The Battles of Raising Today’s Teens Day 6: Weekly Thoughts
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV)
This is a well-known Scripture passage, and one we use for many situations in life, as there is so much wisdom packed into it. We are reminded that the Lord’s way is always best, and when we allow Him, He will lead us well. This is true even in parenting—and maybe especially so. Too often we scour the wrong sources before we look to the best Source, the God who created us. We google, pick up the phone and ask someone, or seek the help of a counselor. These are all useful and I don’t discount the help they can be in some measure. But first and foremost, what does God say about what we are facing? The answers, while you may need to search and pray for God to reveal them, are there for us to glean.
It may seem odd that I chose the word “battle” for this series on raising teenagers—at least to those who didn’t really find themselves struggling much. But for the vast majority of us, we encounter hardships in those formative years when our kids are faced with various issues that cause stress and sometimes heartache. We’ve mentioned it in previous days of this series, but we will mention it again to clarify: no one has all the answers and no one can completely understand all that goes on under your roof. Yet the truth remains that you will be held responsible for how you parent your children, and their future mostly depends on how well or how poorly you parent them.
Some battles are worth fighting with all you’ve got, and others simply aren’t high stakes; you’ll need to decide. I remember as a young mom I thought diapers and feedings and toddler tantrums couldn’t be matched in difficulty, only to discover the teen years to be much more challenging. Prepare yourself if you’re a parent who is not quite there yet. Decide ahead of time what parameters you want to set for your kids, check to make sure they align with God’s Word, and then carry out those guidelines as a team to the best of your ability. Will you have to make changes along the way? Absolutely!
Whether you have a child who loves to please or one that loves to get under your skin, remember the gift they are to you. God treasures this child—He wants the very best for them. He also wants the best for you, and one way for that to be a reality is for you to take seriously the gift of your children. As parents, we will stand before God and give an account for how we parented—that’s a serious reality. May our kids know, without a doubt, how well we love them and try our best to guide them in the ways best for them (even when they can’t see it yet).