All posts by wpuser

Physical and Verbal Abuse

“I’ll never hit you again.” “If you’d just do what I ask, I wouldn’t have to do this.” Maybe you’ve heard these words; maybe you’ve said them. Whichever side you’re on, physical and verbal abuse cause inexpressible damage. The bruises may fade, but the invisible scars last a lifetime. An abuser attacks your emotions, your sense of worth and often, your body. Long after physical scars heal and the argument ends, emotional wounds erode your self-worth. Abusers typically act out of an unchecked need for control, and the people they abuse become imprisoned by manipulation and domination — sometimes even believing they deserve this cruel behavior. Fortunately, there is a way out of abusive patterns both for those addicted to control and those victimized by abuse.

Background Info

Emotional and Verbal Abuse

The wounds caused by abuse aren’t always visible.

Recognizing Abuse — Both Seen and Unseen

Verbal and physical abuse are far more prevalent in our society than you might expect.

All Abuse Hurts

Abuse comes in different packages.

Questions and Answers

How do you know you are in an abusive relationship?


Would you recommend that the Christian wife of an abusive husband actually divorce him?


Why do abused women often stay, rather than just flee the situation?


How should a wife go about dealing with her husband’s abusive problem?


My husband has only hit me once, in a big fight we had. Should I separate from him?


Review answers to frequently asked questions or ask your own.


I Didn’t Matter

Everything and everyone in Leah’s life seemed to shout “You don’t matter.”


An abused man speaks out about the destruction of his marriage, and the healing he has found.

Losing Myself

One abused woman found hope, healing … and herself.

If you’ve been through a difficult experience pertaining to this topic and found help and healing that might encourage others, we invite you to share your story.Share your story

Other Things to Consider

The Hungry Heart

By their design, our souls seek satisfaction like a starving man seeks food. Regardless of race, culture or creed, we have one commonality: hungry hearts. What is it our souls hunger for? Relationship.

Where Is God in the Midst of All My Troubles?

So many cry out to Him in times of need, but is God really listening? And, more important, does He care?

Special Situations

Even in cases of adultery, abuse and addictions, divorce isn’t always the solution.

Pornography and Cybersex

twi_topic_intro_image_008400-1It can begin with something seemingly harmless: airbrushed photos in a magazine or a click on the Web. Soon you’re desiring more graphic material and falling more often. Pornography, a closet addiction, grabs you when you’re weak and holds you in its clutches. Planting seeds of alienation, it attacks and destroys relationships and robs you of self-respect. Others become objects or, worse, simply pleasure-giving machines. Lost in a fantasy world, porn becomes your focus and your drive. Is it possible to break free from this bondage?

Background Info

The Chat Community

Chat rooms offer a place “where everybody knows your name.”

Subtle Dangers of Pornography

Only a small number of people who view pornography develop addictions that lead them to violent behavior. But pornography does pose subtle dangers for all people who dabble in it.

Sex and Lies

Five things pornography teaches about women.

Stages of Porn Addiction

The progression of addiction can lead you to a place you never thought you’d go.

Addiction Triggers

Recognizing what causes the cycle to start.

Questions & Answers

I’m a college student who is addicted to online porn. What can I do to break this habit?


My wife has a cybersex problem. What do I do?


Review answers to frequently asked questions or ask your own.


When Cyber-Dating Becomes an Addiction

It might seem fun, exciting and harmless at first, but online dating can become a trap.

Heading in a New Direction

Surely someone this deeply addicted to pornography would be out of God’s reach.

If you’ve been through a difficult experience pertaining to this topic and found help and healing that might encourage others, we invite you to share your story.

Share your story

Other Things to Consider

The Hungry Heart

By their design, our souls seek satisfaction like a starving man seeks food. Regardless of race, culture or creed, we have one commonality: hungry hearts. What is it our souls hunger for? Relationship.

What’s Good About Sex?

Sex clubs, Internet porn, AIDS … with so much perversion, it’s easy to forget what God intended sex to be.

