Q and A

R from LaVergne, Tennessee asks...

Friend or Foe

Dear Junebug: My daughter has a friend with whom she has been friends for several years. The friend has recently been having trouble with telling the truth about a lot of things. She has used prayer requests to start rumors, etc. Now, this friend has expressed to a mutual friend of hers and my daughter that my daughter is someone "who lies a lot." The comment got back to my daughter and she is hurting. I'm not sure what to do. The friend is going through a lot of family issues, so that may be the reason for this extreme behavior, but I'm not sure. Face to face with my daughter she doesn't express comments like that. I'm not sure she would be completely honest if confronted. What to do?

Posted in Teenagers on Tue, Apr 3rd 2012

Confront to be Sure

Dear R.:

This sounds like a similar situation that my daughter had to confront when in middle school. So, the first step that I'd suggest your daughter take is to mention to her friend, in a non confrontational way, that others have been telling her that she, your daughter's friend, has been slandering and spreading lies about her. Ask the friend to be completely honest, reassuring her that she will be forgiven, but the truth needs to come out.  

If however, the friend denies it all and your daughter believes her sources, then I'd suggest she find another friend. My daughter's experience with her so called friend didn't work in terms of restoration. She actually had to back away from the one hurling insults and seek out a different group of girls, those who didn't have any interest in gossiping. Now, my daughter has an extremely close group of girlfriends that avoid gossip/slander at all costs.

Encourage your daughter to work it out, but if her friend is the type with a propensity to lie, then help steer her away from this girl. Quickly!

 May God's blessings and wisdom be with you and your daughter in this situation! 

Junebug

J from Tallahassee, Florida asks...

Witness the Right Way

Hey Junebug!  When you preach the Gospel to others, is there a specific thing you say every time, or does God reveal to you what to say?

Posted in Love on Thu, Mar 31st 2011

Be Yourself

Dear J.

I think that God orchestrates our every step if we ask HIM to, and given that HE puts people in our paths to witness to, then I have to believe that HE too gives us the appropriate words to say. Each person is unique and will receive God's word differently, so what we say regarding the LORD should depend on the person and the situation. 

One piece of advice I'd give you is not to try to hard to say the right thing nor memorize a bunch of Scriptures and start blurting those out. You will probably come across as insincere and too polished. It's always good to be yourself and, more than anything, let the love of Jesus come across in your actions. By doing these two things, your words will be the icing on the cake that your actions have built.

And most important, pray and listen for the Holy Spirit to lead you. Be bold yet seasoned with love.

I know just from the sheer fact that you have asked me this question that you are a man of God and you will do great witnessing. Be yourself and you will reflect God's love and kindness.

Junebug  

B from LaVergne, Tennesee asks...

Bullied at Church

Dear Junebug: I am almost 13 and being bullied.  What the bad part about it is that I’m being bullied at church. These two specific girls keep picking on me just because I listen to music they don’t (Justin Bieber, Greyson Chance). They keep telling me “you’re stupid you need to listen to real music or only losers listen to things like that”. It’s really hard because sometimes I don’t even want to go to church on Sundays or Wednesdays because I know they'll be there. My mom says I should just stay away from them. But it’s REALLY hard because one of the girls used to be my best friend. I don’t understand why God allows things like this to happen to good people? I’ve had major headaches because of this situation. I need help. Please write back soon.

Posted in Bullying on Wed, Feb 16th 2011

Don't Roll with the Punches

Dear B:

I have deferred this question to my 16 year old daughter, who has had to endure the insults and rude comments numerous times. Because of her personal experiences, she has good practical advice on how to handle bullies. I felt that she would be more in tune with this situation than I. God Bless you.

 Junebug

 

B:

I have had so much trouble with girls and the mean words they use to “joke” with. Luckily, I got through a lot of the bullying by doing a few things that I’m going to share with you.

First, you have to stick up for yourself! I know it’s hard, but they won’t quit until you do. Now you don’t have to say “I’m telling my mom on you guys” to stick up for yourself; you must show them that if they cut on you, it won’t fly with you. One thing I’ve learned from my experience with girls and dealing with them is that the one thing girls can’t cut you down about is God, especially if they claim they’re “Christians” too. Now, since you say it happens at church, next time they “joke” you, tell them it says in the Bible that harsh joking is a sin (Ephesians 5:4). They can’t make fun of you for using God as support, because they claim they’re Christians! If they do, then simply ask, “Why are you here at church then?” Now I’ve noticed the one comeback these girls have is, “Well it was just a joke. Can’t you take a joke?” Here’s what you say: “A joke is not a joke when it hurts someone’s feelings.”

The second thing you need to do AFTER you stick up for yourself is leave them alone. Don’t hang around with them, find someone else. If there’s no one else that’s nice, maybe this isn’t the church you need to be at. But don’t settle for bratty friends or friends that make you feel low. Listen girl, I had the same problem. I never stood up for myself. I always took the punches and came home crying. One day, I decided it was going to stop. So I went to school, one girl cut me down in a “joking” way, and I looked at her and said “That was a really immature thing to say. It’s time to grow up.” From that day on, I heard nothing from that girl. Not another peep. I’m actually friends with her now, and the cutting down isn’t an issue anymore because I stood up for myself. Now, I’m not saying everyone’s going to be like that. Some girls will maybe not say a word back but still be cruel behind your back. These girls you need to walk away from. Think about it this way, a lion isn’t going to pick a fight with a strong lion but rather a weak one because he knows the weak lion won’t fight back. They won’t be mean to you if they know you’re strong!

