Participants: Alanzo Smith, June Smith
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000077
00:30 Welcome to Marriage In God's Hands.
00:34 I'm Alanzo Smith and this is my wife, June.
00:38 And we are a couple.
00:40 We want to talk to you today on, The Ambitious Request.
00:48 June, there's a story in the Bible that I'd like to use to
00:52 chronicle our discussion.
00:55 It's about this mother, Salome, who took her two sons to Jesus
01:01 and she made a request.
01:02 She said, "Grant that these, my two sons, may sit
01:07 one on the right hand, the other on the left,
01:11 in thy kingdom. "
01:12 That story is found in Matthew 20.
01:14 My question to you is, was this mother a selfish mother?
01:19 The quest that she went to Jesus and made, was she selfish?
01:23 I think not.
01:25 I think, in fact, she implied she only wanted
01:29 the best for her children.
01:30 Of course, she wasn't saying no one else should sit on
01:35 either side of Jesus.
01:36 But she wanted to ensure that her children
01:40 were in His presence.
01:42 So indeed, we say it's an ambitious request,
01:45 but it's a request that all parents should make and
01:49 should seek to make.
01:51 You see, if you notice, Salome did not ask, she did not say,
01:57 "Grant that my sons be given good wives,
02:00 or grant that they have a good education or a good job. "
02:05 As important as those factors are in the lives of a youngster,
02:09 this mother requested a best thing; she wanted
02:14 her sons to have Jesus.
02:17 She should be commended.
02:18 She should be.
02:19 You know, I watch many parents who sit with their children
02:24 in church or who's children are wondering around without
02:30 a relationship with church.
02:32 And you have to wonder whether the parents, whose children are
02:36 not engaged in some spiritual activity, are aware
02:39 of how important it is to introduce Christ to their child.
02:43 So like Salome, parents should want the best
02:49 for their children.
02:50 What would you consider some of the things
02:54 that a parent should really want?
02:58 I think the "best" means the best of everything
03:00 in all dimensions of their life.
03:02 So I would say most parents want their children to excel.
03:06 They want them to do well in school, they want them to
03:08 perform to the level of competences so they can become
03:11 efficient and capable people and take
03:15 their right place in society.
03:17 So they want good grades so they can qualify for the
03:19 best schools, get good scholarships, and all the
03:22 good things that come with that.
03:23 They also...
03:25 So nothing is wrong then for a parent to pray and ask God
03:29 to make their child or children socially fit and physically fit.
03:33 Nothing is wrong in asking for those things?
03:35 Those are good requests.
03:36 All of us would like for our children to be healthy,
03:39 to be well, to certainly be balanced socially.
03:44 So your child might be doing very well academically,
03:47 and even physically, but may not be socially balanced.
03:51 So they're isolates, they have no friends,
03:54 and they lock themselves away, etcetera.
03:56 So, no, you want your children to be balanced
03:58 on all these dimensions.
04:00 But above all, we're saying that among the requests that you
04:04 ask of God for your children, you should ask for them
04:08 to be spiritually grounded.
04:11 Because that's the key factor in their development.
04:15 Ellen White talks about restoring the image of God
04:20 in the minds of our children as one of the primary
04:23 responsibilities of education, and certainly of the home
04:26 where education begins.
04:28 So, yes, it should be every parents desire to make sure that
04:32 their child knows about Christ, understands what He
04:36 asks of them, understands the Biblical principles that
04:39 govern their life, and make sure that they are
04:41 following His footsteps.
04:43 One of the problems we have is that sometimes children
04:49 are with parents who are not setting a good example.
04:55 They live a certain way that does not model for their
05:00 youngster what true living should be.
05:04 For example, this young lady told me, and she was just
05:08 sixteen and she said to me, "When my mom goes to buy
05:13 her pills, she buys enough for both of us. "
05:19 Isn't that a sad story, a sad tale?
05:22 Unfortunately, some children learn bad habits
05:24 from their own parents.
05:25 And how tragic.
05:27 Because if there's one place you should be safe,
05:29 it should be with your own parents.
05:31 But as we know, there are dysfunctional families
05:34 and people who didn't learn how to be well themselves or
05:38 to behave in appropriate ways, and end up being parents,
05:42 then they're not going to have those values
05:44 to pass on to their children.
05:45 So we're encouraging parents to seek out the correct information
05:51 that will help you and equip you to be able to train your child
05:55 and to model for your child what is appropriate behavior.
