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As parents, we must ask ourselves, “What do our teens typically base their decision-making on: Feelings or Truth?” We must ask this question of ourselves as well and model healthy decision-making as best as we can. In our feelings-driven culture, biblical guidelines are often considered archaic and outdated. So, the first thing we as parents must do for our children, as we discuss the battle between feelings and the truth, is teach our child which one should win based on the truths found in God’s Word.

God desires for us to experience true spiritual growth and maturity. With this growth and maturity, comes fullness in Christ (Ephesians 4:13-14). How do we foster growth and maturity in our homes while teaching our children to pursue fullness in Christ? Each family will handle this differently, but emphasizing the importance of being in God’s Word daily is a great place to start while leaving room for grace as mistakes are made.

Secondly, share biblical examples of feelings-based decisions with your child. Using examples like Samson, David, Saul, and Judas will offer them proof of how decisions based solely on feelings lead to regret and sorrow. Sharing your own examples of both feelings-based decisions and truth-based decisions along with their outcomes is also beneficial for your child. Any time you can become more approachable and relatable is a win for your relationship.

The truth is that feelings can become all-consuming. We must teach our children that feelings are indicators, not dictators. Feelings inform us of where our heart is, but feelings do not have the right to boss us around. As indicators, feelings lead us to assess our thoughts and emotions and the “why” behind them. Feelings help us keep a gauge on our hearts while helping us process and clarify to bring understanding.

But God gave us a mind as well. Our mind was created for truth. Our mind helps us keep our unreliable heart in check (Jeremiah 17:9-10). As children of God, we are made to walk in truth. With practice, self-control becomes a bit more natural. We must lean into the Lord and His Word for wisdom and encourage and teach our children to do the same.

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