It happened at a church in Singapore. Our Generations of Virtue team was ministering to a group of teenagers and their parents when we had a very important revelation. We spent most of the time split – holding separate sessions for teens and parents – but one session we had both groups together. This is a session we call “Cinderella Lied”; we show movies to talk about the lies coming through our culture (more often than not, perpetuated by Hollywood).
There is a skit we use to show the effect believing lies can have on a person. We have a team member role play as an average teenager who spends a little too much time playing video games, is a little too sensitive to negative peer pressure, and is generally desperate to fit in. This team member slowly gets wrap up as he or she starts to internalize the different lies coming from different sources – the words of friends or peers, things seen on the internet, messages coming through their phones, scenes from movies, etc. The audience sees how a seemingly benign thought like “I didn’t do so well on that last test, but all my friends did” can turn into “Maybe I’m stupid.” Or “I don’t look like that actor in the movie. Am I fat?” The skit comes to a climax when the team member is handed a Bible and learns to replace the lies he or she has internalized with the truth of God’s word. Truths such as “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” “I was created by God for a purpose, and that purpose is good. I may need to work a little on my chemistry tests, but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid.” As the team member replaces the lies with the truth, the lies are cut off until he or she is free once again.
It was after we had done this session for parents and their teens at that church in Singapore that it dawned on us – parents struggle with lies, too. In fact, perhaps their struggle against lies is as great as their child’s struggle. One parent came up to a couple of our team members after the session, deeply touched by the message of being able to find freedom from the lies. This lady shared how she suddenly realized she had believed she was too stupid to be able to monitor the things her child was involved in online. The parent-teen session on lies helped her see this, and then our session just for the parents on technology had helped her see there were several things she could do to monitor this part of her child’s world. She thanked us profusely; we were just glad to be of help.
This is a big one for parents – a lot of lies seem to trap them in the realm of technology. They feel overwhelmed by the demands of their child’s ever-changing technology-driven world, a world very different from the one they grew up in. It feels a little like trying to stand on shifting sand.
This revelation caused us to incorporate a new section into our seminars for parents: Lies parents believe. As we thought about all the people we’ve talked to and all the stories we heard, we realized the list is long for parents. And diverse. But the good news is that God’s word can free us from any lie we have believed.
Author: Megan Briggs
Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.