Choosing to Stand: Finding Strength in God’s Promises for Our Children’s Sexuality


August 1st 2023

#28: Choosing to Stand: Finding Strength in God’s Promises for Our Children’s Sexuality

What if we told you that navigating your teenager’s struggles, particularly with sexuality, doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it seems?

That’s right, we’re here to equip you with practical tools and strategies to not just withstand but also guide your child through this tricky phase.

We base our discussion on deep insights from the book Praying Circles Around Your Childrenby Mark Batterson, aiming to support you, be it a mom, dad, guardian, or someone who deeply cares for a child.

This episode is more than just a conversation about teens and their struggles; it’s a testament to the strength we can find in our faith. We talk about the pressures that our children face from society’s expectations and how to find hope, renewal, and safety in our faith.

✋ If you enjoyed this episode of Sacred by Design, please head over to Apple Podcasts, leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe.

Learn how to trust God with every person and situation in your lives and renew your strength in Him. Remember, you’re not alone in your struggles and, with faith, you have the power to navigate through this journey.

So tune in, because this conversation serves as a beacon of hope, offering you an encouraging and uplifting perspective on parenting.

Transcription: Choosing to Stand: Finding Strength in God’s Promises for Our Children’s Sexuality

Andrea Smithberger [00:00:00]:

Psalm 23 reads like a sweet watercolor invitation, doesn’t it? Lately though, the words of Psalm 23 have sunk in for me like a declaration of authority, like a statement of confidence beyond just the invitation to rest. In this episode of Sacred by Design, the message goes out to all moms. But if you are not a mom, don’t you dare leave. Because the same declaration of authority, the same statement of confidence and invitation to rest, along with a few bonuses, is for you too. Sacred by Design is a safe place to cover topics on sexuality. When it comes to our kids and sexuality, we tend to shut down those topics in real life real quickly, don’t we? But if we remember that God’s design for sexuality is good and intentional and purposeful and powerful for us, we need to remember that the same is true for our children, even as they explore, as they wander, and as they push. So how does this all come together? It starts with a lesson. From time to time, your kid might find themselves in deep waters, peer pressure pushing them in a current, taking them along.

Andrea Smithberger [00:01:29]:

Maybe you just found out that your daughter, your little girl, is having sex. Maybe you found out that your son is exploring sexuality with both boys and girls. Or maybe you’re finding out that pornography is more than just a one time look up in your house. Can you feel the deep waters churning? I know that I can. The current is moving fast, pulling your son further and further away from you. And your daughter is caught in a swirl of whirling emotions and hormones about to take her under and you are on the shore. What do you do? What do you do? Well, as the lesson goes, you have two choices. And before we explore the choices, I want to be very clear that I know no matter what you choose and how you’ve chosen, I know that your heart is in a good place, in a loving place, and that you want what’s best for your kid and that you don’t want them to hurt or choose the wrong way.

Andrea Smithberger [00:02:29]:

Right? I know that. But we do need to explore the difference that the choices will make. Option number one is to jump in. If you choose to jump in the raging waters and start overstepping boundaries with friends or going through all texts and DMs, you’re going to find yourself being taken under. You’re going to find yourself struggling just like your kid. Now it’s not just your kid struggling, it’s you too. Option two. Option two is to stand.

Andrea Smithberger [00:03:03]:

What does that look like? Okay, so you’re standing on the shore and you see your kids struggling. You hear them struggling. You know what’s happening. You can see it. But from the shore, with your feet planted on firm ground, you’re giving your kid and you’re giving you. You the adult with wisdom and love and faith. You’re giving you a wider view, an opportunity to maybe see a little bit more. You’re giving yourself a chance to catch your breath.

Andrea Smithberger [00:03:38]:

You’re giving yourself a chance to hold on to your strength. And now, because of where you stand, now you can listen for Jesus in the struggle. Jesus. What do I do? Jesus. What do I say? And because you’re listening, you can hear Him when he wants to push you towards a branch of encouragement or a line of advice. Now, because of where you stand, because you’ve not jumped in, you have strength, you have wisdom, and you have listening ears for what the Lord wants you to do with your child as they struggle. How the heck do you do this? You plant both feet on the ground, and you stand in remembering who you are. You stand remembering who has brought you this far.

