fatherhood

FATHERS, SEX, TRAINING YOUTH, Tyler Jacobson

Having The Sex Talk With Your Teenager


Talking about sex with your teen is not a fun task. It can be awkward, uncomfortable and rattling. This is especially true considering that many of us fathers never had much of a sex talk from our parents. But for this generation of children who are constantly exposed to the highly sexualized world, it is vital that your children gain a real, non-sensationalized view of sex.

As the parent, you are expected to be the one insisting on the conversation and in control. But you probably feel just as weird about it as your teen does, maybe even more so.

Regardless, “the talk” is one of the most important milestones in the development of your child. It cannot be delayed for too long. Children often have access to highly inaccurate information on sex, thanks to their peers and the digital age they are growing up in.

The Stats On Sex As It Relates To Teens

According to the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP), a survey in 2015 found that 41% of high school students admitted that they had already engaged in sexual intercourse.

That isn’t the only surprising statistic about teens and sex. According to a study in 2017, the average age of exposure to hardcore pornography in today’s age is 13 years old. Those images can be confusing and misleading for young people who have no context or way to frame what is happening on screen.

Approaching “The Talk” With Your Teens

It is crucial that you discuss sex with your children, even if they are older teens. To help your children feel more comfortable talking about sex with you, try doing these things:

Encourage them to relax and trust you.

  • Now, I’m not saying mere words will do the trick. A key part of being a father and head of the home is to continuously build your family’s trust. Look at your actions honestly, and if you feel like you have cultivated a strong trusting relationship with your children, you are more likely to have them relax and trust you enough to have an uncomfortable discussion.

Invite your teens to be honest without fear of being punished.

  •  Since some teens become sexually active around the ages of 13-14, they could be too scared to tell you. This fear puts them in a dangerous position, as someone can manipulate them with their fear. If you can truly promise you will not punish your children for their honesty, you can help avert serious issues.

Cover the medical aspects.

  • This includes the reproductive organs and processes of both genders, sexually transmitted diseases, what causes and happens during pregnancy, and other topics as you feel are appropriate.

Go over the emotional aspects of sexual activity.

  • These topics can include the emotional connection that can come with sexual activity, how sex and intimacy differ, etc.

Talk about contraceptive methods.

  • Cover what methods do and do not work effectively. Avoid scare tactics, as teens will often research what you say to check. Parents who lie in an attempt to keep their children from having sex can damage the trust they have built-up with their children.

Discuss the importance of consent for both parties.

  • Even if waiting until marriage is a value in your family, your children should understand how important their husband’s or wife’s consent is to a healthy relationship. Also, talk to your children about knowing when you are ready for sex.

Cover The Dynamics Of Sex And Relationships

Sex is not the only topic that should be on the table. Alongside the above points, you should also discuss how to know you are in a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy one. Talk about what respect means for both parties in a relationship and how important it is for healthy relationships to be based on respect and trust.

Too often, young people will become involved in a physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive relationships with no knowledge that they have been sucked into one. With your guidance, your children can learn the red flags and what to do if they ever find themselves in a toxic relationship, and how to help if they have friends who are in one.

Finally, let your children know that they can always come to you. You are your child’s first line of defense in the world.

More articles by Tyler Jacobson:

Parenting my Son with Attachment Disorders

Teaching my Son to Combat Rejection Like a Man

Teaching Teenagers How to Manage Money

 

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BLOG, FATHERS, Tyler Jacobson

​Teaching Young Adults To Have Perspective & Keep Priorities In Order


1 Comment

It’s easy for young adults and teens to lose sight of what really matters in life. They have to constantly deal with pressure and expectations from their peers, friends, parents, and society.

As responsible parents, we should take care to teach our teens to keep their priorities straight if they are to be prepared for the real world. While high school life does have its moments, it’s not all there is to life. Part of our responsibility as parents, in keeping with God’s word, is to guide our children and one of the ways we get to do that is to teach them to have perspective and get their lives in order.

Here’s how to go about it:

Teach them to set aside time to reflect.

I believe the first step in learning how to prioritize is taking time to pause and reflect. Teens especially need this, given that they live in a fast-paced world that is full of distractions with a million things clamoring for their attention.

