Teenagers have gotten a bad rap throughout history and in our modern culture.  They’re always portrayed as moody, uncommunicative, and prone to rebellion.  The truth is that these are probably the most difficult years that they will ever endure in their lives.  Their bodies are changing, filling them with hormones, a condition that they are unaccustomed to, and they are drinking from the firehose of life, learning so many new things in such a short space of time.  All these things would be overwhelming for anyone.  Additionally, they are learning about relationships with the opposite sex, while unfortunately, so many of those relationships do not turn out well, adding to their pain and confusion.  Moreover, too many parents are confused about the many changes in their children who were once small and cute and easily manageable but now are young adults with their own opinions and desires that may run counter to what their parents want for them.  This is probably the source of much of the conflict as parents try to control them rather than gently guide them, and are more prone to criticize them rather than trying to understand them and support them through these difficult years.

If you do your job right as a parent, looking to God for guidance on how to work with your children, and depending on Him for power to do it the right way, then you will easily get through these years and develop deep and lasting friendships with your children.  But they need lots of patience and understanding during these trying years, and you should be constantly praying for them to have courage and peace for these times as well as being filled with His Spirit, His Love, and His Wisdom as they develop into strong Christians, seeking Him, serving Him, and glorifying Him in their lives.  One of the sources of trouble between parents and teenagers is that many parents are not growing along with their children, keeping at least a few steps ahead on this Christian walk through life, so that they have more wisdom, patience, and love to offer their teenagers for these years of trial.  Moreover, many people let up in their parenting efforts, thinking that these young ones are now self sufficient, not needing as much attention.  Or they simply stop lavishing attention on their teenagers because they are not so little and not so cute anymore.  But like all people, they need constant input of love and wisdom, just as we need it from our Creator.

It is important to remember during these years that they are not the only ones growing.  We should also be growing, ever learning more about life and God in this process of sanctification.  We are on the same road that they are on; we are just further along the road.  We are generally not much smarter than them or better than them.  We are just more experienced.  Keeping this in mind, we should always approach our teenagers humbly, with humor, and without judgment.  Sure, we have to guide them with as much wisdom as God has given us and to correct them when they get off the path, but we should always approach these situations humbly, patiently, and lovingly, remembering that we were once just like them.  It is important to talk to them daily as often as possible so that they know we love them and care about their lives.  But you have to get into their world – not just flit in, impatiently wanting to “get this over with.”  If your interest in them is feigned or superficial, they will catch on and will clam up, realizing that you don’t really want to know them, you just want to “do your duty as a parent” or you want to control them. 

True love will get into their world a little bit every day and discuss with them the things that they are involved in and have passion for, whether you understand it or not.  You just have to get in there anyway and empathize with them as best you can, sharing in their joys and pains.  When you are a true friend to them like this, putting in the effort to get to know them and what is important to them, then they will open up to you as they realize you truly care.  They will also be more likely to trust your wisdom.  Moreover, if you choose the path of love consistently in your life and spend time with your Loving Creator, you will more likely actually have some wisdom to share as you get infusions from God.  But you must have this one-on-one quiet time with Him so that He can put His Blessings, His Love, His Wisdom, and His Power into you. 

Raising teenagers is not rocket science.  Anyone can do it and can do it well if you are humble enough to do it God’s way and do it under His Power.

I pray that you will all be filled with His Wisdom, His Power, and His Love so that you will be the best parents possible for your children of any age and so that you will be an effective ambassador for your Limitlessly Loving God in Heaven. 

 


Comments

I have to agree that being a teenager is not easy as one would think. It is that time where one thinks that they should do something. They cannot adjust with the society and they are in desperation to understand themselves.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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