05:59 Another parent said, "I think my son is using marijuana. "
06:08 So when the question was asked, "Why would you think
06:12 such a thing?" her response was, "Because I am missing
06:16 some of my marijuana. "
06:19 Now you see what's happening there.
06:20 She would like her son not to use marijuana,
06:24 but she is using marijuana.
06:26 "Do as I say, but not as I do. "
06:29 That would be the adage that would apply.
06:31 That's an unfortunate thing.
06:33 Drug use in any form is destructive.
06:36 But to introduce your child to marijuana is unthinkable.
06:40 Now let's talk a little about marijuana and marijuana use
06:45 because this is happening prevalently in the society.
06:51 All classes, all levels. Just about everywhere.
06:54 I was so surprised recently to learn that as early as the
06:59 elementary school in some cities, you have little children
07:04 who literally are compensated to target their friends.
07:09 And they're paid and they take supply to their friends
07:15 and literally teach them how to use this.
07:18 And that becomes an underground market for people who
07:22 push drugs on children.
07:24 You know, as you say that, I have counseled and worked with
07:30 a lot of youngsters who are using or have used marijuana.
07:36 And I would say, June, about 80% to 85% of the cases,
07:43 these individuals declare that it was their friend
07:47 who introduced them to marijuana use.
07:51 As you can well imagine, peers have an influence on each other.
07:55 So if my friend is doing something, I am likely to be
07:59 drawn to that behavior.
08:00 Because they're likely to convince me of whatever
08:03 benefit there is to them.
08:04 So we need to have a counter argument where somebody else
08:09 is helping this child learn what is acceptable and
08:12 appropriate behavior.
08:13 It is said that in the United States of America,
08:16 marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug.
08:24 That is sad.
08:25 Think about a young child putting that substance or
08:31 taking that substance as a source of
08:34 whatever it is that it does with them, a high that they get
08:37 from it or whatever it is that they claim they get.
08:40 It's just a very destructive thing for a child to start with.
08:42 In fact, it is said that marijuana use is
08:45 called a "gateway drug", which means it opens the door
08:49 for other hard core drugs.
08:52 And most young people who start using marijuana
08:56 will go on to harder drugs.
08:59 And the funny thing about it is that since 1991,
09:02 among 8th graders and 9th graders,
09:05 the use of marijuana has steadily increased.
09:09 You know what I find surprising?
09:12 That now in the political, and even medical arena,
09:15 they're making marijuana use legal in some states.
09:19 Well we're not going to go into that, but it speaks volumes.
09:23 But you can understand when a family...
09:24 I'm going to say, here's my experience.
09:29 A youngster sat in front of me and he was using marijuana.
09:34 So we're talking, we're working through the clinical issues.
09:37 And he looked at me and he said, "But Doc, why are my parents
09:44 so concerned about my marijuana use?
09:47 All I need to do is to leave and go to a place,"
09:49 and he named the state where it's legal.
09:51 So we do have some problems, and one may consider;
09:55 I know there are arguments to and from, for and against.
09:58 And we're not here getting into the debates or
10:00 entering into the debate.
10:02 We're merely mentioning that sometimes that poses a problem
10:06 for youngsters in that they feel that, because it is approved in
10:10 some places for medicinal value, etcetera, etcetera,
10:13 therefore it's not that bad, so they can use it.
10:16 That's the point we're making.
10:17 We're not entering into the debate at all.
10:20 We just wanted to make that clear.
10:22 Now how can a parent tell if his or her child
10:30 is using marijuana?
10:31 Or can they tell at all?
10:33 Is there anything, any sign?
10:35 There are so many signs.
10:37 One of the first things that you can tell is that you will
10:40 smell the substance.
10:41 You know that this is not a cologne.
10:44 And you should know that you should follow up this cue
10:47 to find out what is going on.
10:49 Other things that you will observe are the actual
10:52 paraphernalia that the child will have access to.
10:54 Many parents will locate this in their book bags or wherever they
10:59 put their stuff.
11:01 So they will have the things that they use to wrap
11:05 the marijuana, or whatever and however they use this drug,
11:08 you will find traces of that and observe the literal resources.
11:14 And I notice also that sometimes they hang with the kind of
11:18 friends who are also marijuana users
11:21 So sometimes, parents, you need to know who your
11:24 kids are hanging out with.
11:26 And sometimes when they say they are going somewhere,
11:29 you need to take a second look, sometimes you need to check.
11:32 Because, show me your company and I'll tell you who you are.