Like the scripture says- Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. When your teen spends time reflecting on their lives and seeking God, they will more easily figure out which direction to take to realize the Lord’s purpose for their lives.

Help them figure out what’s important.

Another key step is for young adults to get crystal clear on what they feel is important in their lives and what they want to achieve. Whether it’s financial success, academic excellence, volunteering or spreading the word, they need to have clear goals to focus their time and energy on.

They need to take action in small steps.

While coming up with goals is a good thing, teens also need to figure out what steps to take to achieve them. Remember success replicates success, so ensure they keep to small, measurable steps that can be easily achieved.

For instance, if your child wants to make the track team, a small achievable step towards this would be waking up at 5 a.m. to run 5 miles, 4 days a week. This will keep them motivated to continue working on their goals and eventually accomplish all of them.

Introduce them to a mentor.

If you find your teen having trouble realizing their goals or struggling to get their priorities in order, consider linking them up with a mentor. Mentors can be a fantastic source of motivation and wisdom for young adults, giving them someone to look up to and confide in especially if they don’t want to talk to their parents. The mentor could be a pastor, teacher, counselor, etc. who wouldn’t mind taking your child under their wing.

Remind them that it’s ok to change priorities as they grow.

Nothing in life is constant so your teen should feel free to adjust their priorities as they grow older. This will not only allow them to check their progress and discard what no longer serves them but also ensure that they are always aligning their lives to God’s purpose.

Life can be difficult for young adults as they struggle to find balance. Teaching them to prioritize will go a long way towards helping them lead fulfilling lives.

BLOG, BLOG FOR DADS, Father's Day, FATHERS, MY FATHER, TRIBUTES

A Hard Lesson for Dad!


2 Comments

This is the true story of a dad who learned a hard lesson about how important his relationship to his children was. This father was a bright, innovative young EXECUTIVE who quickly climbed the corporate ladder of SUCCESS. He, along with his wife and two boys, lived in a nice suburban neighborhood just across from a beautiful park.

His children, one Saturday morning came bursting into his BEDROOM, “Dad let’s build a FORT in the park.” The father said, “I’m sorry sons. I can’t today, I’ve got some things I have to do at the OFFICE.” Both of the boys had a very disappointing look on their faces. “Next Saturday,” the father promised, “we’ll BUILD a FORT.”

The next Saturday they burst into his BEDROOM again. This time they’re not taking any chances—they come bringing boards, nails, and hammers. “Dad! Dad, wake up! You promised that you would help us build a FORT today in the park.” The young father said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot all about it!” Seeing the DISAPPOINTMENT on their faces again he says, “I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to get on the PHONE and in your hearing, I’m going to take next Saturday off. I just can’t get away today.” “Okay, Dad,” the boys said understandably. (KIDS ARE SO FORGIVING, AREN’T THEY?)

Next Saturday comes, and the father and two boys are sitting around the table eating breakfast. The boys are EXCITED, bouncing back and forth singing, “We’re going to built a FORT. Dad’s going to help us BUILD a FORT.” As they start out the DOOR, the phone rings. SILENCE! You can hear a pin drop. WHAT IS DAD GOING TO DO? Dad goes over and answers the phone. He doesn’t have to say anything to the boys. They can tell by his expression that it’s the BOSS.

“John, I need you to come in this morning. You are the only one who can close this DEAL.” He looks at his sons carrying their boards and hammers and thinks to himself, “Well, I guess it’s either a CHOICE between my JOB and my KIDS.” Reluctantly he says, “Listen boys, I’ve got to go into work. I’ve got something I need . . .”

“No, Dad! No! You promised.”

“I’ve got to go in just a little while. You start the FORT without me, and I’ll be back very soon to help you FINISH it.” The father got into his car and DROVE away.

The youngest son started across the street carrying his boards, hammer, and nails crying because his Dad BROKE his promise again. Blinded by the tears, he doesn’t see the oncoming CAR, walks out in front of it and is struck KILLING him instantly.

