Praying for Prudence: Wisdom from Proverbs to handle ‘Hot Topics’ with Teens

Friday Follow-up on Moms of Teens discussion of Chapter 6 in And Then I Had Teenagers: Encouragement for Parents of Teens and Preteens by Susan Yates

Proverbs 1 7

Meditate on Proverbs 1.

Proverbs 1  (NIV)

Purpose and Theme

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,[a]
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.[b]
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools[c] despise wisdom and instruction.

Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men

8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.

Wisdom’s Rebuke

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall[d] she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:
22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.

We need wisdom to handle hot topics! What do you learn about wisdom from this chapter?

Here is what I learned:

image image

Then I looked up some definitions using’s resources:

Simple: Hebrew word rendered simple in Proverbs denotes a person who is gullible, without moral direction and inclined to evil.

Fear of the Lord:  in the Old Testament it is used as a designation of true piety (Prov. 1:7; Job 28:28; Ps. 19:9). It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather filial reverence. 

Prudence: Careful, wise discernment; the avoidance of rash behavior or speech; the good management of talents and resources and the showing of tact and wisdom in relationships with other people.

OMG….I LOVE this definition!!!  I am praying for prudence for my teens, and myself, and for all of you!  And it sounds like the key to it is reading the Proverbs! I wasn’t planning to do the 31 day challenge in #3 because I have a bible reading plan. But I sense God putting it on my heart. Anyone want to join me? We could do it in November.

1. Which hot topic is an issue in your family right now? Is there specific teaching in the Scriptures on this topic? What steps can you take to lessen the “sizzle” of this hot issue? (For example: agree as parents on the issue, clarify your policy, communicate the whys of your policy to your teen.)

We discussed this in class and we added the 2 topics at the bottom:

  • Sex
  • Dating and curfews
  • Drinking and drugs
  • Grades
  • Driving
  • Money
  • Media (internet, TV, movies, music)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Mutilation (cutting, etc.)

And guess what? Especially with our big group… we have ALL the topics covered! Not solved… but on our radar. We discussed several of the policy ideas in the book but came back to asking for God’s wisdom. 

One quote from the section of the book on Sex and dating, that stood out to me was:

“It is good for a man not to touch a woman,” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:1 In the original Greek, touch translates “light a fire within her.” So how far can we go physically? A good guideline: Don’t ignite the fire of passion.

Yates, Susan Alexander (2001-08-01). And Then I Had Teenagers: Encouragement for Parents of Teens and Preteens (p. 111).

That was just one of the many passages I highlighted and we discussed. Although some of it may have been slightly out of date, this chapter had a lot of good policy ideas.

2. List other hot topics that have occurred or will be likely to occur in your family. What will your family policy be on each topic? Write down your current thoughts. Keep in mind that you will need to refine and update your approach.

3. It is very helpful to have a few other parents with whom you agree on policy. These should be parents with children approximately the ages of yours. Design a “Parent’s Policy” on whatever issues you can and determine to stick together on implementation. This will give you support and give your teens a sense that their parents “aren’t the only ones who . . .” They may not like it, but it will give them a sense of security.

Meditate further on the Book of Proverbs. Read one chapter each day, matching the day of the month to the proverb (there are 31 chapters).

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge


It is raining in my house but It Is Well

Good Morning. It is another rainy day and it is drizzling…. IN my family room!! But some how that doesn’t cause me any stress. Possibly because I called my husband (who is traveling for work) and he is on top of it. Quite the opposite of my restless, lonely, rainy morning yesterday.  Problems that can be passed off or shared with someone else are so much better, right?

However, my lesson yesterday, was to remember that God is always there to listen to my burdens and and bear my worries even if the problem is still dripping on my head. 

I shared my yesterday morning thoughts with my Moms of Teens group and it spoke into several hearts.  So I am simply adding it here in case someone out there needs it today.  And cause it is still raining in Memphis!

I was in a bit of the rainy Monday morning home alone blues funk today. And my mind was focused on some parenting challenges and a few old wounds that surfaced as I prayed about the the Hot Topics in this week’s chapter. (Sex, Dating and curfews, Drinking and drugs, Grades, Driving, Money,
Media (internet, TV, movies, music))

I am so grateful that God can heal and soothe my worried soul. I should go to Him first!!

But this morning I went on social media first. And I saimagew that Jill Dyson sang one of “my” songs yesterday at Hope and I missed it. (I didn’t write it or anything, it just spoke to me in a hard place a few months ago).

I went on YouTube to find the song and was hopeful that praise and worship would help my funk. What I came across first was the story of the song. I love to hear people’s stories. (One of the things I love about our group). And then I turned up the music and worshipped! The funk started to lift a bit. And then I remembered the verse from this week’s chapter (Proverbs 1:7) and was prompted to open the bible and seek wisdom and instruction. My funk lifted a little more. And then I took this photo to share with you.

