Parents Wake Up
For a long time I was asleep as a parent. Sure I love my children dearly and I would do anything for them. However, I believe it’s when they hit the teenage years that most of us really wake up. Why? Because what once seemed simplistic gets very complicated. Before the teenage years you’re just trying to make sure they are clothed, fed, and put to bed. Sure you love them to death, but it’s real easy to hit cruise control when they are younger. They may be busy before, but most will act possessed at some point as they get older.
Now, I believe most of us wake up on a general level at first. We start seeing things in our kids that don’t make us proud. Some of it reflects us and other parts reflect society as a whole. Either way we have two options as parents. One, just occasionally yell at them and hope they don’t embarrass us further. Or, rise up as parents and begin to do everything we can to lead them.
Now, some would say, “well you know you can’t do anything now. It’s too late they are already grown.” Listen to me, as long as they are in your house, eating your food, sleeping in your bed, and still in middle or high school. They are still your children to intentionally and lovingly lead. Which means you should not ignore issues of disrespect and disregard for authority. You should not ignore issues such as what they do on social media and the internet in general. You should not take lightly anything that you know needs to be addressed and talked about. The main thing is you should not quit being the parent and striving to be the best example you can be for them.
Today’s teens are dealing with great anxiety and confusion. Most have not been raised to know God’s absolute truth. Those who have been are surrounded by others who have no clear moral compass. With a 19, 17, 15, and 8 year old I realize that times have changed. But, the need for each parent to wake up and step up never will. Seize the time you do have left and don’t just throw up your hands. Your kids need you to keep playing your God-given role as mom or dad. Parents when we quit addressing significant issues in our children’s lives we have quit caring fully about their lives. Remember, you’re not responsible for everything they do, but for everything you do.
“Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)(The Message)