The Respect Dare – Dare 19 – How Do I Respond? – For Parents of Tweens & Teens

Loraine was trying to fully grasp what was coming out of her son’s mouth. Even more so, she knew what she was feeling, but she didn’t know quite how to respond. She decided it was probably better to just listen; ask questions and listen.

“Mom, you remember Rae Jean Reynolds from my Sunday School class when I was in junior high? She was the girl that was new to the church and came for just a short time?”

“I remember her. She had long curly hair and gorgeous brown eyes if I remember right. I haven’t seen her for quite some time. Her mother and I see each other occasionally at the gym. I remember when you and Andrew both had a crush on!”

“Yeah, that’s the one. I really liked her, but she has changed. I just can’t believe what she’s doing!”

“What is that, honey?”

“Mom, she was with her ‘girlfriend’ at prom! It was disgusting!”

“Dillon, maybe she just thought it would be more fun to go with a friend rather than some guy that she doesn’t know very well. Be about jumping to conclusions.” Loraine warned.

“No, Mom. Rae Jean has come out and said she is a lesbian. I saw them kissing each other during the dance. They’ve got pictures posted of the two of them all over Facebook!”

“Oh, honey. That had to have been hard to watch. How did you handle it?”

“I just stayed away. It made me sick to watch. She was always such a cool person to be around, but I just don’t know how to interact with her anymore.”

“How were the other kids handling it?”

“She was getting a lot of heckling over it. I felt sorry for her.”

“Did you come to her rescue?”

“Of course not, Mom. That would have meant friend suicide! I just stayed away.”

“Have you thought about how you are going to handle things at school on Monday when you see her?”

“I’ll probably just ignore her. It’s going to be really hard though because she’s in my pre-calc homework pod. Maybe I’ll ask the teacher if I can change groups.”

“Dillon, you could certainly do that. But can I offer another suggestion?”


“Maybe you need to be her friend.”

“You’ve got to be kidding! Mom, I can’t be seen with someone like her.”

“Does she have any other friends that are Christians?”

“Yes, but they are so done with her. We were all talking about it after prom. How could she do this? She was so cool.”

“Dillon, what do you think Jesus would do? Would he ridicule her, would he isolate himself from her, or would he try to be a friend to her so that maybe she can see what is right?”

“I’m not sure. I’ll be the laughing stock at school if I stand up for her. I don’t want to laugh at her, but what she is doing is wrong based on scripture!”

“Dillon, how will those that don’t follow Christ see His love if no one is willing to show love? Do you remember the woman in the Bible that was caught in adultery?”

John 8:1-11

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

“I guess I get it. It’s just so hard.”

“You know, Dillon, you are right. I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you that I’ll try to engage with Rae Jean’s mom next time I see her. I’ll let her know that I’m aware of what is going on. I’ll try to get her to share her feelings about the situation so that I will know better how to pray. I’ll be praying for you too, honey, praying that you’ll figure out how to best interact with Rae Jean.”

Parenting can be so difficult in today’s culture with all the things that go on that are called ‘sin’ in the Bible. What are we teaching our children when it comes to interacting in situations that clearly make us uncomfortable? Do we condemn or do we love? Do we teach our tweens and teens to love or do we teach them to ‘heap coals of fire’ on those that are committing the sin?

Dare you to interact with your tweens and teens in the difficult situations in life so that the love of Jesus shines.

“Let go…and let God,”

Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.




Dare 18 – The Respect Dare – Do You Leave the Front Door Open? – For Parents of 20-Somethings

Twenty-eight year old Ashley sighed as she gave her husband Derrick a hug, “Guess I really should go home and spend the day with Mom and Dad for Father’s Day. I know that I’m supposed to honor him, but it is so hard given how he treated us when we were dating.”

“Do you want me to go with you?” replied Derrick.

“Wow! That’s so sweet of you given how he acted toward you at our wedding. I love you, but I won’t subject you to his wrath.”

“Honey, I can handle it. Besides, I got the prize.”

“Aww…you are so sweet. I’d say we both won,” she whispered tenderly. “Let me think about it. The hard part is that Dad and I always had such a special relationship. I feel like when I go home I can’t be ‘Daddy’s little girl’ anymore.”

“You’ve got me now,” he laughed as he scooped her up in a tight bear hug and gently threw her on the couch. She laughed as he started tickling her and gently nuzzling her behind the ear.

After their passionate kiss, she replied, “I’m glad I chose you. If I had to choose…I knew you were the right choice.”

