Two things God told me when we had teens.
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:9-10, NLT
When our kids were entering middle school. I was nervous.
I remembered being in middle school -- I wasn’t a Christian and it was during that season, I started doing all the bad stuff.
I was feeling anxious as our kids entered middle school. I wondered, “How do you raise Christian teens?”
As I sought the Lord, the Holy Spirit told me two things.
First, He spoke to my heart with this: “Jesus is the only perfect Person. Everyone makes mistakes and your kids will, too.”
Second. He went on, “Pray that their mistakes are minor and they learn their lessons quickly.”
So that’s what I did.
I accepted the fact that our kids would make mistakes. It wasn’t as if they (or we) were perfect anyway -- but somehow, when I acknowledged they would make mistakes in middle school and high school, it set me at ease. When I made that simple adjustment in my heart, the fear of trying to raise perfect kids or be perfect parents (or even pastor the perfect church) lost its power.
The fact that I could pray specifically that the mistakes our kids made would be minor and that they would learn quickly, also gave me a great deal of rest. I knew I could lean on the Lord to help them in this regard and I trusted the Holy Spirit would be with them to coach and instruct them along the way.
I bet you can guess what happened?
- Our kids made minor mistakes.
- They learned their lessons quickly.
- And… of course, they were also grounded, lost their cell phone privileges and car keys.
- But, they learned their lessons quickly!
If you’ve got middle school or high schoolers, be encouraged as you accept the fact that you’re your kids will make mistakes, but you can pray their mistakes are minor and they learn their lessons quickly too.
The best part of all of this for me was that during those teen years, my kids and I stayed close and kept the lines of communication open. Other than a few bad days, it was an enjoyable season and these days they are all married, and they all love the Lord.
Need God’s wisdom to guide your kids through their teen years? Pray the prayer above from Colossians and ask the Lord for the insights you need. (And, feel free to adopt what He led us to do!)
Why we are not campers.
I promised my family they would love camping — when in fact, I had never been camping, nor had our family ever camped once in our existence...