Where Is God in the Midst of All My Troubles?

So many cry out to Him in times of need, but is God really listening? And, more important, does He care?

Special Situations

Even in cases of adultery, abuse and addictions, divorce isn’t always the solution.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Lookin’ For

How pornography fails to satisfy our core needs.

Virtual Unfaithfulness: Pornography Use in a Marriage

Why shouldn’t a husband and wife use pornography to increase their sexual excitement and enhance their lovemaking?

The Sexual Developmental Stages

Male homosexuality is a developmental problem that is almost always the result of problems in family relations, particularly between father and son.1 This article examines family dynamics as one of many root causes of homosexuality. But the reality is that homosexuality is brought about by a multitude of root causes. It is simplistic thinking to attribute undue significance to any single factor.

The following pages reveal what can typically happen in specific stages of a male’s life leading him to identify, or be labeled by others, as a homosexual. But keep in mind the following factors that can have extreme implications on determining one’s sense of gender identity:


  • Sexual violation or experimentation with men or boys
  • Incest or molestation
  • Exposure to pornography
  • Negative spiritual influences
  • Media influences
  • Personality temperament
  • Negative body image
  • Peer labeling, harassment or alienation
  • Fear of — or an inability to relate to — the opposite sex


Birth to 18 months

In the initial stage of life, the child receives foundational security from the one closest — namely, his mother. The infant acutely senses the emotional atmosphere from such cues as voice tone. Touch is also an important source of information for infants. The warmth and pressure from contact with the mother’s body carries a message to young babies of security in moments of stress.2 Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel state, “Ideally, an infant’s first year or two of life is spent developing a deep, secure bond of love with the mother that leads to a healthy sense of personal identity. Psychologist Erik Erikson calls this the development of ‘basic trust’ … ”3

If the child does not obtain basic trust with the mother, he becomes vulnerable to a multitude of problems. Lacking that trust is not the cause of homosexuality by any means; it simply opens the door for a child’s vulnerability in a number of subsequent developmental stages, including the creation of his sexual identity.

18 months to 5 years

Between the ages of 18 months and 5 years, a boy needs to receive gender affirmation both verbally and physically. His perception of his sexual identity will come from the primary people in his life — again, his parents.

Beginning around 18 months, the child begins to tell the difference between male and female. The boy will notice he is different from his mother, and his body is like his father’s. The father becomes more significant and the boy wants to reach out to him, to connect with him. This sense of being a boy is called gender identity. After gender identity is formed, then gender stability develops.4 If the basic trust with mom has been established, it means that he is familiar with her. Now he wants to branch out to the father because he’s interesting. This is what Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, president of the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, calls the “separation individuation phase.”5

“If the father is warm and receptive, then the son can make this transition,” says Nicolosi. “He can dis-identify with the mother and connect with the father to fulfill his natural masculine strivings and establish a secure sense of gender identity. But if the father is cold, distant, disinterested, critical or rejecting — according to the boy’s perception — the boy will experience a hurt and rejection, which is what we call a ‘narcissistic hurt.’ That is why narcissism — a preoccupation with the self — is a large part of the male homosexual condition.”6

When a child yearns to connect with someone who is unwilling or unable, the wounds can scar him for life. Both mother and father, as a “parental team,” must assist the boy in this transitional phase. You can see how the triangle of the classic triadic relationship can so easily become distorted when parents respond inappropriately at different stages in their son’s life.

Back to the basics

If the mother, for example, is not affirming the husband’s role in the family by her words and actions, the baby boy — even in this early stage of his life — will pick up on that and his view of men, maleness and masculinity will become devalued.