With that comment the tears came flooding. “Derrick, why did he make me choose?”

Later that evening Derrick broached the subject again. “Ashley, maybe it makes sense for you to go visit your parents by yourself. Please know that I’m more than willing to go with you, but maybe if you go by yourself, your dad won’t feel so threatened. Maybe you can talk about it. Maybe…maybe he’ll come to accept me…accept us as part of the family.”

“I can certainly try. I just hope he’ll listen. Maybe I’ll call Mom and share with her what I’m hoping for with Dad. Maybe she can talk some sense into him before I get there. Derrick, you are such a good man. Thank you for suggesting that I go home and work through this with my parents. I’ve always dreamed of having the opportunity to take our future children to grandma and grandpa’s house and play games and have fun there. The way it was when I was growing up. Now, I’m almost afraid of what Dad will say if I do go home. I’m afraid that it will stir up the anger all over again. I guess that I thought that no matter what I’d always be ‘Daddy’s little girl’.”

“Ashley, just remember that you’ve got me. You’ve got us. Whatever happens at your parent’s house doesn’t change the fact that I love you. I’ll be praying that your Dad will get the fact that you still want a relationship with him. Honey, I’ll never make you choose between him and me. I know that there is room in your heart to love both of us.”

Ephesians 1:3-10 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Have we been so hurt by our adult children’s choices that we have failed to extend grace to our 20-somethings? Have we made it hard for them to return through our front door? Do we sit in judgment forgetting that our children still need our love? Have we forgiven them for the choices they make…even when we don’t think they deserve it?

Dare you to have open dialog with your 20-somethings to see if there are open wounds of the past that need to be lanced so they can heal.

“Let go…and let God,”

Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.


The Respect Dare – Dare 18 – Does Fear Have a Grip on You? – For Parents of Tweens & Teens

“Cassie, you’re not going to that party! You know how we feel about these high school parties. We don’t know the parents or the students,” Marsha responded. “We’ve got plans that evening anyway.”

“Why is it we always have plans when I want to do something? What is it we’re doing?”

“I’m waiting for your dad to let me know. I’m guessing we’ll go to eat after the game. You’re welcome to invite a friend to go with us.”

“Mom, everyone in the band always goes to the party. All my friends will be there. They are always chaperoned by band parents so what’s the big deal? You act as if something bad will be going on! It’s like you always plan something so I can’t have any fun with my friends!”

And with that Cassie stormed to her bedroom and slammed the door.

A couple of hours later, Brandon, Marsha’s high school junior, came bounding into the laundry room. “Mom, I’m heading over to Adam’s for a few hours to work on Chemistry.”

“How are you getting there?”

“You said you were going to be doing laundry the rest of the afternoon. I thought I would just take your car since you won’t be driving it. Is that okay?”

“Where does he live?”

“Not too far. He’s about 10 minutes away toward Saltair.”

“I don’t know, son. Maybe I should take you. Those roads are pretty narrow and that bridge at the bottom of that curve scares me. I’ll just grab my purse and take you over there. I might need the car anyway.”

“Mom, you’ve got to be kidding! I’m 17 for heaven’s sake. Why can’t I just drive over there myself?”

“Brandon, my job is to keep you safe. I need to pick up a gallon of milk anyway, so this way I can get it on the way back.”

“Mom, I’ll just bring some home when we’re through studying.”

“Honey, I need it to fix dinner.”

“I know you are just making that up so you have to drive me!”
he flung the words at her as he grabbed his book bag.

As Marsha and Ron were climbing into bed that evening, Ron asked, “Honey, what was going on at dinner tonight? Both Cassie and Adam were in such foul moods. Anything I should know about?”

“I’m just tired of both of them asking to do things that are just not safe!” she mumbled. I feel like I always have to be on guard to make sure I have an alternative to their request. Cassie wants to go to one of those high school parties after Friday night’s game and today I had to drive Brandon over to a friend’s house because he thought he could drive on that narrow winding road down by the river! It just exhausts me! They just don’t understand all the horrible things that can happen to them.

“So I’m assuming both of them were upset because you told them both “no” to their requests?”

“Yes! I always have to be the bad guy.”

“Marsha, Adam is 17 and Cassie will be 16 in a couple of months. When are you going to let go?”

“So you think I should have said “yes”! You’ve got to be kidding! I’m not going to let my 15 year old daughter go to a party after the game where I don’t know the parents or the kids! And Adam needs more driving experience before he drives on that road!”

“Honey, so when are we going to let go?”