Proverbs 1 7

I’m still in my jammies at 1:30pm …. but it is well with my soul.  

It is well with my soul.

Here are links to the song and story if you have time to watch it:

It Is Well:  Song Story  // Kristene DiMarco 

It Is Well  // Kristene DiMarco // You Make Me Brave

I am adding a copy of a prior blog and Facebook post if you want to read about how this song impacted me in August when Jack left for college:

I hope everyone’s teens are settled into the new school year.  Personally, I have been fairly preoccupied with my oldest heading off to college. It was very emotional in the weeks leading up to the good-bye but on the morning that he left I was blessed with peace. I went to the Moms in Prayer kickoff brunch and was surrounded by praying Moms (some from our group, too 🙂 Jill Dyson lead worship and she sang “It is well with my soul”, and it was the perfect explanation of my state … it is well with my soul.

Facebook post:

Thank you, Lord! This was the perfect place for me to be today. I have tears now as I rewatch this broadcast. I’m thankful for my loving prayerful friends that have covered me and my son in this season. And thank you to my amazingly talented friend, Jill Dyson, that uses her musical talents for God’s glory. This time of worship meant so much to my soul. And I’m thankful for this new social media, Periscope, that allowed me to broadcast and record this today. I believe the link is available for 24 hours.Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.40.07 PM

Walking on eggshells with the teens in your house? Creating an atmosphere of encouragement

Walking on eggshells with the teens in your house?

Creating an atmosphere of encouragement

Hope Moms of Teens discussion on “And Then I Had Teenagers” by S. Yates ~ Chapter 3

Special guest, Molly Ruff,  from Hope’s Young Adult Ministry joined us. She shared some of her story of the atmosphere in her home when she was a teen and the impact of keeping a gratitude journal.image 

It was a great encouragement to hear how making a habit of writing down a few things that you experienced THAT day and are grateful for or wanted to praise God for can completely alter the outlook of a teenager.  I can change any of us but Molly was a teenager and we are parenting teenagers so that is what really impacted me. I first heard Molly talk about this at a Women’s Christmas dinner 7 or 8 years ago before I had teenagers. I filed it away as something to remember.  I have tried to inspire my teens to journal but no success yet. 

I was quite thrilled when I texted with Angie Wed. evening and she said that she and her daughter were just about to start their first entries in their journals. Then Thurs., Cheryl posted this on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.53.53 AM

Has anyone else started?  We could start a teen gratitude movement! Thanks Molly, for inspiring us today.


I also realized that I think I take so many photos because I like to capture images of things or moments that bring me joy and gratitude. And guess what?? There is even an app for that!  But just know that you ladies bring me so much joy and I can’t help myself from trying to remember you.  Some of you have some new resistance plans but it didn’t work. You make me smile! (My teens have a secret technique to get me to delete photos but I’m not sharing) …. 


This week’s focus questions:

Meditate on Colossians 3.

Colossians 3  (NIV)

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

1. Consider the home in which you were raised. What would you like to carry over into the atmosphere of your own home? Is there anything you’d like to leave out? What other homes have had a positive impact on your life? What would you like to duplicate from these homes?

We answered this question as our ice breaker in class. We had a lot of laughs and a few tears. Some of us have carried on holiday or meal traditions or atmospheres of fun (silliness and practical jokes) or forgiveness from our families. Some have changed things that were not so positive, such as judgement, not verbalizing love or keeping conflict a secret.  And some of us were challenged to not have an “it’s too late to implement attitude” about positive memories that we don’t see in our current environment. One example I remember is an atmosphere of respect.   As Susan Yates said on p. 67:

“But it’s never too late to change. And we have the Spirit of a loving Father to guide us as we take positive steps.”

2. As you read Colossians 3, list traits that we must leave out of our homes and traits that we wish to have characterize our homes.

I did this exercise last week and it was very impactful. God has given us specific guidelines about the atmosphere in our homes. How awesome is that!!


I began with verse 2:       Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.


I must say, that if I start with a mindset each day of aiming to bring glory to God and follow His lead,  my day is full of joy. Even in the midst of hardships.  It is a daily, if not hourly,  choice on where to set out minds.

Verse 15 ends with:    “And be thankful.” 

If we can begin our day with “setting our mind” and end it by “being thankful” … the atmosphere in our home is bound to be more in line with the guidelines in Colossians 3 and we can “put on love”. 

3. Is verbal disrespect or even verbal abuse a problem in your home? What steps will you take to alleviate this problem? Consider writing up a specific plan and asking a friend to pray for you.

4. Is your teen under stress? How can you empathize with her? Do you feel you should intervene or simply encourage?

5. Study your teen. Ask God to make you sensitive to positive steps of growth this week. Praise your teen for her growth in specific areas. Resist the urge to say, “But you can still make progress . . .”

6. What will you do this week to instill a sense of fun into your family life?

Meditate on Philippians 1:9–12. Insert the names of your family members into these verses, making it a prayer for your family.