The father’s acceptance of his son as a young male is critical. One man in the midst of walking away from homosexuality said, “My father never hugged me or touched me. I had no physical connection with him.” Again, the primary cause of homosexuality is not the absence of a father figure, but the boy’s hurtful experience with his father.7

During the gender affirmation stage, many things may have contributed to this lack of bonding. Perhaps the father felt left out of the mother/son relationship and withdrew from the son. Perhaps his work left him physically absent from the household. Maybe the dad felt incapable of connecting with his son who lacked similar interests and emotions. Maybe the mother devalued his worth as a man, and he felt awkward being a male role model to his son. Many factors contribute to a lack of connection between father and son in the critical separation individuation phase.8

Also remember that perception holds a faulty grasp on reality. What the son perceives may be far from his parents’ intentions, but because it is the only thing he knows to be true, it will shape who he becomes.

5 to 12 years

School enters the scene, and a whole new world of relating to peers comes into play. At this time, same-sex peer relationships become very important, often involving intense emotions. These friendships play a vital role in the development of a secure gender and sexual identity. (Remember the “cootie-stage” when boys and girls stay far away from one another?) Nicolosi emphasizes that “an attachment to the same sex is not wrong; indeed it is precisely the right thing for meeting same-sex deficits. What is improper is eroticizing these friendships.”9

Peer relationships in grade school can be either intimidating or wonderfully affirming experiences. Many homosexual men commonly recall painful memories with peers during this period. What the boy has interpreted as his gender identity will carry over to the school grounds and be reinforced by his peers. Dr. Barb Durso observes that, at this time, “most children develop stereotypic behaviors appropriate to their gender identity. Thus girls sometimes refuse to wear pants because ‘only boys wear pants.’ This can happen even if the girl has a mother and other female role models that wear pants. Conversely, boys may become intensely interested in playing ‘army.’”10 But if he is already estranged from his father, he will likely feel alienated from the boys in his class and will have an unstable sense of gender identity. Verbal taunting may occur only to solidify his sense of masculine inferiority.

Rather than face the humiliation sure to come from boys playing sports and other games together, he may retreat to solitary pursuits. Social isolation and loneliness during this time are often experienced by homosexuals as adults. Again, his personality temperament will play a key role in how he responds to his circumstances.

It is this period, from 5 to 12 years, that Sigmund Freud termed the “latency period.” Many gay activists say that young boys who emotionally estrange themselves from their fathers and carry this to their peers are already homosexual. Nicolosi says, “We would rather call them ‘pre-homosexual.’ In other words, if we do nothing, they will become homosexual.”11 “The pre-homosexual boy has typically experienced a hurt and disappointment in his relationship with his father. This hurt may be the result of active abuse or simply passive neglect.”12 Failure to have this hurt dealt with appropriately leads to vulnerability at later developmental stages.

Much cross-gender behavior, or gender nonconformity, can be observed during this time. Nicolosi emphasizes the development of a boy’s “false self.” “The false self is part of this good little boy,” he explains. “Such pre-homosexual boys are very polite, responsible, clean, neat, sensitive to other people, especially their mothers’ needs, aware of what other people expect of them and tend to deny their own needs and wants and would rather make other people happy. … It is like a false role. And that is why when men finally come out of the closet, they can act up and become bad little boys. … Homosexual behavior is a way of being bad.”13

As Nicolosi states, boys are not homosexual at this point; they simply show tendencies to become homosexual. Part of being the “good little boy” is an alienation from his own developing masculine body. What is happening in these boys is a distinct disconnection from their bodies. “His male body is alienated from him. And there is an excessive shyness and modesty because he does not have the natural connection with his body,” Nicolosi explains.14

12 years to adulthood

Puberty can be a point of revelation for a young boy. As Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel put it: “Most people from a lesbian or gay background feel different or may even be labeled ‘queer’ from an early age. But the full significance of these labels hit, usually in the junior high years, when the first strong rushes of sexual attraction come surging up — and turn out to be surging in the wrong direction.” 15

