I had the most enlightening conversation with my 4-year-old daughter last week.
Anna was telling me about her Sunday School class at church. She said her friends were saying a bad word and so she told them to stop.
“What was the word?” I asked curiously.
“I don’t want to say it,” she replied.
“You won’t get in trouble,” I assured her. We have always told our kids that if they don’t know what something means, they can feel free to ask us about it, and even if it’s ‘bad’, they won’t get in trouble. We want to work through these life situations and challenges with them.
“Nathan has said it before,” Anna conceded.
This really piqued my interest. I hadn’t known my 5-year-old son to say anything bad, so either the ‘bad’ word at church, really wasn’t that bad, or my son was sneaking around with a sailor’s mouth.
I pressed on. “You can tell me Anna.”
“They said ‘stinky’,” she confessed.
My mind moved to the next step. Not a terrible word. Unless they were calling someone stinky. So I asked, but they weren’t.
“Anna, I’m proud of you for telling them to stop saying a word you thought was bad,” I assured her. “Did they stop saying it when you asked them?”
“No. So I just laughed along with them,” she spouted, happy to get that confession off of her chest.”
Ahhhh peer pressure. The need to fit in. It obviously begins early in life and doesn’t go away for awhile, if ever. Kids face it, Teenagers are inundated by it. College students live with it and once we become adults it can sometimes be a way of life after years of indoctrination. It is a battle.
A battle we can win with the help of the Holy Spirit.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
If peer pressure is a struggle for you, why not commit these verses to memory? Then when that pivotal time comes when you need to decide whether you will stand firm, or give in, you can reflect on the words from God’s Word and hold steady.
He is always with you and ready to give you a way out!