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2024 Day 4: Peer Pressure

 

 

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This Bible verse reminds us to renew our minds and to not ignore God’s true will for us by striving aimlessly to be the same as others.

I remember that by the time my daughter was four years old, she had already taken four enrichment classes. However, when I chatted with other parents and learned that their children were taking more classes, my heart became troubled by the thought that my daughter would lag behind and be at a disadvantage without a good head start in life. Then after much prayer, and after evaluating our ability to afford all these classes and the schedule they would set for my daughter, my husband and I decided to cut back two classes so that she could have more free time to read and play freely.

Another struggle came when my daughter was in high school and wanted to join a youth symphony orchestra outside of school. We certainly understood that it would be a valuable experience for her and also that it would look good on her college applications. However, the orchestra practice time was in the early afternoon on Sundays, and we knew that it would deeply affect our family’s time of worship. After fervently praying about the decision, we chose to put God first and let go of the opportunity to join the orchestra.

Our children face a lot of peer pressure in school, don’t they? For example, everyone is flocking to take APs (Advanced Placement classes), participate in various extracurricular activities, take up important positions in different clubs or societies,  receive tutoring in various subjects, and so on. If kids do not make appropriate choices based on their own interests and abilities and just blindly follow everyone’s direction, not only will they feel exhausted, but they may also get suboptimal results, adding to their frustration. For me, as a parent, knowing how to respect children’s ideas and choices and just giving some reminders and guidance at appropriate times can better cultivate their self-confidence and independence, and children can also learn to be responsible for their own decisions. My daughter did not join any society in high school, nor did she hold the position of chairman or treasurer; she did not study medicine, engineering, or computer science at college. She studied natural sciences and obtained a doctorate. Now she continues to engage in scientific research. Although she may not have achieved fame and fortune, she lives a solid life and enjoys the satisfaction gained from research. I am also happy and grateful for her! We thank God for helping us learn that by leaning on Him, we are able to resist pressure from all sides and experience His wonderful provision. 

Reflection Questions:

1. What kind of peer pressure are you facing right now that is pushing you to strive to be like others?

2. What are the decisions you have to make now for which you need to seek God’s will first instead of following other people’s standards?

 

Written by Anonymous | Artwork by Monica Chan

 

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