With the deluge of gay-affirmative messages being forced upon teens in public education, Dr. Uriel Meshoulam warns against a young boy embracing a “gay” label. “As a psychologist, all too often I see people in therapy, sexually conflicted and confused, have their plight compounded by social pressures. … Well-intentioned affirming messages, such as ‘be true to your real self,’ imply a fixed, ‘true’ and probably inborn sexual orientation. This powerful truism, more often than not, makes young teenagers feel that they need to quickly make up their minds as to ‘who they really are.’”16

When hormones enter the world of a boy with a healthy gender identity, he will look around and see that girls possess a kind of mystery about them; something that makes him curious and attracted to them. In other words, a healthy sexuality searches for the opposite gender or ‘other,’ which complements and completes one’s own gender. And so the teen heterosexual boy will pursue girls to fulfill that curiosity, to discover the unknown.

During this stage of development, boys tend to withdraw from the family circle at home and may be critical of parents and siblings. They are worried about aspects of self — especially that others won’t like them. Self-absorption is the hallmark of this age. They are sensitive to criticism and keenly perceptive of the emotions of others. Teen boys needing privacy often secede from the family and become moody and uncommunicative.17

But the pre-homosexual has already been disconnected from his father, friends and his sexuality by this point in his life. His own masculinity is a mystery to him. It’s like the teen boy who, due to masculine inadequacies, is most drawn to females to feel comfortable, safe and unthreatened. The world of boys and men is completely foreign. Getting there feels like crossing a great canyon. So while heterosexuals find females intriguing and in possession of something they do not have, so it is that pre-homosexual boys find members of the same sex intriguing.

During this “erotic transactional phase,” as termed by Dr. Nicolosi, all the psychological and identification issues that have been established now set the direction for sexual energy. “Homosexual behavior is really a symbolic attempt to become familiar with their own bodies through other male bodies,” he says.18

As one man overcoming homosexuality said, “Friends were heroes to me, and I wanted to get connected and closer because I felt empowered. … It wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 that it got to be a sexual kind of thing.”19

Even though homosexuality is becoming more socially acceptable and even promoted as an attractive and preferable way of life now more than ever before, most boys in junior high and high school do not want to be gay. Most hope what they feel is a “passing phase.” Many keep their confusing desires to themselves. Christians are told to simply “pray about it.” Some try dating the opposite sex to remedy their desires. But none of this helps those who are struggling because their feelings and attractions are not being explained to them.20 They are left confused, and many will come to their own conclusion that they must be homosexual. The words “homo,” “queer” and “fag” sting just as badly as they did when they first heard them. With an even lower self-esteem, they plunge ahead to their futures, trying to accept that they must be gay and, as such, might as well fulfill the desire and act out in homosexual behavior.

College and beyond

The last step in the development of a homosexual identity usually comes in the years after high school, when all kinds of options become available. Leaving the constraints and influences of home and church, a young man will often discover a world eager to usher him into the homosexual community.21 With the availability of gay bars, gyms, beaches, even the Internet, numerous opportunities beckon a confused young man to be sought out or to seek out relationships with men.

Some choose to openly “come out” while others secretly “act out.” In either case, the homosexual who hasn’t been told the truth that his homosexuality is changeable, unknowingly becomes trapped. The seeming acceptance and rush of excitement that may seem fulfilling at the time, ends up leaving him empty and hopeless.

Clearly there is some overlap in the stages that have been laid out. Ages are not exact in every child and neither are the activities, thoughts or feelings described in each. Some may be acting out their homosexual desires very early in life. Others wait until their late teen or early adult years to engage in homosexual behavior.

1. Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1991), 25.
2. Marc H. Bornstein and Helen G. Bornstein, “Infancy,” Child and Family Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,
3. Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel, Coming Out of Homosexuality (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 44.
4. Barb Durso, M.D., “Gender Identity,” Your Child’s Development, September 2000,
5. Josehp Nicolosi, Ph.D., “The Condition of Male Homosexuality,” speech presented at the Love Won Out conference, Dallas, TX, May 6, 2000.
6. Ibid.
7. Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, 34.
8. Ibid., 40.
9. Nicolosi, “The Condition of Male Homosexuality.”
10. Durso,
11. Nicolosi, “The Condition of Male Homosexuality.”
12. Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, 57.
13. Ibid., 237-264.
14. Nicolosi, “The Condition of Male Homosexuality.”
15. Davies and Rentzel, 52.
16. Uriel Meshoulam, Ph.D., “Is it OK to tell a teen, be true to your real self?,” Boston Globe, February 28, 1999, C6.
17. Loretta Haroian, Ph.D., “Child Sexual Development,” Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, vol. 3, February 1, 2000,
18. Nicolosi, “The Condition of Male Homosexuality.”
19. The Map: Interactive CD & Journal (Portland, OR: The Portland Fellowship, 2000).
20. Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, 69.
21. Davies and Rentzel, 52.

Excerpted from the booklet The Truth Comes Out: The Roots and Causes of Male Homosexuality, published by Focus on the Family. Copyright © 2001 Focus on the Family.

Talking About Sex

Question and Answer

Is sexual experimentation normal? What should I do if I catch my child acting out with another child?

It can be difficult to know what’s the normal sexual health and development of our children. Harder still, parents have to give answers to their children’s questions about sex at increasingly earlier ages. How should a parent respond when they overhear a neighborhood girl pointing out the difference between Barbie and Ken? Or what actions should they take after catching young boys touching each other?

The cultural messages our kids receive may make the task more difficult, but concerned parents can ask themselves questions to help teach healthy sexuality.


  • Does my child’s behavior reflect our family’s value system? Healthy childhood sexual development begins at home. Ideally, both parents need to model appropriate behaviors and attitudes about sexuality. If parents are comfortable and responsible with their sexuality, their children are more likely to develop healthy sexuality.
  • Does my child need sex education at an early age? A delay in sex education results in a child’s heightened curiosity. Because sexuality is a central part of life, it’s only natural that our children want to know about sexuality. Parents must take the initiative and teach their children about sex, or they will run the risk of their kids learning about it from some place besides the home.
  • How can I redirect inappropriate behavior? Because sexual experimentation is occurring at younger ages, parents may need to be even more cautious. Recently my six-year-old daughter, Mary, and her friend were playing with their baby dolls. My wife, Renee, overheard our daughter explaining how babies are born. Mary had not done anything wrong, but Renee cautiously changed the subject and explained these kinds of conversations are private. She also alerted the other parent of what had been said so they could talk to their daughter. Children touching each other has much larger implications. While curiosity is to be expected, sexual touch cannot be condoned or ignored. Of course, parents need to be careful not to shame their children or even punish them for one-time behavior. The solution most likely is to stay current with sex education in the home and to enforce healthy boundaries.
  • Will inappropriate sexual behavior cause any harm to a child’s body? Some sexual behaviors like vaginal or anal penetration can be physically painful or harmful. But other behaviors like touching or oral sex are typically pleasurable. These pose perhaps the greater long-term risk because a child may begin to seek them out in compulsively.
  • Will inappropriate sexual behavior cause any harm to a child’s mind? Illicit sexual behaviors stimulate brain chemistry that can become addictive over time. Sexual behaviors paired with pornography only heighten the stimulation. It’s also accepted that two people — even children — can become bonded emotionally or relationally in unhealthy ways due to sexual activity.
  • Does my child’s behavior suggest he is naïve or intentional? When sex education is lacking, naivety can lead to sexual experimentation. While some sexual experimentation is typical even in healthy children, each situation is worthy of careful consideration. For example, how often is this behavior occurring? How does the child respond to sensitive redirection? Is your child’s personality or demeanor changing significantly?
  • What if I suspect my child has been abused? If we watch and listen with compassion and reason, we can learn a lot about how he or she is doing. If you suspect abuse, pray that God will meet you and your child’s needs, educate yourself and show empathy to your child. Then when you talk to a pediatrician or trained therapist, he or she will undoubtedly encourage you to model and teach healthy sexuality.