11:37 Sometimes they hang with the wrong crowd.
11:40 If you find that you're missing large sums of money,
11:42 or any money for that matter.
11:44 If you find your child with money that you can't
11:47 account for; you didn't give it to them,
11:48 you don't know of them getting it from a legitimate source,
11:51 or they're not working, then you need to find out
11:54 why do they need money as much as they do.
11:57 Because it could be that they are purchasing some substance.
12:01 Sometimes you will see red shot eyes.
12:05 Sometimes the child has difficulty remembering things.
12:10 And sometimes they go into terrible mood swings.
12:13 These can be indicators that suggest that the child
12:17 is using marijuana.
12:19 Their eating is another indication.
12:21 Sometimes they have no appetite.
12:23 They're always full or they might be chewing gum.
12:26 They do that many times to, I guess, clean their breath or so.
12:32 A child who was doing well in school, and all of a sudden,
12:35 they start being careless about their academics.
12:37 They don't follow up on assignments,
12:39 they're not interested in school and doesn't seem to be
12:42 motivated anymore about learning.
12:43 These are all signs that there could be something going on
12:46 in the mind of this child.
12:47 There also could be fatigue, and sometimes hostility.
12:53 These are all signs.
12:54 But, you know, we have a lot more to talk about.
12:56 As a matter of fact, parents, you might be overwhelmed
12:59 because you have a son or a daughter that's using marijuana.
13:02 We want to speak to you when we get back.
13:04 We want to tell you some of the things you can do
13:07 as you relate to your child.
13:09 This is a very important topic because we're talking about
13:12 the minds of young people.
13:13 We do not want to lose them, we do not want to
13:16 see them destroyed.
13:17 So, parents, we're going to do our best to see
13:19 how we can help you.
13:20 And young people, we're appealing to you.
13:23 Remember, marijuana is destructive
13:26 in all forms, in every shape, to your mind.
13:29 Stay away from it.
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14:11 Welcome back to Marriage In God's Hands.
14:14 Today we're talking about, Ambitious Desire.
14:18 You see, there is a story in the Bible that chronicles the
14:23 experience of a mother who requested that her two sons
14:27 should sit on either side of Jesus.
14:30 Unfortunately, not all parents have this desire
14:34 for their children.
14:35 So we are here to talk about some of the challenges
14:39 that other families have.
14:41 We have identified many of the problems,
14:45 and the number one that we highlighted was the
14:49 use of marijuana.
14:51 We showed the perplexity, the magnitude of the problem.
14:56 And so we asked the question before the break,
14:58 what can parents do.
15:00 And that's what we would like to share with you at this moment.
15:03 Parents listening to us there, they know their son or
15:06 their daughter is using marijuana.
15:08 Are they helpless or is there something that they can do?
15:12 Unfortunately, some parents feel helpless.
15:14 The last thing you want your child to do is to be involved
15:17 with drugs of any sort.
15:20 But if you find that your child is using or hanging with people
15:25 who use drugs, don't give up or don't sit dormant.
15:29 You need to be proactive and get your child into therapy.
15:34 While you do what you have power to do as a parent,
15:39 to monitor the child's life, to supervise every move they make,
15:44 to make sure you're regulating their access to cash, to money,
15:49 that they will use to purchase the drug, etcetera.
15:52 So you put whatever control you have in place while you
15:56 reach out and get the child treatment.
15:58 Now if your child has gone beyond the point of which
16:01 talking alone will help to deter them,
16:05 then you might need to get them into even detox
16:08 to get the substance out of their blood stream.
16:11 But you cannot not do anything.
16:14 Talking to your child about marijuana and marijuana use
16:19 is important.
16:21 You may have to do some research yourself.
16:24 You should have a little knowledge about the drug.
16:27 But you should take the time to talk to them and help them
16:30 to understand the danger of marijuana.
16:34 This is very important.
16:35 I also believe that a parent should remain active
16:40 in the life of their children.
16:41 You know, parents, sometimes you take things for granted.
16:44 You just assume that everything is going well with your child
16:49 and you leave them up to do their own thing.
16:52 And sometimes you just need to visit their room,
16:55 sit on their bed and just start talking with them.
16:58 And you would be amazed how they will open up.
17:02 And sometimes by not opening up, you can sense that something
17:05 is wrong, and it gives you an opportunity to
17:08 continue to explore.
17:09 You know, that's a very good point, Alanzo.
