Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold. (Phillips translation)
For kids the pressure to fit in, to be like everyone else, to be popular, is powerful. I like this translation of Romans 12:2 because the pressures of being popular, or smart, or athletic, or whatever the group has declared is cool can get so great that they squeeze us into a shape that is acceptable to others, even if it is not who we really are, or who God wants us to be
Peer pressure should be a regular topic when you talk with your children. Take time to talk with your kids about what kind of pressures they feel at school or with their friends. Ask them what the kids at school think is cool? Do they ever feel like they have to do something in order to be popular, and what would that be? Give them the tools to stand up against peer pressure-unconditional love, a strong sense of identity as a child of God, wisdom to know when they are being pressured and why. And, pray with them and for them for God's wisdom and the power of the Spirit to withstand the pressure and to stand up for God. Make Romans 12:2 one of your prayers for your children: Father, don't let the world around them squeeze them into its own mold, but re-mold their minds from within, so that they may prove in practice that your plan for them is good, meets all your demands and moves them towards the goal of true maturity.
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What does Liz dare Morrie to do?
A. To swing as high as he can and then jump off the swing.
Q. What is Spike dared to do?
A. To eat hot sauce.
Q. What does Skink dare Liz and the others to do?
A. To cross the river on the railroad tracks.
Q. What does Skink threaten to do if they don't take his dare?
A. To put posters up as school that call them cowards.
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Where do we look to learn how we should live?
We look in the Bible. The Bible tells us that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. Loving God this way means to obey him, no matter what kind of pressure we feel from other sources to live the world's way. In the Bible Daniel is a great example of this. He made it known to his captors in Babylonia that he served God, and he obeyed God even when it meant he could lose his life. In your conversations about peer pressure, read and discuss this story with your children (Daniel 1 – 6). It will offer a biblical example of a young man who did not give in to peer pressure.