Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000009A
00:01 I don't understand.
00:04 Why did this have to happen to me?
00:08 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:12 I need answers.
00:15 Where is God?
00:20 Hello and welcome to Raw Questions Relevant Answers.
00:23 A program where we're taking questions from young people
00:26 that we received on Facebook and online
00:28 dealing with heavy, hard issues.
00:30 I'm excited to have today two friends of mine
00:32 as co-hosts of the program,
00:34 Michelle Doucoumes who's a college professor
00:36 and Mark Paden who's a freelance filmmaker.
00:38 Today's topic is family,
00:41 issues that happen within the family,
00:43 family matters.
00:44 So I'm going to ahead and dive right into our first question.
00:46 This is from a 15-year-old female in Tennessee.
00:49 This is the question.
00:51 "Why do parents shelter their teenagers so much
00:53 from the world when they know
00:54 we are going to encounter it after high school?
00:57 Wouldn't God rather have us experience it
00:58 while our parents have us under their control
01:00 and can help us through it?
01:02 Doesn't He realize that when it all hits us,
01:04 it can hurt us?
01:05 Why would He let those people do that to us?"
01:08 Heavy question. Yeah.
01:09 So here's the first thing.
01:11 The first part of the question
01:13 is why do parents do this, okay?
01:15 And there's a lot of reasons why parents do it.
01:20 Some is probably out of sense of wanting control.
01:24 But there's a lot of parents who genuinely just want
01:27 what's best for their kids, you know?
01:29 And when the parent has grown-up,
01:32 they've seen all the bad stuff happening in the world,
01:35 and they see all the things
01:37 that people can get involved in,
01:39 they want to keep their kids from that.
01:41 And that's totally not only understandable but very good.
01:47 The problem comes in though
01:48 when a parent is a little bit too scared of those things.
01:54 And what ends up happening
01:55 is that there's a kind of sheltering
01:57 that happens that backfires.
02:00 And I think one of the biggest things
02:05 from my experience that I've seen
02:06 is that lovingly showing your children
02:11 what principles are while giving them freedom
02:15 to choose at age-appropriate times,
02:17 of course, is one of the most effective recipes for success
02:22 because then a young person has the ability
02:26 to make their own decision against these things.
02:29 But it really has to be focused in love,
02:32 in on how it's communicated.
02:37 You know, you think of the first time
02:39 that humanity fell into sin and temptation,
02:43 God gave His children a freedom to choose
02:46 in the Garden of Eden, right?
02:48 They had this tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
02:50 they weren't supposed to go there.
02:53 And He didn't stop them though.
02:57 He didn't cut them off from it, but He did caution them.
03:00 You know, there were things
03:01 they weren't supposed hanging out around,
03:02 and that they weren't supposed to be there alone,
03:04 without each other.
03:05 But when they violated that,
03:07 they fell into that temptation.
03:09 Some of those safeguards were there as safeguards.
03:14 He didn't cut them off from their temptation,
03:16 but He didn't want them to be overly tempted
03:18 in a wrong situation.
03:20 And there is something that's appropriate.
03:21 I believe our parents
03:23 should try to not let us be in situations
03:28 that we can't handle that are going to be unhealthy.
03:31 And so that balance though can be difficult.
03:35 And sometimes, parents, meaning well, may shelter too much.
03:39 I remember feeling like that as a child.
03:41 At one point, I thought,
03:42 "Man, why don't other kids get to..."
03:45 "Why don't I get to do what other kids do?
03:47 And watch this and do that and what not.
03:49 I'm not going to do that to my kids."
03:51 Looking back, there actually was some wisdom.
03:54 At that age, it wouldn't have been good for me
03:57 to be exposed to certain things.
03:59 On the other hand, you're right.
04:01 If you never learned how to handle and interact
04:04 with the crazy things in this world,
04:07 that can actually open up to more temptation later.
04:10 I think it's one of those situations
04:12 where there's very good intentions
04:13 but poor execution.
04:14 And in many situations,
04:16 they probably are regurgitating the way
04:18 that they were taught.
04:19 And I think, we all need to kind of come
04:21 from a fresh perspective when we're in leadership,
04:23 of understanding the principle of self-governance,
04:26 of liberty of conscience
04:27 that we give information to people,
04:30 but we give freedom to make their own choices
04:31 and particularly for our kids,
04:33 they actually nailed this.
04:34 I was so impressed with the way
04:35 the person phrased the question,
04:37 "Wouldn't God rather us experience it
04:38 while our parents have us under their control
04:40 so they can help us through it?"
04:42 And that's exactly right.
04:43 That's self-governance in a sentence.
04:45 That you're given freedom to make your own decision,
04:47 but it's in a situation where you can actually be given
04:50 mentorship and correction when a wrong decision is made,
04:53 and you can talk through the thought process
04:55 that led to this decision.
04:57 "What was it that you..."
04:58 And not just, "What were you thinking?"