Philippians 1:9-12New International Version (NIV)

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.


A screensaver from last year.


And Then I Had Teenagers: Chapter 2 ~ Understanding this new season


Friday Follow-up from Angie on Chapter 2 ~ Understanding this new season

Moms of Teens,

What a beautiful Fall morning. Since I have to be inside working on my extremely out of control house, I have the windows open and praise music on. How appropriately that I am hearing now — “How great is our God”. I am sitting by the window now and typing on the computer.

We had a wonderful time on Wednesday morning in Bible Study. Welcome to our brand new member, Jessica Maxwell. Melissa and I are so totally blessed by this group and it is great to see so many faces on Wednesday mornings. Please feel free to invite your fellow Moms of Teens, we would love to have them in our fun group.

We discussed Chapter 2 of our book, “And Then I had Teenagers”. Well actually, we discussed it a little. We had an amazing “ice breaker” about what was not normal in our homes and how we are embracing that with Joy. I am always so inspired by this time in our group and I love that we get to know each other better through this time. Our Prayer for the week comes from Ephesians and is listed at the bottom of the page with this verse highlighted —”That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.” Just a little note from God this morning as I heard “Power” the Jeremy Camp song and he speaks of this same exact power that lives in us. Remember that this week.

We discussed scripture memorization — several ways to implement this practice into our already busy lives and the benefits that it can bring. Please remember to read your hand-out about Principles for Memorizing Scripture and begin the process today. The scripture that we are memorizing this month is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” NIV version I will have another handout with helpful hints next week about different scripture memorization techniques. We all learn differently and this sheet will be so helpful for all learning techniques.


Application for this week: Comes from the Quote on page 39 of our book “It has been said that God has no grand children. He only has children. Each of us must come to the place where ours is a personal faith, not an inherited faith.” Focus on your teen’s faith this week. Are they chasing after God first? Help them with this wherever they are in their walk. Let them know that you are praying for them and that you love them very much but it doesn’t even compare to how much God loves them. Ask them to pray for you. Ask them, if they have been able to spend time with Jesus today. For we know that when we are focused on God and walking on His path, everything else just falls into place. He will take care of us and our teens. Use this verse as your inspiration for this focus — Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

The women’s ministry Christmas dinner is Dec. 3rd. Ellie Holcomb will be here in concert. Tickets will sell out quickly. Our group can buy tables Oct. 12th. Tables for 8 are $110. We went as a Moms of Teens group last year and many of our daughters joined us. Please think about attending the event and let us know if you want to go in on our tables and how many tickets you want — Tickets bought with our tables will be around $14 a piece. We will need to be able to purchase our tables on Wednesday — so If you would like to send us an email or text letting us know that you would like to come, please do so. We will not be meeting on October 12th due to fall break. So lets plan to have it all together this Wednesday. This is really a lot of fun for everyone. I would encourage you to attend with or without your teen.


Ephesians 1:15-23 New International Version (NIV)

Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Please let Melissa and I know if there is anything we can do for you. We would love to pray for you and we ask you to all pray for us and this amazing group. And now I am really cold sitting by my window, so I am going to close my email.

Angie Coleman

Claire Baker, Sr. High Girls’ director at Hope, spoke with us and shared information about the Hope youth group. There are several age group activities coming up for the girls senior high group including October 3, 10th grade girls event — Cheesecake corner and tie dye t-shirts, October 24th 11th and 12th grade girls — Hiking @ Mt. Pinnacle in AR, October 24 — 9th grade girls hangout @ Collins Property. These monthly small group events are a great way to get a newcomer involved with a smaller group.

Our very own member, Jane Hillis is the Hope Student Ministries Coordinator and her email is listed below. Here are a few ways that you can have the Hope Youth group information:

How to stay informed of all things HSM:
“HSM In the Know” newsletter
Twitter: HSMlive
Hope Student Ministries Instagram follow @hsmlive
Remind 101:
Sr. High reminders text @hopehi to 424-277-2076
Jr. High reminders text @hopejhi to 424-277-2076
Once you send the text you will receive reminders and/or updates on events or event details.
If you have questions or concerns you are welcome to contact anyone of the youth staff.
Matt Tubinis- Youth Director
Brett Baddorf-Sr. High Guys
Claire Baker-Sr. High Girls
Jeremiah Stauffer-Jr. High Guys
Brittney Pruitt-Jr. High Girls
Jane Hillis-HSM Coordinator

Upcoming MOT dates:

10/7:   Chapter 3 and Guest speaker Molly Ruff on journaling

10/7:   Let us know how many tickets you want at the MOT tables at the  Christmas Dinner on Dec 3rd.

10/14: No meeting (Fall Break)

10/21:  Women’s Ministry potluck brunch 11am-12pm in the gym for Bible Study groups and all Moms groups

Random Facebook posts this week:

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Link to the Red Tent Blog