Three days later the young father is at the FUNERAL of his little boy. He looks out over the audience and sees his BOSS and all of his male COLLEAGUES. And he realizes the IRONY of it all; what the CHOICE he made COST him. He begins to CRY. He then stands and speaking through the TEARS he says for all to hear, “Men, if I can leave you one piece of ADVICE this morning, it will be this: BUILD THE FORT TODAY, FATHERS. PLEASE, BUILD THE FORT TODAY!”

I want to leave you with this… Our children need us, they thirst for us, they require that we be fathers. At the end of the day, can you say you did EVERYTHING you had to do to be the dad that your kids deserve and need? Can you honestly say you lived a sacrificial life that overflowed onto your children? Take a few minutes today to do something completely opposite of what is expected of you. Hug your children and tell them “Dad loves you”. Then help them BUILD THAT FORT!


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Father's Day, FATHERS, GUESTS, MY FATHER, Rick Amitin, TRIBUTES

My Father Was Not There – A Father’s Legacy


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Innocence can be gone before you know it was ever there.

I would be years discovering the likeness I shared with my father. He wasn’t there the day I parted the atmosphere of this world but, his DNA was. He showed up when I was five, after I had already noticed the life other kids were having with their dads. And, feeling the absence and emptiness of something I couldn’t understand.

Where would I get the vocabulary to define the jubilation of his embrace, warm smile, and sense of belonging his presence invoked? The promises he made of our future together sent new flesh competing to cover my barren bones. Gone was the hole inside I had fallen into many times. Those choking and gurgling sounds, emanating from the empty chair at the table of my broken heart, vanished.

ARMS

I had arms to run to, a man to play ball with, and a father who would teach me to fish. I would snuggle up close as he read me a bedtime story and tucked me safely in for the night. My imagination freshly supplied with thoughts and feelings of completeness. The two hours of ecstasy shattered into so many pieces I doubted ever being able to collect them all when he walked out the door, never to be seen or heard from again.

The search became a life sentence of exploring the bitter taste of unanswered questions. My virtue, significance, and contribution remained locked in the haze of not knowing who I am. The lack of affirmation, clarity, and sense of worthiness had stolen my identity. Titles and achievements introduced a synthetic and manufactured life. Hyper masculinity chased authenticity away. Intimacy resided in Neverland.

BROKEN

Nameless drivers dictated shallow comprehension of deep maladies. Brokenness was my brand! I didn’t even know what was wrong. I only knew something was askew. The innate whisper clamoring for satisfaction. I feared the feelings of abandonment, rejection, and not being enough. These are the marks of the fatherless. A man will battle to be praised and a woman will struggle to be valued.

Fatherlessness is pandemic. Where’s the healing? The remedy? The anecdote? I believe there’s a great restoration ahead among the sons and daughters rejected, abandoned, and violated by their fathers. Those which have recreated the pain in their own lives by the stories they wrote about their life events. Maybe even passing the devastation on to their children.

DESPERATION

When my daughter announced that I would have a grandson, with the plight of the fatherless threatening his well-being, pure desperation set in. For months, I contemplated his arrival. Aware that his father’s decision to not be in his life would brand him in many ways. While I had gained much ground in resolving my own inner conflicts I still had work to do. I determined to change the legacy brand of our family.

Hopeless to rearrange the past; helpless to alter my failures; working with perceptions that had consistently left me short, I stepped into the unknown –  the safest place I had ever been. I had been in ministry for some thirty years. I Pastored churches, travelled as an Evangelist, both here and abroad. And, I was broken. Holding the fragments of a life undone, I wanted what I knew was there.

THE UNTHINKABLE

When I held my grandson in the delivery room for the first time, I heard the unthinkable. As I showered him with affection pouring out my love, and reaching for his soul, I knew exactly how my Heavenly Father felt about me. I was not without a father. Nor, had I ever been. My mind wanted to argue for my tradition. I was too messy for the purity of divine intention. But, I was wrong. I had been wearing an illegitimate brand.

The repetitive phrases that pounded against my soul were only lies, borrowed from human defect, and plagiarized as my own. How I thought about myself is not the way God thinks of me at all. I rewrote the stories of my life events to reflect a more accurate accounting of the things that had happened. Living out of hurt and despair had not allowed love to reset the perimeters of my life.