Sexuality is a powerful force for good or evil, and remains one of life’s most profound mysteries. Fortunately, each situation can be embraced as a teachable moment where parent and child can build open communication about human sexuality. Sexual desires and drives were created in us by God, and though they are not evil, we live in a culture that often distorts God’s ideal. Teaching your children proper sexual conduct and strong, godly principles can set them on the right path for life.

Bearing the Burden of a Child’s Illness

Each summer during college, I worked in a group home for six developmentally disabled adults. It was one of the most emotionally challenging, yet rewarding, jobs I’ve ever had. These individuals were grown men and women, finally living (with assistance) away from home. I was amazed to see the continued dedication their parents had for them, demonstrated through care packages, letters and visits. And I remember thinking how difficult it would be to have a child with such disabilities. But I also remember the joy, laughter and sheer sense of wonder each of them possessed — and unintentionally shared with me.

Now that I have children, I realize that one of the greatest hopes a parent has is for their children to live long and healthy lives. During each of my two pregnancies, I wondered daily if my babies would be healthy. It was my greatest prayer that they would be. And at their births, I praised God with relief that they were.

I knew several parents with special needs children and wondered whether or not I had the faith or strength to be a mom to a child with a disability. To be truthful, I was thankful that God must have chosen to test my faith in a different way.

And He did. Less-than-perfect diagnoses for both our healthy children came later.

A few months after my first daughter turned 2, she had a seizure. Unlike the more common febrile seizure that often accompanies a high fever, my daughter had a rarer Complex Partial Seizure. These seizures can occur from a brain injury or because of some abnormality or irregularity in the brain waves. After extensive testing, we discovered that her brain waves showed a pattern common to epilepsy. The pediatric neurologist told us that she had a 70 percent chance of having another seizure in the next year.

We were devastated.

Then a few months later, my gut instinct told me that there was something wrong with our second child, who had just turned a year old. I was right.

My younger daughter’s first four teeth had only recently come in, and they were all a bit strange-looking. We made an appointment with a pediatric dentist, hoping he would say that these teeth were indeed “strange,” but simply baby teeth, with no cause for alarm. Instead, he told us what my heart feared: Our daughter had a congenital birth defect called Ectodermal Dysplasia. All of her teeth would be malformed or missing, and she would most likely have few or no permanent teeth of her own.

We discovered that this genetic disorder affects at least two of the structures in the ectodermal cell layer that forms in the fourth week of gestation: hair, eyes, ears, teeth, skin, nails and sweat glands. And while a full diagnosis is still pending, the other structural disorder that our daughter most likely will contend with is diminished functioning in her sweat glands.

Again, we were devastated. We grieved mostly for the pain and struggle our girls may face as a result of these health issues. But because we have put our trust in God, we felt a calming, comforting peace that could only come from Him.

While the health concerns of my precious girls pale in comparison to those of so many other children, I am a mother who knows what it’s like to worry, grieve and suffer alongside a sick child — no matter how grave the illness, need or disability.

The good news is that God cares and shares in the suffering of parents who have received overwhelming health-related diagnoses like these. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, is available to all who put their trust in Him and place in His ultimate care the lives and futures of their children (Philippians 4:7). His strength has given us hope, and it can give you hope, too.

Here are a few things He has been teaching my heart along the way:

    • God loves you. You are not alone. He knows exactly what you’re going through right now, and He cares. He’s got a plan to work for good through all of this, and believe it or not, He loves your children even more than you do. He will not leave you alone to handle this by yourself.


    • You didn’t do anything wrong. Your child’s illness is not your fault. When all you want to do is help your little one find comfort, you feel more helpless than ever. And it’s easy to feel unnecessary guilt. The world is a hard, scary place to be sometimes, and unfortunately, you can’t shelter your children from pain all of the time. That is the reality of this life. We have to surrender our family to God each day, saying, “Take care of my child, Lord. You made their bodies and you know best how to restore them.”


