Last night, I had another conversation with my boys in an ongoing series about Peer Pressure.
Peer Pressure is a powerful, mysterious force that can drive us to be someone we really don’t want to be. We can want to be liked by people we don’t really like ourselves. Be lured to desire things that we don’t really want.
In adolescence, the pressure can can we so great that a young life can be knocked off track in ways that derail them for life. For that reason, I am taking these conversations with my kids with a lot of prayer.
The pressure to be liked and to impress is often rooted in fear. We don’t want to be singled out and embarrassed. As always the Word gives solid counsel:
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
The truth is, we’ve all experienced Peer Pressure. My approach is to empathize, give context and seek the grounding of The Story of who God made them.
My last words on this conversation was, “This will be a very difficult season in your lives, but we’ll walk through it together.”