MISSING

A missing father easily translates into a missing God. My father was out there, somewhere. I met him. He was real. He was there. Just not there for me. Likewise, I knew God is real. I experienced Him. And yet my inability to believe He was there for me, at the deepest levels, always left me wanting. I discovered unlimited grace, unconditional love, and it changed my brand. I became the father I never had and the father I never was.

I’m living the legacy I want to leave.

Rick Amitin
Rick Amitin

Rick Amitin is the author of “IF ONLY I HAD A DAD: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness and the Companion Workbook of the same title.

Available on Amazon, http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

Rick is the founder of rickamitin.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RickAmitin

Twitter: @RickAmitin

LinkedIn: Rick Amitin

Life is a Battleground


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FATHERS, GUESTS, MEN

My Father Taught Me 25 Things – Pastor Matt Bell


Dave BellMy father passed away in 2012. He was young and healthy. His death was sudden and totally unexpected. His absence left a huge hole in my life and our family.

My dad was not a perfect man. But he was great man and model of what a husband and father should look like: faithful husband of 33 years, father of 5 boys, pastor and mentor to many other men. Not a day goes without me wishing he was still here with us.

In honor of him, I want to share with you 25 things I learned from my father on how to be a husband, father and all around decent human being.

1. Follow Jesus.
If there was only one thing he could have taught his children, this would have been it.

2. Always tell the truth, even when it hurts.
Proverbs 12:19 – Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

3. Your integrity is the most valuable thing you possess.
Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

4. Finish what you start.
Luke 9:62 – Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

5. Be quick to repent and confess your sin.
James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

6. When you’re done with something, put it away.
My dad hated messes. And with 5 boys in the house, there were plenty of opportunities for messes to appear. He taught us to clean up (take responsibility for) our own messes.
Proverbs 18:9 – Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.

7. Guard your heart.
Whenever I would fall into sin, my dad never condemned me for my actions. Instead he always asked me what was going on in my heart. Of course there was penalties for wrong behavior, but he always started by helping me examine my heart issues that lead to my actions.
Proverbs 4:2 – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

8. Never be alone with a woman.
This was a non-negotiable rule in our house. Even into our twenties, my dad wouldn’t allow us to be alone with girls. To this day I hold this as a personal standard for myself.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.

9. Never hit a woman.
1 Peter 3:7 – Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

10. Be a one woman man. Marriage is for life.
Proverbs 6:32, 33 – He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

11. Never talk back to your mom.
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’

12. Don’t put people on a pedestal.

13. The Christian life is the only way to live.

14. You’re a champion.
1 John 5:4 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

15. Your words have power. Speak life not death.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

16. Put God 1st.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

verseofthedaywide317. Next to your relationship with Jesus, your family is the highest priority.
I saw my dad model this on a daily basis.
1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

18. He modeled unconditional love.

19. He modeled unconditional commitment.

20. Always included us in his life.
He would often include me and my brothers in whatever task he was doing. It was more important that we were with him, that the job getting done perfectly.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

21. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. You do what’s right.

22. Responsibility is not something to run from, but should be embraced.

23. True riches aren’t found in money and possessions.
Luke 12:15 – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

24. The world is an evil place full of wicked men.
This might not sound like the most positive outlook. But my dad taught me to be on guard against those who would try and abuse and take advantage of me. As a father and husband, it’s now my God given calling to do that for my wife and children.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

25. God is our perfect father who sent us his perfect son.
John 3:16, 17 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

I know that I have been blessed beyond measure to have had Dave Bell as my father. Most of the things I learned from my dad were taken straight from God’s Word. By God’s grace, I hope to continue in the things I have been taught and impart God’s Word into the hearts of my own children.

Thanks for reading!

If you want to know more about Matt Bell, here are some links that will surely bless your socks off!

Pastor Matt Bell – FACEBOOK

Pastor Matt Bell – TWITTER

Destiny Church – TWITTER

Destiny Church – FACEBOOK

Destiny Church

Verse of the Day with Pastor Matt – Podcast

The book of ACTS

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