Raising a Financially Responsible Teen!!!

Teen boy with money

My husband and I have been discussing what we should/should not do to assist our teenage son in regards to financial responsibility. Both of our kids get a weekly allowance if they have completed their chores for the week; their allowance is also prorated based on what is or is not completed by the end of the week. My husband does not think we should be giving our son an allowance since he is working and I admit I have been completing most of his chores because he is working. Secondly, both kids have always had to put a certain amount of their money in a savings account monthly. Since our son is working he has more that could be put in his savings account. I think we should encourage our son to add additional money to his savings but I also feel that he should be able to decide what to do “within reason”  with what happens with the money he earns.   My son now has a debit card tied to his checking account, again my husband wants to restrict the amount of money he has available on his checking account.  The other day my son bought something he really wanted that was not very pricey but my husband was upset that he bought it because it was unnecessary. I agreed that it would not have been at the top of my list of things to buy but our son bought something he wanted with his money. I have also noticed that our son seems to want to hold on to the money he makes more so than he has in the past with his allowance. So what do you think? Where is the happy median?

When Should I Discuss Sex With My Children???

FFC image Sex Discussion

The bible lets us know that children are gifts from God.  No matter how they are conceived, they are still God-given gifts of life.  When children are born we see them as one of the most beautiful sites ever.  Just to hold them in your arms is such an unexplainable feeling.  We know that as long as they are in our arms, they are protected and secure. Protecting them becomes our number one goal.  We want to protect them from everything, which by the way is impossible.  Although it may be impossible to protect them from everything, we can protect them from some things.  One of the best ways to protect our children is through communication.  Yes, you guessed it, talk to them.  Talk to them about what?  Everything!  This includes sex!  Most parents will talk about everything else but sex.  With the growing epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, this should be the most talked about subject at home.  Some will agree and others will disagree.  As for the parents who agree, the next question is WHEN?  When should I discuss sex with my child? What is the appropriate age?  Frankly, there is not an appropriate age to have this discussion.  Base the timing of the discussion off the maturity level of the child along with your judgement as a parent.  So now the question arises; what or how much should be discussed?  The answer is EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING!  Remember if you don’t communicate with them about sex, they will eventually become informed in ways that you never could dream of.  Moreover, they may find out “from or with” someone you may not want them to.  So let’s make it our responsibility to keep our children informed of the truth when it comes to subjects of this nature.  Afterwards; when the time comes, your children can make an informed and educated decision concerning themselves and their involvement in sex.

I Had a Secret

I Had a Secret
What’s the hardest thing you have ever done? For me the answer is simple… it was a conversation I had with my wife. About 5 dates into our relationship we were already both very confident that we would marry each other. Because of this I mentioned on that particular date that I want for us to have a talk at some point in the future before we were married where we confessed everything about ourselves to one another so that we did not enter marriage with any secrets. In my mind when I brought this up I had no specific date of when I thought this should happen so I guess I had it set as a hypothetical undetermined date. What my wife said next kind of shocked me… she asked if we could go ahead and have that conversation at that point. So much for that hypothetical future date!

What followed was hands down the hardest talk I have ever had with another human being. While I am not the worst of people, and had nothing overly villainous to confess I still have things about my past that I am ashamed of, I regret, and I did not really want anyone else to know about. Also, while I know I am not defined by my mistakes, let me tell you, to do a rundown of all the things I wish I had never done was pretty brutal. At one point I felt like I was playing right into the devil’s hands where I was willingly condemning myself. I felt so bad while doing this that I broke down and began to weep uncontrollably.

However, on the other side of that talk I felt liberated. Two things happened in that moment that moved me from “hardest things I’ve ever done” to “the most free I’ve ever felt.” I got to listen to my future bride say that the things I just confessed did not matter, and that she forgave me because she knows that is not who I am anymore. Also, I got a real tangible picture of how Jesus feels about me. To be His means that regardless of how bad your sin is His grace covers it all. It was the weirdest transition from feeling terrible to feeling liberated in a matter of moments.

The point I hope I am making with all of this is that secrets within marriage are terrible! I wish I could confess to you that after that conversation with my wife I have never been tempted to keep a secret from her. Unfortunately, that temptation still rears its ugly face. It is hard work to fight against it, but knowing that we are completely open in our marriage helps us trust one another and stay close and strong. I know we are not perfect at it, but I also know there are a lot of couples that hold fast to secrets, and it pains me to see that do damage in their marriage. I encourage you to have hard conversations and rid your marriage of secrets.

Can You Handle the TRUTH???