    • A good sense of humor goes a long way. You’ve got to laugh. My brother-in-law grabbed my 1-year-old’s head a few weeks after her diagnosis and said, “Cranky! She’s got powerful jaws and sharp teeth!” He was pretending he was an Australian alligator hunter. We never laughed so hard. We needed to laugh. Of course, it’s important not to say things that would be hurtful to a child who has reached a sensitive age, but humor, used appropriately, can relieve tension. Your children will take their cues from you. If you have a positive attitude about their situation, and can find humor in the everyday things of life, you will encourage your child to do the same.


    • Friends can be a source of encouragement and comfort. While it’s true that no one really knows what you’re going through except you (and to some extent, perhaps, your family), people still want to be there for you. Let them. God works through people in amazing ways. Don’t be afraid to receive from your friends, whether through a meal, baby-sitting, prayers or words of comfort. Sure, it’s uncomfortable to feel needy, but the reality is, you are needy right now. That’s OK. Let your friends receive the blessing that comes in reaching out and giving to you.


    • Friends can be a source of discouragement and distress. You know the kind. The friends who think they’re “helping” by telling you the latest miracle drug they discovered on the Internet or heard about through a friend of a friend’s niece’s cousin’s doctor. If a well-intentioned person is causing you unwarranted fear, or suggesting that your child would get well if you did such-and-such, resolve to not discuss your child’s health matters with them anymore. These people will only bring you down.


  • God gives strength to those who ask. There is nothing more painful than to see your child suffer. Be honest with God about your feelings. Ask Him to help you trust Him with your child’s health. And if you are able to give God your trust, you’ll discover that He will give you His heart. Then, you’ll realize that you are sharing in His suffering for His children. Through this pain, God has given you an opportunity to look into His own heart and walk beside Him.

Be encouraged. God will reveal His faithfulness to you in amazing, tangible ways — through your precious children.

To Date or Not to Date

Dating is a parental values issue and one that should be decided upon as early as possible before your teen hits adolescence. How you view dating and marriage will determine the expectations your teenager has when he goes to middle and high school. If a parent decides that his child won’t date until 16, then the child is being raised with the expectation that 16 is the magic number that will allow him to date. If, on the other hand, you as a parent don’t believe in dating and want your teen to pursue a friendship that could lead to courtship and marriage, your approach and messages will be very different. The key is to be consistent with your messages and expectations.If you decide you will allow your teenager to date, guidelines are very important. He should be encouraged to group date rather than go out alone. Group dating allows your teen to become friends first with his date. There are many resources and ideas for safe group dating. It also is important that your teen already be trained in situations that could occur in group dating or singular dating. Discuss possible situations before they occur and give your child specific statements about how to say “No!” Having a game plan is always better than letting things go to chance.

Excerpted from “Let’s Talk About Sex,” published by Focus on the Family. Copyright © 1998 Focus on the Family.

Questions and Answers
Our 16-year-old daughter has started dating. How do we help her keep perspective and avoid trouble?Answer
My 16-year-old daughter wasn’t asked to the prom and she’s crushed. As a dad, what can I do to help build her up?Answer
Should we discourage our son from getting involved in a “summer romance”?Answer
My daughter and her boyfriend just laugh it off, but I am alarmed by the put-downs and insults they toss back and forth. Am I being too sensitive?Answer
Proms sure have changed since I was in school. I’m a little nervous about allowing my teenage daughter to go. What should I do?Answer
I really want my daughter to enjoy the Valentine season, but how can I help her see past the worldly exploitation of romance?Answer
Review answers to frequently asked questions or ask your own.
Giving Your Teens a Vision for SexThere’s more to abstinence than saying “no.”
If you’ve been through a difficult experience pertaining to this topic and found help and healing that might encourage others, we invite you to share your story.Share your story
Other Things to Consider
Do What I DoChildren learn by watching us live our lives. All the more reason to live honorably.