05:00 It's like a shaming approach,
05:01 but, "What were the thoughts that led you
05:02 into making this decision
05:04 and how can we make
05:05 a different decision going forward,"
05:06 because what we're really hoping to do
05:08 is to train them to think and reason for themselves
05:11 when confronte with the decision.
05:12 As opposed to sheltering them from any bad choice,
05:15 teach them how to make the right choice
05:17 when conflicted or tempted to make a wrong one.
05:20 That's a really, really big deal.
05:21 Do you have something else before we move on?
05:22 Yeah, this is a quote from the book Education
05:24 that's super relevant.
05:26 "To direct the child's development
05:28 without hindering it by undue control
05:31 should be the study of both parent and teacher.
05:33 Too much management is as bad as too little."
05:37 Wow! So they're both bad.
05:40 "The effort to break the will of a child
05:41 is a terrible mistake.
05:43 Minds are constituted differently,
05:44 while force may secure outward submission.
05:48 The result with many children
05:50 is more determined rebellion of the heart.
05:55 While under authority,
05:56 the children may appear like well-drilled soldiers,
05:58 but when the control seizes,
06:00 their character will be found to lack strength
06:02 and steadfastness.
06:04 Having never learned to govern himself,
06:07 the youth recognizes no restraint
06:08 except the requirements of parents or teachers.
06:11 These removed, he knows not how to use his liberty
06:13 and often gives himself up
06:15 to indulgences that proves his ruin."
06:18 And so this I think comes as a strong warning
06:20 to parents and teachers especially
06:22 to really, prayerfully seek out to do this
06:24 and how to put this into practice.
06:27 Wow! Super, super important.
06:29 The topic of self-governance is just big.
06:31 Second question.
06:33 We don't have an age for this one,
06:34 but, "How can I come to know God in a way
06:36 that isn't influenced by the family relationships
06:39 that have hurt me in the past?"
06:41 This is actually something we addressed
06:42 in a former episode of how can I try to see God
06:45 in the right way whenever the people
06:47 that God intended to show me
06:49 what He is like failed me in their role.
06:51 Any thoughts on that?
06:53 Yeah, I think one of the biggest...
06:55 'Cause again, getting back to the Word of God.
06:58 I don't think we can over emphasize this point,
07:01 stop looking to people, stop looking to people.
07:03 Look to God.
07:05 Look to the goodness and love of God.
07:06 Look to Him as He defines Himself
07:08 in this book.
07:09 This is your safety.
07:11 Any looking at parents, teachers, and pastors,
07:15 whatever, no matter how good they are
07:18 and how smart they are, they're not God.
07:21 They can't be our only judge, right?
07:23 God gave them to us with the intentional objective
07:25 to be the object lesson of what He's like.
07:27 They're meant to be there for us to see,
07:30 but don't let that be the only,
07:32 you know, means to which you make that decision.
07:34 Yeah, you know, a big principle with this
07:37 is that we are not defined by our past.
07:42 We're affected greatly by those things.
07:46 But I wouldn't want anyone to walk away feeling
07:48 like just because
07:50 you grew up with a certain family environment
07:52 means that for life, that is your destiny.
07:56 We have a choice. We do.
07:57 And we have a choice in God's Word, like you said,
08:00 to go and to find these things
08:01 to develop an identity of our own,
08:04 the identity God has for us regardless of that background.
08:08 And in a very practical sense,
08:09 it takes defining how we've been hurt honestly.
08:14 If we don't recognize an issue,
08:16 we're not going to be able to address it.
08:17 The first stage is really is taking a look at
08:20 what has hurt us
08:22 and how has this defined in our minds,
08:23 the view of God and comparing that to the Word of God
08:26 and saying, "Does this line up?"
08:29 If it doesn't line up, throw it out.
08:30 Yeah. This is the amazing thing.
08:31 The question itself shows
08:33 that this individual has an awareness
08:35 that many don't in this situation, right?
08:38 Many wrestle with poor views of God
08:40 because parents failed them or family members failed them.
08:43 Not as many know why.
08:46 So the fact that this person recognizes this
08:48 is a sign of a great maturity,
08:49 and that God's already granting wisdom
08:51 that will lead to freedom, right?
08:53 Because you need to know what the problem is
08:54 before you can deal with it.
08:55 Yeah. And I think that's amazing.
08:57 I'm very grateful that God has given them that perspective.
09:00 Last question here is,
09:01 "When there is a divorce in a Christian home,
09:03 how can you handle it and be grounded in Christ?"
09:06 This is from a female who is 26 in the state of Illinois.
09:10 I grew up in a home where divorce took place.
09:12 My parents where three or four when that happened.
09:15 Now it was not in a necessarily Christian home,
09:19 somewhat of an unchurched home to some degree for me.
09:22 But the question is
09:24 "How can you handle it and be grounded in Christ?"
09:25 It's even harder in that sense
09:27 because there's a sense of moral understanding
09:30 and accountability where it's just shunned,
09:32 it's not approved of.
09:34 It's not something one would want in this sense.
09:36 And what do you do?
09:38 Like, what do...
09:39 First of all, how are other church members
09:40 going to view me?
