Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Main Reason Teens Abstain from Sex

posted by Linda Mintle

Mandy is a typical teen, but has decided abstinence is the way to go. Why?

Because she believes that having sex before marriage is morally wrong. She learned that in her youth group at church. Religion made a difference in her thinking.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention did a study that backed up what Mandy is saying. A 2006-2010 survey found that over half of both girls and boys who practiced abstinence, did so for religious reasons. Surprisingly, “avoiding a sexually transmitted disease” was not the main reason to be abstinent.

And despite the sexually saturated media culture, the study also found that the percentage of sexually experienced females declined from 1988 to 2006 (51% to 43%). Furthermore, parents have an impact on their teens’ sexuality. When a girl lives with both parents versus other parental arrangements, , she is less sexually active (35% versus 54%). So parents, don’t give in to the idea that your presence doesn’t matter. Keep talking to your teen about the importance of abstinence.

Finally, more good news that you won’t hear from general media. Since the “True Love Waits” campaign began and sexual abstinence was presented as an alternative to having sex, teen sexual activity has dropped every year. Religion does matter and provides a moral grounding!

Could a Blood Test Tell You if Your Teen is Depressed?

posted by Linda Mintle

It isn’t always easy to figure out whether a teen is simply in the throws of adolescent moodiness or is depressed. We have to rely on observing changes in behavior and looking for symptoms that fit depression.

Picking up on teen depression is important because it can lead to suicide, substance abuse, physical illness and more if untreated. Approximately, 25% of teens and young adults suffer from major depression.

A fascinating new study  involving teen depression was recently reported. The study was conducted at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Eva Redei, co-author of the study has been working in a rat lab to find genetic markers for depression. Based on the work of her team, they were able to develop a test that looks for markers in the blood associated with teen depression. Specifically, the researchers found 26 biomarkers for major depression.

Twenty-eight teens participated in the study, ages 15 to 19; half of the teens were diagnosed with depression and half were not. The depressed teens shared 11 markers of depression.

This is the first time a blood test has been developed to diagnose depression. The researchers hope the blood test will help towards early identification of depression in teens so that treatment and prevention will be possible.  We’ve never had this before. And they also hope this discovery will take a bit of the stigma out of being diagnosed with depression.  Less stigma may mean more teens will seek treatment.

While this is exciting news, it doesn’t replace the need for a comprehensive evaluation by a competent mental health provider. The study also doesn’t address the bigger need to get at the underlying issues associated with depression. And since there are many different types of depression, it certainly doesn’t help depression that is brought on by lifestyle, relational and environmental issues. Truth is, you can have a predisposition to many conditions like depression, but it is the mix of genetics, environment and biology that matter.

The good news is that depression is very treatable. Look for the signs of teen depression and get help! My small booklet pictured above will help you understand depression from both a spiritual and psychological perspective. It includes signs, treatments and scripture to help.

And Why Am I Supposed to Cheer Brad and Angelina’s Engagement?

posted by Linda Mintle

Big entertainment news last week on the cover of People–after living together for seven year and having  six children, Brad and Angie are engaged.

We supposed to be getting excited over this news.

Hollywood is dishing it out:

Could Brad sue over people copying the 16 karat ring design he gave Angelina? Relax. How many people can afford a 16 karat ring? I think we will all know if you have one, it is probably a copy!

Have they been engaged for months? Who cares, they have been living together for years. Apparently he waited a year to pop the question so the ring could be designed.

Who will get the first pics of the official couple? The costs of those pics could probably make a serious dent in the national debt. Maybe the White House photographer should throw his or her hat in the ring for wedding photographer.

Who will design the wedding dress? The designer will become a star. This event will make a career. In fact, an entire mini industry will be created around this event. Finally, a real solution to job creation!

Of course, we will have numerous stories about how they almost called the whole thing off. They have to sell tabloids and keep our interest.

According to People, the couple is ready to marry because their family has finally jelled. OK this is a new one to me as a family therapist. Have children before you marry, see if the group jells together and then get married. Not a strategy I have ever recommended.

So hold your hats people, this, according to the Hollywood Reporter, will be the wedding of the new century. Plan on seeing headline after headline all summer long on the dress, details of the wedding and speculation as to where it will be. Just gear up for a full summer of excruciating details until the election.

One reporter told us he will not rest until he knows when and where the wedding will be. Phew, we can all relax now!

