In my early teens into my twenties I was both a good student and a bad student. In middle school I was almost a straight A student. Then came high school. In high school I hardly showed up to class and when I did I would read a book instead of listening to the teacher. What I lacked was discipline. When I got married my wife put her foot down and said, “Enough is enough, I know you are smart and capable of getting straight A’s.” At first I wasn’t sure but then the results slowly starting to come in and she was right. As I continued to progress first at an associates level, then to my Bachelors and finally to my Masters degrees, I gained confidence that I could be a good student if I disciplined myself by the grace of God to the task at hand. A new book Preparing Your Teens For College: Faith, Friends, Finances and Much More by my friend Alex Chediak has recently come out that seeks to help parents train their children to be disciplined students of the Word, in school and in life.
The book is broken up into six parts with eleven total conversations. In part one, Alex looks at character, and how to teach responsibility and train teens to be future-oriented. In part two the author considers faith, and how to raise teens who internalize their faith and be characterized by conviction and tolerance. Part three considers how to help teens pursue quality friends and purity. Part four examines how to prepare teens to be financially responsible. Part five guides readers into encouraging teens to work as unto the Lord by using their time, talents and abilities and working as unto the Lord in all they do. Part two looks at asking the right questions about college and whether to consider associate degrees or trade schools. In the conclusion the author examines the marks of college-ready teens. The book also includes an appendix where readers will learn how to plan and save for college.
In April at Together For the Gospel, I had the opportunity to meet Alex in person. He is a friendly, approachable and humble servant of the risen Christ. We live in a day where many teens are like I was in high school, coming out of high school and going into college, lacking discipline. I can look back now and say the period of my life where I failed out of two community colleges before getting married was an act of God’s grace. God used both of those experiences to grow me and show me that though, I thought I could skate through, not show up regularly to class, not do my homework and do well in school was not only a waste of my time, it seriously compromised my witness for the gospel, I now realize.
I received two copies of this book from the publisher. One copy I gave to a friend of mine who is a foster mom over the July 4th weekend. She let me know she was reading it and enjoying it a great deal. I bring that up because I agree with her. Alex’s book is chalk full of great insights to help parents and teens understand what it will take for our young people to be men and women of godly character and integrity. This book not only diagnoses the problem it shows the solution by teaching a love for Jesus, the local church and God’s people.
Whether you are a foster mom, a new parent or everywhere in-between, I recommend Preparing Your Teens to you. This book will help open your eyes and equip you to train young people that a lack of discipline isn’t the way to go. A life lived well for the Lord is a life of disciplining oneself for the sake of godliness. Your teens may not want to listen but please be patient, and pray. My parents did and now I’m a happily married husband to a beautiful godly wife and in full time ministry. I highly recommend Preparing Your Teens For College and earnestly pray the Lord will use it powerfully to help parents train young people to be men and women of godly character to the glory of God.
Author: Alex Chediak
Publisher: Tyndale (2014)
I received this book for free from Tyndale for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.