Andrea Smithberger [00:04:32]:

You stand in the promise that if God goes before you, that that same promise is true for your child. You stand in the promise that if God has a plan and a hope and a future for you, that the same is true for your child, no matter what they’re struggling with. Please consider standing. Plant your feet in the foreverness of God. Instead of jumping into the whirlpool of teenagers, I’ve got two practical ways to help you stand or to consider standing. Number one is this little book praying circles around your children. That’s the actual, literal title of this book by Mark Batterson. It’s a quick read with lots of advice and encouragement, and here’s how it works.

Andrea Smithberger [00:05:21]:

Think of your child. Think of what they’re struggling with, and find a verse. Pray for a verse to pray around them. Circle them in that verse. So if your son is struggling with anxiety, maybe you’ll circle them in Philippians four, that instead of being anxious about anything, that he would be able to focus on all that is good, all that is admirable, all that is noble, all that is true. You can even grab a piece of paper, make a circle, put your child’s name in it, and the verse and circle them in that prayer every day. Or if you like to journal or write into your Bible, highlight that verse, and put a circle, your child’s initials and the date next to it. So then you can look back and see how far you’ve come, how far God has worked, and how far your child has come.

Andrea Smithberger [00:06:08]:

Because it is worth remembering. Tip number two is to circle yourself with a group of faithful, loving, honest, safe moms. I cannot tell you how valuable my circle of sweet friends has been to me. And over these years, as we have shared and cried and pushed and celebrated and prayed through all of our kids stuff together, they have become women to encourage me not to jump in or to remind me why to stand. Being a mom is a hard job. You’re not alone. You’re not alone. So don’t do this alone.

Andrea Smithberger [00:06:52]:

It is hard being a mom. It is hard watching somebody you love with every fiber of your being hurt or struggle or choose something you wouldn’t choose. I wonder how hard it is for Jesus to watch me jump in. If you have chosen to jump in recently, I’m with you. I have five kids, ages ten to 21, and I am standing, jumping, standing, jumping, considering a lot. So I’m with you. Your heart is good. And if you’ve chosen to jump in recently, could you close your eyes and imagine this? Imagine that your son is being swept away on a pretty fast current of what culture is telling him and forcing him towards.

Andrea Smithberger [00:07:41]:

And you see it. You’re standing on the shore and you see it, and you can’t stand it. And you jump in because you want Him to not hurt. But suddenly you’re in the current, and it’s sweeping you away, and you’re fighting it, and you can’t even reach Him because you’re too tired, you’re too frantic. You’re being taken under, but all of a sudden, you’re being pulled out of the water. Jesus is pulling you to shore. He’s setting you on soft grass. Can you feel the solid ground beneath you? Can you put your face up and feel the warmth of the sun on your face? Now that you’ve caught your breath, now it’s time to stand.

Andrea Smithberger [00:08:26]:

Because now you can hear the voice of the Lord encouraging you towards your next move with your son or your daughter. Now it’s time to stand, because the Lord is your shepherd, and he has all you need. He has all your child needs. He wants to pull you out of that raging river and set you beside a peaceful stream. Are you willing to follow that lead? Are you? He wants to renew your strength. And when things get dark, you will not be afraid. A simple prayer, a powerful prayer that you can say as you stand. Because I believe in you.

Andrea Smithberger [00:09:06]:

You can stand is I give everyone and everything thing to you, God. I give everyone and everything to you. Rest up, mom. Circle your kids in scripture. Circle yourself with women of faith and love and safety and stand close.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does the analogy of standing on the shore and witnessing your children struggling resonate with you? Can you relate to having a broader perspective in challenging situations?
  2. How has your understanding of Psalm 23 evolved after listening to this episode? How does it provide a sense of authority and confidence in your life?
  3. What are some practical ways you can stay grounded and pause to regain composure in challenging parenting moments?
  4. How do you view God’s design for sexuality, and how do you plan to discuss it with your children? What challenges do you anticipate in these conversations?
  5. How can you navigate difficult situations with peer pressure and teach your children to make good choices?
  6. In what ways do you find strength and guidance from Jesus in your struggles as a parent?


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