Christian decision making and choices begin with a willingness to submit your thoughts, intentions and desires to God. Examining God’s word, establishing God-pleasing priorities, seeking wise counsel and praying enable you to make godly choices, according to Paul Tautges, a contributor at delightintheword.org, an Immanuel Bible Church website. While teens are constantly bombarded with choices and pressure from their peers, you can teach your child to wait on God, make decisions based on faith and think through the consequences before making a choice. You can use games to teach your teen about choices.
Decisions and Consequences
Right from the beginning, the Bible warns that choices bear good or bad results. Adam and Eve, for instance, chose to eat the forbidden fruit and as a result, God banished man from the Garden of Eden. To teach teens about decisions and consequences, prepare a list of questions on the topic. Before the teens arrive for the meeting, make enough nasty food concoctions and pack them in food bags. Label them up to the same number of questions as there are in the task. Divide the teens into groups, depending on the size of your group. Assign a question and let the group choose a person to answer it. If the person gets it right, the team is awarded marks. If the representative gets it wrong, the team has to eat the food in the bag labeled with the question number. Teens learn that when they are not alert and do things inaccurately, the results can be unpleasant. They also learn that sometimes our wrong choices affect people around us.
Let’s Make a Choice
The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 teaches Christians that how they sow determines how they reap. The farmer who scattered his seeds instead of considering a fertile ground and planting carefully lost the ones that fell along the path, on rocky grounds and on thorns, but had a good harvest for seeds that fell on fertile ground. To play this game, buy gifts and display them before your team of teens arrives. Print letters A, B and C on different papers and have about five copies of each. Choose a volunteer and ask him to choose a letter. The crowd helps him make a choice by shouting their suggestions. Show what is behind the paper, and that is his prize. You can play mind games on the volunteer by giving him a chance to change his mind. Choose a girl next to ensure balance and make the prizes be as extreme as possible. Some players get good prizes such as a Christian book or a recent movie, while others get bad prizes such as a can of tomatoes, a stone or a blank piece of paper.
Whom to Follow
The Bible persuades Christians in Psalms 118:8 that it is better to trust in God than in a man. Teenagers especially face a lot of difficulties deciding whom to follow due to peer pressure. Let your group of teens stand outside the room but have a volunteer leader go in with you. Instruct him on a task and let him skip some important stages of doing the task. For example, print papers with the numbers one to 10 on them. Have the leader arrange them but skip two numbers. When the rest of the team comes in, let each one of them do the task in exactly the same way they observe the leader doing it. The idea is to see if any of them will question how the leader does things, or they will do the task the exact way he did it. Teens learn how not to follow people blindly and to question decisions and perceptions before ascribing to them.
A man sows what he reaps according to Galatians 6:7-8. You can play a prioritizing game with your teen, even at home. Have your teen write a list of important things to him, arranging them in order of priority. They can include watching TV, studying for his exams, going to a soccer game, praying and reading the Bible. Have the rest of the family rearrange his list into what they think it should look like. Have everyone in the family explain the things that top their final lists and why. Your teen may learn to prioritize differently based on the information your family provides. For example, if exercise came last on your teen’s list, explaining that it is vital for his health can change his attitude toward it.