17:11 Because sometimes we see, or we tend to think,
17:14 that there are "bad children" who take drugs,
17:18 or children with bad behavior, and they're defiant children.
17:22 But it's not so.
17:23 Even children who are doing very well in school,
17:27 children who you would never expect to be involved
17:31 in something like this.
17:32 If they are surrounded by friends who do,
17:34 they're just as vulnerable.
17:36 So, yes, it is critical that parents spend quality time
17:40 with their child and they know exactly what's going on
17:43 in the world of that child.
17:45 And you should get your child into meaningful
17:50 and productive activities.
17:53 Sometimes children have too much time on their hands.
17:56 Too much time to be idle, too much time just to be
18:01 doing foolish things.
18:02 They come home from school at any time, any hour.
18:07 They spend all these hours with their friends or somewhere else
18:11 and you have no clue as to where they are.
18:14 It is suggesting that the boundaries have been blurred
18:17 and the structures are not there in the family.
18:20 You need to help restructure your child's life
18:24 and take away some of the free time.
18:26 Let the child get a part-time job, go to the library and
18:30 do some research, get them involved in some sports,
18:33 activity, or something else.
18:36 Use up the time wisely with your child.
18:39 Don't give them so much free time on their hands.
18:42 Setting high standards and verbalizing it to the child.
18:47 So you need to help your child know, "I expect much from you.
18:51 I know you're capable and able.
18:54 And B's and C's and D's will not be enough.
18:59 You're capable of making better grades,
19:01 then you should produce that. "
19:03 So get your child to know that it's not enough to just
19:07 fool around, as it were, and go through life aimlessly.
19:12 But make them know the sky is the limit.
19:15 You expect that they will achieve to their
19:18 highest potential, whatever that is.
19:20 And support them to do that.
19:24 We have said it many times before, but it needs
19:28 to be repeated again.
19:29 Parents should never show favoritism.
19:33 We look at the story of Jacob and Esau where their parents
19:38 showed extreme favoritism to both sons and we see
19:43 the complications that created.
19:47 We're saying, parents, that sometimes a child will go off
19:52 in the deep end, sometimes the child will move in the area of
19:55 drugs and the wrong company and the wrong friends
19:58 simply because they feel excluded or not cared for
20:03 or loved enough.
20:04 If you show favoritism, it may be going well with the
20:07 favorite son or the favorite daughter,
20:10 but what about the next one?
20:11 Are you pushing them in the wrong direction?
20:14 Talking about children making mistakes,
20:16 there are times when they will make poor judgment.
20:19 They're not perfect, they're not even very wise, although
20:22 they think they are.
20:23 So be willing to redeem them, be willing to restore them.
20:28 If your child made a mistake, don't throw them under the bus.
20:31 Speak with them, re-establish the rules, and give them
20:36 all the support you can to get them back on track.
20:39 And by God's grace, they're capable of being redeemed.
20:43 Of course, you know you must pray for your children.
20:46 The family that prays together stays together.
20:50 Parents, there's power in prayer.
20:53 And I know you're saying, "But Pastor, I have prayed. "
20:56 I know you said to your elders, "I have prayed," and you have
20:59 asked others to pray for you.
21:00 But you can't give up.
21:01 It was Jesus who gave us the story of the unfortunate woman.
21:05 And He said in that story, "men ought always to pray
21:09 and not to faint. "
21:10 So as a parent, you can't afford to faint.
21:13 You have to keep praying, and keep praying.
21:15 But you know, as we look at all of these truancy behaviors and
21:20 the dynamics of what's going on with young people,
21:23 it seems to me that we can see how important
21:26 Salome's request was.
21:29 And that's why we call it an ambitious request.
21:31 Because here was she wanting the best for her children.
21:36 These days, you find parents, and nothing is wrong with that,
21:40 they want their children to become nurses and teachers
21:44 and lawyers and engineers and doctors and all of these.
21:48 And that's important.
21:49 And parents will go at length to help their children
21:53 get into these professions.
21:55 And that beautiful, that's commendable, parents.
21:57 But again, we must ask you the question.
21:59 Do you have the same desire and do you work just as hard
22:03 to see them making wise decisions about their
22:06 spirituality and their soul salvation?
22:09 You know, I think this is a good place to talk about
22:11 the need for Christian education in Christian families.
22:16 If you have your children feeding on a diet that is
22:19 going to create an appetite for unspiritual things,
22:23 then what's that about?