Do I sound a bit cynical?

Well, I am. This is Angelina’s third trip down the aisle and Brad’s second. According to reports, it is the kids who are clamoring for marriage. Brad has been quite vocal about not marrying until all people have the right to marry. He has stated repeatedly that he doesn’t put much value on marriage as an institution. So for me, I’m not too excited to hold these two out as marriage role models. Yes, they do great charity work, they seem like very nice people in the public eye, and I like that they are committed to their kids. As actors, they are entertaining and fun to watch. That said, they are not role models for marriage and so to get all excited over an engagement that is backwards isn’t happening for me.

But I am happy they are getting married because I believe, based on the Bible,  it is the right thing to do.  So before you comment telling me I am intolerant and judging these two, let me remind you this blog is on the Christianity channel and I am doing life from a biblical perspective. The Bible is clear that living together without being married is wrong. Wrong is unpopular because it convicts and sets a standard. The standard is meant for our good, not to put people down.

I’ve had way too many conversations with Christian young adults about the biblical mandate to marry before living with someone. I have been shocked at the number of Christian kids who think cohabitation is no big deal and are clueless about what the Bible says regarding relationships. I know Hollywood has an influence. Most young adults spend more time consuming media than the Bible, so they are influenced by what Hollywood does. The complete acceptance of cohabitation as an acceptable lifestyle cheapens the biblical idea of covenant. Marriage is a holy and sacred act. It is a spiritual and physical union, not a casual try it out and see if it works idea.

Don’t email me and tell me Brangolina have never proclaimed to be Christians. I know that and am not holding them up as Christian role models. But it was not that many years ago when we didn’t celebrate people living together. We thought it wasn’t a good idea, especially when children are involved. And the long term data on those who do live together is not good when it comes to staying committed to the relationship. Higher divorce rates are found among those who cohabitate and yet it is becoming normative. Couples who cohabitate have a better chance of marriage survival if they decide versus slide into marriage. My friend, Scott Stanley, at the University of Denver says, the “nature of commitment at the time of cohabitation is what’s important.”If you decide versus slide, your chances are a bit better to make it. Hopefully, Branjolina will make it.

Because of the Internet, the lives of Hollywood celebrities are in our lives 24/7. Most times, there is a complete disregard for any faith perspective.  So while I am glad Brad and Angelina will finally marry, I’m just not celebrating it as the event of the decade.

Instead, I’d like to applaud those of you who married, then had children. You are the real role models and are headlining for God!

 

Why Does Bill Maher Hate Stay-At-Home Moms?

posted by Linda Mintle

In my opinion, someone needs to reign in Bill Maher. Not because he doesn’t have freedom of speech, but because he is so mean-spirited when it comes to people who don’t hold his beliefs. His speech is often hateful and yet he is given a voice and a pass in the name of being funny. It is this hypocrisy that bothers me.

His latest assault on Ann Romney was downright demeaning of women. For a man who has never married, never awakened in the middle of the night for a sick child, never had to disrupt his life to make a trip to the emergency room with a listless baby, he sure has a lot of opinions on parenting and stay-at- home moms.

Obviously, Maher has no respect for the job of parenting. Ann Romney had a choice. She could afford to be home and raise her children and made that choice. Her political party plays no relevance in this choice. And taking care of five children is work!

Making fun of stay-at-home moms is not funny.  Bill, I thought you were pro-choice!

Commenting on strategist Hiliary Rosen’s remarks that stay at home moms have never worked a day in their lives, Bill took it to the next level–below the belt and made the statement more crass. I won’t even dignify his remarks. At least Hiliary apologized to Ann Romney for her remarks. Ann don’t hold your breath for Bill. It won’t come. It’s not his style. He justifies personally hurting people in the name of comedy.

Women, working outside or inside the home, know how hard being a mom is these days. Both require skills that are often similar. One is not harder than the other, just different. I know. I’ve done both. And to try and divide us into camps that oppose each other, won’t work. We are not that stupid.

Bottom line, Maher is intolerant of anyone who doesn’t think like he does and then passes it off as alleged comedy. The problem is that Maher is not funny when he personally demeans people. He is just mean. Since he doesn’t believe in God, I can’t appeal to his faith as a moderator of being nicer, but I can appeal to his support of President Obama. The President said we should all practice more civility in the public square. Bill, listen to the man. He’s right on this issue.

 

 

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