It seems to happen over night. One day you have a fresh faced little child. The next day you have a teen. A teen with their own thoughts, feelings and opinions. And sometimes those opinions are exactly opposite of your own. How did this happen?
Who took your baby and replaced it with this independent being? How rude!
Even more pressing, how do you love this independent being? How do you show affection to this new creation that no longer needs your help or wants your advice?
It can be a daunting time for parents. It can feel confusing and even lonely. But I’m here to hold your hand and tell you, you can do this! You can navigate these new waters and build a lasting relationship with your tween or teen. It just takes trust, and patience. Lots of patience.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
This has been my flagship verse while raising three teen boys. I’m sure I’ll also return to this verse when my youngest two children hit their teens!
This verse my friends, is God’s promise to us! He’s telling us that if we do the work, our children will reap the rewards. What blessing lies in that promise! Blessing for our children, and blessing for us. This verse gives us assurance that no matter how long and rocky the road may be, God will honor our efforts to train up our children in Him.
It doesn’t promise smooth sailing, it doesn’t promise perfect children, it doesn’t promise our children will never know strife, and it doesn’t promise we will live to see our children living well. However, it does promise that when they are old, they will not depart from the path. Redemption. Beauty for ashes. Blessed assurance.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
If I could give one piece of advice to those with tweens and teens, it would be to have patience, patience as you wait on the Lord and trust in His plan for your children.
You know, it can be easy to become weary when our children make mistakes (sometimes the same ones over and over), when we see them resisting our teaching or acting without thinking. However, during these moments it’s so important to remind ourselves that they just don’t have enough life experience or wisdom to make better decisions yet. And what a blessing it is to be able to guide them through this time, with a firm foundation of God’s love for them.
What a blessing to teach them to do their own laundry.
What a blessing to teach them proper grammar.
What a blessing to teach them how to fill out a job application.
What a blessing to just be with them.
Consider it all joy.