Honey, I know it’s going to be okay. Don’t stress over it. Take my advice and I promise it’ll make a difference! Take it from one who’s been in your shoes.

Junebug’s daughter 

Leigha from Jackson, Tennessee asks...

Can Girls Really Be Friends with Guys?

Dear Junebug: I am in high school and at the beginning of last year I became really close friends with a guy in my grade; not close to dating or anything, just very close friends. He recently got a girlfriend and ever since we hardly ever talk at all. I recently asked him about it and he basically told me it was out of respect for his girlfriend and that he's sorry he hurt me, but it's not going to change. However, he also said he's still here for me, but not to expect him to call or talk to me. He's a very nice Christian boy and probably the best guy friend I've ever had. Before, I never would have guessed in a million years he'd leave me (and every other girl/friend he has ) behind for a girl. I completely understand that he's not going to text me every night like he used to, but I don't understand why we can't even be friends anymore. Please help.

Posted in Broken Relationships on Sat, Jan 22nd 2011

Yes and No

Dear Leigha:

I have experienced the loss of friends under similar circumstances as you have described, so I can sympathize with you. What I have come to understand is that when we make friends, whether opposite sex or same sex friends, there is always a risk of losing that friendship at some point in time. This is especially true for opposite sex friends, for when they enter into a new dating or romantic relationship that relationship will naturally occupy the majority of their time and we will see less and less of them. Unfortunately, more times than not, having friends of the opposite sex adds undue pressure to the dating relationship causing further distance to occur between you and your opposite sex friend. From my experience, guys have a propensity for dropping female friends when they enter into a new dating relationship as they focus all their time and attention on their new girlfriends.  

My advice is to develop friendships with members of the opposite sex with a dose of caution. Guys can be awesome friends, so opposite sex friends can and will be important to you. But, you have to enter into these friendships knowing that you could be positioning yourself for future disappointment. I also recommend that you strive for more than one friend at a time, for this will give you other options if that one friend disappoints you. I usually have two or three close friends in my inner circle. Then, I have several other friends that I can call on occasionally that aren't as close as my best friends.

I know you are bruised and shocked at  how quickly you were discarded for another. Please realize it has nothing to do with you; it's natural that the new girlfriend wouldn't want him close to another female. As I mentioned, it's happened to me and no doubt many others as well, so you join a large crowd of people who have had to learn the hard way about opposite sex friendships. At present, the best thing for you to do is to move on and diligently work on making new friendships, especially with other girls.  

I also want you to keep in mind that your friend may come back to you sometime in the future, for I know that true friendships will remain when dating or romantic relationships end. True friends are the ones that will always be there for me; they are the ones that I can trust with everything; and they will love me enough to hold me accountable for doing wrong. These friendships will last the test of time. What that means is they will remain my friend in good times and bad, through hurt feelings or arguments that may occur between us and a true friend will be there to support me when I need them most, no matter how much time has passed since I've talked with them last. 

And most important of all, your best and truest friend that will never leave or forsake you for anyone is JESUS. I find myself talking to HIM all the time; many times in the middle of the night when my friends and husband are sound asleep. JESUS never sleeps. He listens and even talks back if we are quiet enough to hear. And one last thing, He is a great friend finder!!!

Your Friend,

Junebug

Ricky from Franklin, TN asks...

Will We Ever Get It Right?

Dear Junebug: If we love God with all our heart, soul and mind, then why do we do so many things outside His will for us?

Posted in Religion on Sun, Nov 21st 2010

Keep the Scales Balanced

Dear Ricky:

What a daily struggle we ALL endure. For no matter our Christian maturity, our flesh is yet a weak vessel begging for strength and fortitude; all of which comes from God and God alone. In Romans 7:19, the paraphrased words of the apostle Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament, states that he (Paul) does what he doesn't want to do and doesn't do what he wants to do. So you and I, my dear, are in good company.

It's a necessary thing that we fight our fleshly desires daily, as this is what dying to the flesh is all about. Dying to our desires, exerting self control, which is a fruit of the Spirit, and living an obedient lifestyle to God is what we are to strive for in order to live out our profession of faith. 

Rick, my question to you is this: If you had a set of the two sided scales of justice and you put God's Word on one side and your life on the other, would your life reflect what you SAY you believe in HIS Word? I was asked this the other day and it made me squirm! How does your life balance out compared to all that the Word testifies? For example, if you believe what Jesus says in Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man who was in torment in Hades and begging the poor man Lazarus, who was in heaven, for just a drop of water, then do you witness with such fervor and urgency as to demonstrate your deepest belief in His Word and Truth? The question certainly should give us pause. 

So with that said, keep questioning, stay focused on HIM and pursue righteous living. When you do mess up keep on keeping on. Don't give up; Paul didn't, even though he struggled intensely as we all do. We are "little while" folks learning and preparing for the "long while" lives we will receive the day we come to life in Heaven.

Excited for that day,

Junebug  

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