I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

As parents, some of us have more difficulty than others of letting our children grow up. Part of it could be our upbringing if we grew up in a home where fear was passed on to us by our parents. Others of us struggle because of something horrific that has happened, so we constantly have a nagging sense of fear that is hard to get past. Whatever the circumstance, I would encourage to ask yourself if it is time to start letting go. Our tweens and teens need to know that we trust them. They need to know that we want to protect them…but beware of holding on too tight.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dare you to assess whether you respect your tweens and teens enough to loosen the reins if you are holding on out of fear.

“Let go…and let God,”

Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.




The Respect Dare – Dare 17 – This is Scary Stuff! – For Parents of Tweens & Teens

Sitting in the Generations Class, Felicia had her homework assignment. She just didn’t know how comfortable she felt doing it. Ask my 12 and 15 year old to give me feedback on how I react to them during the day…especially in times of conflict? She just knew it was certainly going to be a time of frustration for her. She was worried that she might not hold up under the pressure of all the negative feedback she was sure to get from her kids.

Felicia took notes as the trainer gave them suggestions in how to set up the assignment.


  1. Make sure that you and your kids have a relationship where you can talk and have fun together before you begin.
    Well, that was something she had been working on since she had started the class. She felt like there had been quite a bit of improvement. Angela seemed to want to hang around the house more than she used to and would talk to Felicia more about what was going on at school. Those homework assignments had certainly done wonders for their relationship.
  2. Tell your kids that this is a homework assignment for your class. You want their feedback so that you can improve as a mom or dad. Let them know you’d like to know about some of the things you do right as a parent as well as areas where you could improve. Let them know that it is always hard to receive negative feedback and that you hope they will say the things they want to say as nicely as possible. Regardless of what they tell you, thank them for the feedback.
    I hope I can do this. Treat it like a class assignment…no emotion…just an exercise.
  3. If something they say to you makes you emotional, thank them for the feedback and ask if you can get back together again to discuss it when you’ve got your emotions better under control. Whatever you do, do not react in a negative way to the feedback. I know this is where I’ll mess it up. I can be just like my parents. When someone tells me something I don’t want to hear, words can come spewing out of my mouth.
  4. If you can emotionally handle it at the time, apologize for the reactions you’ve had in the past. Thank them for the feedback you’ve given them and tell them you want to think and pray about it. Also let them know that there will be a follow-up assignment next week. If you get emotional, tell them that this is a really difficult assignment for you and that you need to think about what they’ve said and pray about it. Let them know you’ll follow up with them later. When emotional, exit the conversation by apologizing and telling them I’ll get back to them. Keep it like an exercise. It’s homework…nothing more.
  5. Pray that God will be with you through the exercise. Maybe even pray before you begin the conversation together. Yea, this is going to need lots of prayer!

Felicia spent several days praying about the assignment and trying to get up her nerve. She decided to try it with Ben, her 12 year old. He’d probably be a little more lenient with her. The two of them weren’t nearly as reactionary together as she was with Angela.

She had survived! By Friday, she had sat down with both of her children. As she was mulling over her conversations with her children while cleaning the bathroom, she realized that just like the mirror she was cleaning, her kids had given her a true reflection of how they saw her. The verse of the week was something she needed to focus on and incorporate in her own life.

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Both Ben and Angela had mentioned numerous times when she had pounced on them with her words, even when sometimes all they were doing was making a simple request. When they had replayed the scenario from their perspectives, Felicia realized how her reaction had actually been the catalyst to set off the explosive words from each of them. They had also reminded her how she was always telling them what they weren’t doing right rather than giving them encouragement for what they were doing. “What my kids need is for me to be their cheerleader!”

Walking into class on Tuesday evening Felicia felt confident in her role as a parent. She might not get everything right, but she was learning so much about the things she did…her words and her reactions. She knew after this last assignment…

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Sometimes as parents our kids want to give us feedback. We welcome anything positive, but are ready to tell them why they are wrong when they want to tell us the negative. Sometimes I wonder if that might be the reason for the saying that I grew up with; ‘Children should be seen and not heard.’ When emotions get high, feelings get hurt, or negative comments come our way, that’s when we need to listen more intently. Our children see our weaknesses. We may not be able to change their behavior, but maybe if they see us want to grow in our role as parents, they will be more open to working in areas where they need to change.

Dare you to ask for feedback on how your kids see you as a parent. You might learn something valuable that could change the family dynamic.

“Let go…and let God”,

Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.