22:25 So I think it is one of the best things that parents can do,
22:29 to send your children, especially in the young
22:31 formative years of their life, to Christian schools
22:34 where their character is molded, where their minds are inspired,
22:38 and where their role models emanate the life of Christ.
22:42 And this way, you insulate your child against some of the
22:46 harm that they're exposed to in some other systems.
22:49 You can tell she's a product of Christian education.
22:52 And proud of it.
22:53 Well, thank God we both are.
22:55 The story is told of a father who heard his daughter cry out,
23:01 "Daddy, daddy, come quickly.
23:03 Stop this big cat from licking my face. "
23:09 So the father dashed to the room, but to his horror,
23:13 it was not a big cat.
23:14 It was a tiger that was licking his child's face.
23:18 He went back, got his gun, aimed, fired, shot the tiger.
23:22 It jumped through the window, collapsed in a pool of blood
23:26 on the outside.
23:27 Later on, they discovered that the tiger had escaped
23:31 from a nearby woods.
23:33 But the point I want to make, June, is this.
23:36 It must have been a terrible and a horrifying experience,
23:41 for any father, and for that father to see a tiger
23:45 licking his child's face.
23:49 It ought to be frightening.
23:51 I couldn't even imagine what I would do.
23:53 But the reality is, there are so many other things,
23:56 if you think about it, that your child, or a child is exposed to
24:00 that could be just as dangerous as a tiger attacking a child.
24:05 I can think of, for example, the porn industry
24:09 and the impact that has had on young people.
24:13 I'm so appalled to see that there are predators
24:19 so available and so accessible to our children.
24:24 And yet many parents are not even aware
24:27 that these things happen.
24:29 And we should give a word of caution to you young people.
24:33 Because sometimes you make the mistake of giving out
24:37 personal information over the internet.
24:40 You say to yourself, you're in a teen chat room
24:44 and the next person you're talking to is a teen.
24:47 Not at all. Not at all.
24:49 We have seen and heard of countless stories of adults,
24:55 predators, who go in these teen chat rooms only trying to
24:59 solicit sexual favors and to learn your way.
25:03 As a matter of fact, we have heard of cases where
25:05 youngsters have lost their lives because they went away with
25:09 someone they thought was their age group in a chat room.
25:12 So we want our children to be aware that you should never ever
25:17 give your personal contact information to anyone
25:20 you don't know.
25:22 It doesn't matter how much time you have spent
25:25 communicating with them and how they make you think
25:28 that they're safe and they're your friend and
25:30 they are who they say they are.
25:32 You don't know who these people are.
25:34 Stay away from those internet sites.
25:37 So we're saying there are some serious things that are
25:40 out there that are even worse than that of a tiger
25:43 licking a child's face.
25:45 We talked about the pornography and the internet use and
25:48 what it's doing to children.
25:50 We also have to talk about things like teen pregnancy.
25:55 You know, there's a strange statistic that is out there.
26:00 They say that teen pregnancy is on the decline.
26:05 But the correlation to that is that sexually transmitted
26:11 diseases, STD's, are on the rise.
26:14 So you see, it's not that youngsters are not more active
26:20 in sexual activity.
26:21 It's just that they are protecting themselves,
26:24 but they are still getting inflicted or infected
26:28 with these STD's.
26:30 That is such a myth, and yes, so many young people
26:33 are caught up with this.
26:34 I spoke to a young woman just recent who had never had
26:39 sex before, and she was lured by her friends to this experience.
26:43 And before you knew it, she found herself with an STD.
26:47 And she is devastated.
26:49 This is an STD that she will have for the rest of her life.
26:53 So we warn young people to stay away from those experiences
26:57 and follow God's instruction.
26:59 Abstain from sex before you're in a committed relationship
27:02 with your spouse.
27:04 Parents, Salome took her two boys to Jesus
27:08 and requested of Him, "Grant that these, my two sons,
27:14 may sit, one on the right hand and the other on the left,
27:18 in thine kingdom. "
27:20 We're saying, that was an ambitious request.
27:24 And that as parents, you must also make and have ambitious
27:28 requests and desires for your children.
27:31 You want to see them succeed.
27:33 You want to see them do well in school.
27:36 They have all the different things to make them happy,
27:39 but do they have Jesus?
27:41 Your son, your daughter, do they have Jesus?
27:44 Do you want the best for them?
27:46 Remember, the best is Jesus.
27:49 And you must do everything as a parent to see what you can do
27:53 to help your son, to help your daughter,
27:55 accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
27:58 May God bless you as you try.