coming alongside our friends over dinner tables with lots of laughter, encouragement, and gifts. One of my precious friends gave me a gift as Jake’s graduation approached.
“I Wrote a Book About You” …is a book that gives you promptings to fill in blanks creating a book about someone you love. My husband, daughter, and I enjoyed taking turns filling in the blanks and creating a book about Jake. So much fun–we laughed and we cried and we were thoughtful and took our time as we penned a book about one that we adore.
I sat the book on the bar and one morning as I headed to the coffee pot, I looked over and saw the book…I wrote a book about you. I wrote a book about you. I remembered this scripture in Psalm that reminds us that He wrote about us in His book. Immediately I began to wonder, “Lord, as you wrote Jake’s story, I would have loved to see the places that made you laugh until your side hurt. It would have blessed me to see the chapters that brought a tear to your eye. I wonder if you were proud at the same paragraphs of his book that made me proud. I am his momma and I am flooded with emotion as I think about the book of his life. You are his creator and Savior…I can’t imagine the emotion that You must feel.”
The fact is that He wrote a book about you as well. He laughed. He cried. He celebrated and He was proud. He is a perfect Author. He is thoughtful about you. He enjoys suspenseful moments and He loves the places where the circumstances seemed impossible, but you trusted Him and He showed Himself faithful. He cries with you in the moments that break your heart, but when you question if you will make it through, He knows you will…and you’ll be stronger. He loves adventure and He only writes stories about overcomers.
You, my friend, are an overcomer. You are a real life hero in the story of us. We need you to live up to every word He has penned about you. He writes beautiful stories and He has written a book about you.
Parents, PLEASE take a minute and read this article from Fathit.com.
The “Blue Whale Challenge,” also called the “Blue Whale game,” and “F57,” is a “game” that investigators believe to have started in Russia, and has been the cause of multiple teen deaths by suicide.
It challenges players—teens and tweens—to tag each other on social media (primarily Snapchat). Once tagged, they’re in the game.
The group behind the challenge gives teens a new task each day for 50 days.
Participants download the app, which essentially hacks their personal information, and cannot be deleted.
Challenges start with fear-inducing tasks like watching horror films all day long, or waking up in the middle of the night; but quickly escalate to tasks of self-harm, or the harming of others. Eventually, the final task on the 50th day is suicide—ending the game and their lives.
What are we doing? We have a generation capable of leaving a mark and changing their very world. We should be teaching, equipping, and encouraging them to trust Christ (I mean really trust Him.) Ask Him to do the miraculous and believe that He will! Challenge this generation to go deeper in their faith. Take a stand. Be different. Rather than call and equip them to be more than they believe they can be…we settle for insuring they have lots of followers, likes, and friends. False and shallow relationships. Their creativity and self-esteem are dying. What are we doing?
Please read this full article. Blue whale is yet the next thing you must be aware if you allow social media to consume the life of your teen.
People hurt us. As my husband reminds me often, hurt people hurt people. It could be that you hear from a “friend” that your mutual friend thinks you brag about your children. It could be that your middle schooler is the only one not invited to the sleep over. Or it could be that your pastor had an affair, or your husband had an affair. Maybe your husband’s long-time business partner stole money or your child is being bullied. Whatever the specifics are, you have been thrust into a situation where you are understandably angry. Anger really isn’t the issue…the issue is when we nurse it, we focus on it. We think about it. We talk about. We feed it until it becomes bitterness and unforgiveness.
Forgiveness is one of those simple truths that we can completely grasp and agree with in our minds, BUT those dad-gum emotions have trouble getting it! And as is my nature, I like to try and justify my own unforgiveness. I have separated forgiveness in my mind into two categories; one – forgiving people from your past who you no longer have to see or have relationship with; and two – forgiving people who are still part of your life and who will often times continue to hurt you over and over again.
Forgiving people from your past, who you no longer have to maintain relationship with, though difficult, at least to me is certainly the easier of the two. I can think through the situation. I can hold it, look at it, show it to the Lord … and repeat. But at some point, I am usually able to release it. To hand it over to Him and trust that He will make it right. I shed a lot of tears and it isn’t pretty, but it’s doable.
The second type of forgiveness, however, is hard. I mean HARD. Maybe it’s an in-law that is certain to remind you at each family gathering that you are an outsider or a step-parent who plays your relationship like a game where there must be a winner and a loser. It could be a co-worker, maybe even your boss, or a teacher or…you fill in the blank. But when you consider forgiveness, you know that you are forgiving for yesterday, today, and many tomorrows. How does that work?
Forgiveness has little to nothing to do with the perpetrator, but has everything to do with us. It reminds me of the TSA recording that we have all heard so many times in the airport, “Please do not take a bag given to you by an unknown person.”
That recording made me laugh for years. Who in their right mind (especially post 9/11) would accept a bag from a stranger in an airport? No one!
Why do we allow others to hand their baggage over to us emotionally? Forgiveness is about refusing to take the bag. When we take on the baggage of unforgiveness our hands are full and our load is heavy. That was never His intent. His yoke is easy and His burden light.
As I write, I am imagining myself clutching and hanging onto unforgiveness in my own life…and you know, as I examine that image in my mind…it looks exactly the way it would look for me to clutch and hang on to an ideal. In both scenarios, the thing that I am gripping in my hands has my attention and is stealing my strength. We hold onto something we worship in His place or something that is His to unpack, yet we refuse to turn it over because we want some assurance of the way He will deal with it…it has control of us and consumes our time, emotion, and energy.
Of course there will always be those who hurt me…those who I must forgive and there will be those people for you as well. Some of those people will live forever in our past and some of those we will have to sit next to at Thanksgiving dinner. But the fact is, it only becomes unforgiveness when we take their baggage and refuse to simply release it to Him. When you can take your hurts and simply release them to Him your hands will be free and your heart will be light and all of a sudden the way He unpacks that bag won’t even matter to us.
“Fingerprints are set in stone by the time a fetus reaches 17 weeks…The level of activity of a fetus and the general chaos of the conditions of the womb prevent fingerprints from developing exactly the same way in any two fetuses. The entire development process is so chaotic that, over the entire course of human history, there is virtually no chance that the exact same pattern formed twice. What this means, though, is that fingerprints are different on every finger of your hand, they’re different on the same fingers of opposite hands, and even the fingerprints of identical twins are different from each other.” (Science ABC)
Fascinating! Each of us has a unique fingerprint. Your hands will touch people and circumstances that no one else in history or in the future will reach. And at the moment that your unique fingerprint is left, you have literally imparted the Kingdom and the Glory of the King of Kings over that person or that circumstance.
I have spent some time thinking about this and here are some random thoughts:
- The Lord has divinely orchestrated circumstances that need a touch from your hand and He has equipped you for each of those appointments.
- As a mom, your husband and your children have your sweet imprint all over them.
- I will consider the places I choose to lay my hand in the future. Is it a situation that He has called me to serve in or not? I don’t want my imprint to be absent where it should be and I don’t want to leave my mark on people or situations that would be better off without it.
You are a blessing and your unique imprint on the world around you leaves an eternal mark.