FFC Image You Cant Handle the Truth

I remember watching a very well known movie called the Best Man.  This movie had a follow up episode about 13 years later.  The plot of the movie was dealing with “things of the past.”  The groom found out right before his wedding that his best man and wife to be, had a sexual encounter when they all attended college.  It caused quite a chaos between the three of them.  Through out it all, the marriage still took place.  However, we find out in the second sequel “Best Man Holiday” that it has been 15 years and the husband is still not over the fling.

For some this scenario will not apply.  But for many, it is a truth that is being dealt with to this day.   How many times have you discovered something about your spouse, fiance’ or companion years and years after being into the relationship? What kind of things did you discover?  And once you found out about these things, did you really want to know?  Yes, there are some things that couples should discuss before committing to a relationship.  These things include but are not limited to; medical conditions, previous children outside the relationship, careers and career interest, financial stability or instability, criminal background, religious beliefs, sex and sexual preferences, previous marriages, etc. But even discussing all these things we have to be open to the fact that everything about a person is not going to be revealed up front.

The truth of the matter is that there are some things you need to know, some things you think you want to know, and some things you truly do not need to know.  Just realize that everyone has a past.  When you marry them, you marry them for who you believe they are.  However, you just don’t marry that person.  You marry everything about them.  You don’t just marry John or Judy.  Some days John or Judy will turn to Heckle, Jeckle, and occasionally Mr. Hyde.  The truth of the matter is that no matter how long you think you know a person, you will never truly know their entirety.  If something does surface and sometimes it will.  Put forth the effort to deal with it appropriately and move on.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to know the truth.  For we all want truth.  The question is can you handle the truth?

Never Use…

Words Of Wisdom

I received this from by BFF who received it in a newsletter. It made me think how many times have I used those 7 “Never Use” words in my life and how many times I’ve sabotaged myself with my own words. Hmm I remember just saying to my close friends the other “someday I want to marry a rich man, work part time and travel with my husband”.  Well I said those things after coming off my vacation high because I realized my vacation is almost over and Mondays work reality was settling in my mind.  There are many scriptures in the bible that tell us how we can speak things into our lives with our tongue. Such as a Proverbs 18:21; Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Well, what I received from this article is simple, all things are possible we just have to believe and just do it.  Check out the article below.

NEVER use these 7 words in your vocabulary

There are three things that influence you, your actions, your success and what you think you’re able to achieve in life…

1) The thoughts that occupy your mind. What you think about the most is what you’ll amount to the fastest.

2) The people you surround yourself with.

3) The words that you choose to use throughout the day.

I’ve identified 7 word that really screw with your subconscious mind and cause you to sabotage yourself – and you may not even realize it.

So if I had it my way, the world’s population would do away with using these 7 words…

1) When. When I have time I’m going to start a fitness program, a diet, or work on my business. When… as in you have NO control over your life and time?

2) Someday. Someday I’ll be famous, rich, travel, own a home, start a family. “Someday” is NOT a day of the week.

3) Want. I want to travel, be successful, own a home. Never, ever want for anything!

4) Wish. I wish I could do that. I wish I could be like him/her. Stop wishing and do it.

5) Can’t. I can’t do that… I can’t go… I can’t afford it. How about you choose not to go, choose not to afford it, or choose to not do that.
The word can’t make it seem like you have no control over the circumstance in your life.

6) Try. I’ll try to be there. I’ll try to do that. There is no try, you either will or won’t – Yoda.

7) Never. I’ll never be able to do that.

Listen, you can do whatever you want in life. No one controls you.

You’re in charge.

You’re the CEO of your life.

You manage your time, your energy, and your actions.

Never, ever be a victim of circumstance. Man up, and take charge of your life.

I Don’t Know What More To Do!!!

Are you in an angry marriageSometimes bad things do happen to good people.  It is not just you; we all have our moments where it seems like all hell has broken loose in our life.  You attempt to fix what you can fix and it just doesn’t seem to be enough.  You spend all your money trying to repair the broken pieces and that’s not enough.  You exhaust all your resources where there is nothing left to turn to.  Finally you get to the place where you realize that there is nothing else you can do.  Things are just out of control and you don’t know what more you can do. 

This is the time where you have to trust in your faith. After you have truly done all you can, you can only trust that in time it will get better.  This is true especially with relationships.  Sometimes it just takes time.  You may say; “how much time?”  Most times it takes as long it takes.  It is actually during this time that you will see not what you are made of but what the God that you serve is made of.  2 Cor. 12:9 says; my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  My friend it is not until you are faced with your weaknesses that God can show up and be strong in your life. Give Him a chance to help you!  Are you going to give up, quit and die where you are? Or are you going to continue to believe and trust that sooner or later with the help of God along with your faith that everything is going to get better?  Remember that these things do not come to destroy you. They come to empower you!  1Peter 5:10 states; and after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  So don’t give up!  Hang in there!  It will get better!  Just you wait and see!