Raising No-Compromise Kids.
by Cynthia Allen
If Brio comes into your home, perhaps you and your teen daughter remember the June 1994 issue, which featured our oldest daughter, Charity Allen.
While a student at the Los Angeles High School for the Performing Arts, Charity was offered a plum role in NBC’s “Another World,” a daytime soap opera. She was promised the world: a town house in New York City for her and our family; chauffeured limos; private tutoring; and a Hollywood salary-up to $20,000 a week!
There was a little problem, however: Charity’s teen character was scripted to have an affair with an older, married man. After that bedroom romp, she’d fall for the lead singer of a rock band and eventually become pregnant.
When Charity protested to the producers, they asked, “Do you need some time to think about it?”
“I don’t need any time to think!” Charity replied. “There’s no way I can ever be a part of that. That’s betraying everything I believe in.”
Since Charity’s story appeared in Brie, thousands of letters have poured in from across the United States and around the world. Many came from parents, pastors and youth workers asking my husband and me how we raised a child who would take such a stand. After some thought, we arrived at some simple pointers:
1. Dedicate each of your children to the Lord.
Not only at their births, but on every day of their lives. Begin each morning on your knees. Bringing each child before the Lord helps you stay focused as they grow older.
2. Teach them the Word.
This is the “reap what you sow” principle. If you don’t put it in, you won’t get it back out. God’s Word forms the standards for our lives as Christians. Insist that your family members play by God’s rules. Protect their innocent, impression able consciences. And dare to discipline. I once read about this somewhere, and it made sense to me!
Ephesians 6:4 tells us to `bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Admonish means to warn and caution; to reprove mildly; to advise; to inform or remind, by way of warning. When a loving parent admonishes in a nurturing way, the lasting effect is positive.
Psychologists state that during all our adult lives, our parents’ opinions circulate like tape recordings in our minds. Most often the experts` mean that this is the cause of many of our dysfunction’s. But why can’t these “parental recordings” be a constructive thing?
4. Listen to them.
Be available for your children so they can bounce things off you that are happening at school. This is a perfect time to share your values-values often in opposition to the world’s.
5. Support them.
Kids will look for support somewhere. The ideal is that they experience affirmation from their parents and family. Our kids have told us, “It helps, when we make fools of ourselves for Christ, that we are able to come home and feel loved and accepted.”
Charity reminded me of the time she stood up for her Christian beliefs in her freshman class and was ridiculed by her schoolmates and teacher. When she came home crying, we talked it out.
The next day, I wrote her an encouraging note and mailed it to her at school. That made a lasting impression on charity.
6. Make knowing
Jesus Christ and developing His character your family’s goal.
Driving home from a meeting at NBC’s television casting studio, Charity and I were discussing the glittering offer from “Another World.”
“Charity,” I said, “I’d prefer you to be poor and unknown as a missionary in Africa, if that is God’s purpose for your life, rather than rich and famous in New York but out of His perfect will.
“Besides,” I added, “it’s not so important where you are, but who you are while you’re there.”
7. Pray, pray, pray!
Prayer releases the presence and power of God in the life of your child. When I come to God on behalf of my children, something supernatural happens. In addition, I am acknowledging my own dependence on Him.
Prayer is the most crucial thing I can do for my family. Some of my praying is done during a concentrated prayer time. Other requests rise to God throughout the day as He brings the individual child to mind. The Lord’s glorious answers to these petitions thrill me so much that I keep a list of them. This written record builds my faith and encourages me in my parenting.
Raising an uncompromising child can be the most challenging thing you will ever do, but you’ll never regret it.
Cynthia Allen lives with her family in Coming, Calif. Since turning down “Another World,” Charity, 19, has been speaking around the country to young people. She also just finished recording her first album. The Allen’s can be reached by writing P.O. Box 214, Corni CA 96021.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN AUGUST, 1995 BY FOCUS ON THE FAMILY PAGE 10. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.