Well this one will probably get me in some kind of trouble. I probably should not write as a form of venting, but in spite of my better judgment, here goes. Most of the time when I am speechless, it because I am witnessing something that is amazing in a good way. I am blown away by a thing or an act or a person in such a way where I am just like “wow, that is awesome.” But as I am reflecting today, I am speechless, because my mind is saying “wow, really, are you that naive?” Or maybe worse you do not care? Or maybe you are overestimating or whatever, but what ever the reason, I am like wow. And here is why…I just can not figure out what parents of teenagers are thinking.
Now before I go any further, let me say a couple of key things. I recognize I do not have teenagers and so it is easy to throw stones, but I do have kids and will be there some day. Secondly, what is true is true, whether I have teens or not. Thirdly, I am talking to Christians. Those parents who are part of God’s church and have given their lives to Christ and therefore are called by God to raise their kids in the ways of Christ. Fourthly, I acknowledge every home, every kid and every situation is different. Fifthly, I get there is no magic formula. You can do a lot of things right and still have things go wrong.
Now all that said…come on…I am speechless…lot and lots of high school kids drink, have sex, make poor decisions when left alone in a living room, only see the next 5 minutes, are not ready for certain environments and decisions, overestimate their personal strength to resist sin, and underestimate sin’s consequences, etc. Why are we repeatedly allowing and condoning them to be in situations that are just foolish? I understand you can not force kids to love God or be wise or even protect them from the world. But you are the parent….please behave accordingly. If you are not sure what to do -ask, read, pray, seek out Christians who are more mature than you. Please do not think because your life “worked out” that it will for them. There are consequences for what appear to be moments and environments that are going to pass. Is your kid really the exception each time? This may all seem harsh, but I just do not get it.
I believe in the potential of young people and care about so many kids and parents that I see dancing a very dangerous and foolish tango. And when I think about it, I just am left speechless. I do not see the wisdom in what so many are condoning, supporting and even helping with. Your kids need you. God is calling you as a parent to disciple your kid and point them to Christ all the time.
Please hear this as a loving plea to do what God has called Christian parents to do. I am in that boat and want to get it right myself. My heart is to encourage you to be honest and ask yourself if you are living distinctly than what the culture says. Grace must be given, but so must truth.
I completely agree with your thoughts and that you are speechless. . . That being said. . . parenting teens is a very difficult, challenging process and each teenager in the same family can be vastly different in personality, temperament, aptitude, etc., etc. I have learned a very important lesson as a parent and as a teacher- I try not to judge a parent or a situation too quickly- unless we know all the dynamics involved. I too am speechless sometimes at the parenting decisions on the other end of the spectrum. After conferencing with a parent about a young child’s classroom behavior, the parent shared with me that “they just didn’t know what to do with their child. After all, they had already taken the child’s personal television and VCR out of his bedroom! ” I was speechless! The child is four years old. I wanted to retort that at age 48 I don’t even have a TV or a VCR in my own bedroom. And part of me also wanted to repeat my favorite mantra: “BE THE PARENT!!!” So, I understant what you are saying. It all begins when they are very small and just snowballs from there. Teens are a different creature but you’re right- WE NEED TO BE THE PARENTS!!
Totally agree Keith. I see my 15 year old niece underachieving and giving in to the “ways of the world” due to lack of parenting and accountability. Her parents are going through a divorce now, and it seems like no one can get through to her. It kills me to see it, I know it breaks God’s heart.