09:42 That's part of the pressure you contend with.
09:43 How are they going to view my parents?
09:45 How do I make sense of life?
09:47 Like, I may end up in two different places.
09:49 There's a lot of weight on a person as a young child
09:51 that they didn't ask for, that they're just inheriting.
09:54 And so the question is
09:55 "How can you handle it and be grounded in Christ?"
09:58 We need...
09:59 It depends on how young the person is
10:01 I guess in this stage.
10:02 But if they're a teenager,
10:04 we desperately need to be seeking the Word of God
10:06 for ourselves
10:07 and seeking a communion with God to fill in those voice
10:10 or we're going to have emptiness and vacancies.
10:13 One of the common threads that happens in divorces
10:15 is sometimes the children are wondering, "Is it my fault?
10:18 Am I somewhat responsible for what's going on?"
10:21 So there can even be shame,
10:22 unnecessary shame that we may be feeling
10:25 because of this that can cause us
10:27 additional difficulties as well.
10:28 But there's a God in heaven who hasn't failed us
10:31 even when our family has,
10:33 if it was because of a moral shortcoming
10:35 on Mom or Dad's behalf, God didn't do that.
10:38 And God's love is unfailing, it's not divorced,
10:41 it's not separated, it's not divided.
10:43 He has always been faithful to Mom,
10:45 He's always been faithful to Dad,
10:47 He's always been faithful to me.
10:48 And if there was no one else I can talk to,
10:50 He's safe and I can trust Him.
10:53 You know, I want to come in here with another example.
10:58 I had a friend named Vera Onkoba.
11:02 Last year, she passed away.
11:04 She was 36 years old, and, you know, she had a freak...
11:08 Her heart just stopped, you know.
11:10 She was driving to work one day, and it just stopped.
11:13 The next day, she came back, her heart stopped again, right?
11:17 But she went through this situation
11:18 in which she got really hurt.
11:23 Her heart really got hurt at one point by somebody.
11:26 And she described how she got over it
11:29 was that she came to God every day,
11:31 and He was her counselor,
11:33 that He came to her and...
11:36 She would come to Him and just pray
11:37 and just pour out her heart to God on a daily basis,
11:40 telling Him what she'd gone through
11:42 and asking for His healing
11:43 and then going to the Word of God.
11:45 I've never met a person who loved the Word of God
11:47 more than she did.
11:49 Like, some people, like, they know the Word of God
11:51 or they believe in the Word of God,
11:52 she loved the Word of God.
11:53 And she was so kind to everybody, so compassionate,
11:56 so giving up herself.
11:58 And I think that came and how she related to God,
12:02 how she came to Him and was healed by Him.
12:05 God has promised to heal
12:06 the broken and the hurt, you know?
12:09 I think when we go through those things,
12:11 when we go through...
12:12 Maybe it's divorce in our family
12:13 or maybe it's some other difficult situation,
12:17 I think it would be good if we did that same thing,
12:20 going back to God and just pouring out
12:22 our burdens before Him and laying them down
12:24 and asking Him for healing and learning what He's like.
12:28 And through that process, I think we'll find healing.
12:30 You know, with this, it's a sad reality
12:33 that divorce is not just for non-Christians.
12:37 And I believe that a reason for that
12:38 is because Satan is angry.
12:42 The family is meant to be a representation of God.
12:45 We have all these marriage
12:47 and family illustrations of God's love for us.
12:49 And so, of course, Satan is going to attack that.
12:53 And so if someone is watching, and you're like,
12:55 "Well, I have a Christian family,
12:56 how did this happen?"
12:57 Realize we have an enemy who is out to destroy,
13:00 especially families.
13:02 And it may not be that your family is evil or bad,
13:05 but they're struggling too.
13:06 Yeah. They need your prayers.
13:09 We need that healing.
13:10 All of us need that healing
13:11 that God gives us is the only way
13:13 to heal the brokenness that happens
13:14 because we have an enemy.
13:16 Yeah, and a lot of this starts
13:18 because there's some form of brokenness
13:19 that Mom and Dad individually are grappling with.
13:21 And it helps us to understand going in relationships,
13:25 whenever we get to make that decision,
13:27 when we grew up in divorce homes,
13:28 we realize the ramifications of some of those environments.
13:31 And it's an intrinsic motivation
13:33 to bring our brokenness to Christ
13:35 to ensure that we don't continue that pattern.
13:37 I know that's certainly a big burden of mine
13:39 is I want to be made well
13:41 to ensure that I don't end up in the same position
13:43 of putting my children in the same position
13:46 that I went through.
13:47 And I think it's a privilege for us
13:49 to be able to have access to a God
13:51 who'd literally makes all things new.
13:53 We're told in Revelation 21 that He says,
13:55 "I'll make all things new
13:57 and My promise to do so is true,
13:59 and it is faithful."
14:01 You can take it to the bank.
14:02 If you have further questions you'd like to ask us,
14:04 you can go to our Facebook page, RQRA3ABN.
14:08 We'd love to hear from you.
14:09 And we'll see you on our next program.