Teens sharing earphones, listening music outdo...

It may seem a little odd to post about parent/child relationships in regards to the school environment, but I believe that all we are shooting to accomplish stems from a healthy, godly outlook in life or an unhealthy, anemic outlook based upon ourselves and what we have accepted from the culture.

I have a particular heart for teenagers and their parents and a strong desire to encourage great relationships with both. Hence, today’s post. Now, while you read, please keep in mind the ideas here can apply to any relationship, so it needn’t end with teenagers.

Most people are about a week into school now, at least in our area of the country and families are still trying to find their “school legs”. There are papers to fill out, teachers with whom to establish relationships, supply buying frenzies from lists that have gone out later than they should have (or been provided to you later than they should have been), lunches to pack, sports equipment and schedules to maintain, and for our family debate briefs to begin. Needless to say, this is a hectic time for anyone with children, anyone who teaches or anyone who assisting one of the previously listed. Additional relationship strains can be the proverbial ‘needle’ that breaks the camel’s back for the day. So, how can we avoid bringing old baggage into a new year?

1. Look at our posture toward our children.

If you just got up and looked in the mirror to see how straight your back is, come and sit with me a while longer and I will explain.

Our posture toward our children speaks volumes. Ask yourself the following questions…

— Am I keeping records of past behavior and holding it over them as if they can never change?

— Do you have the attitude that your children need to ‘get their act together’, but you have never really

committed to training them well?

–Do you feel that as a teen, your child should know innately the solutions to anything they face, because they

have seen you do it ‘a thousand times’?

Finally,

–How much responsibility do you take upon yourself as the parent to bring up your child in the way he or she

should go?

 

If you have ‘yes’ answers to the first three questions, I would urge a re-evaluation of your attitude toward your child. You have great gifts to offer your child in the form of coming alongside them and allowing them to learn from your example and to practice what they have seen and began to learn.

Also, keep in mind, that for your own part, you want to be shown grace, love, patience, kindness, etc. You do not want those from whom you are learning to be inconsiderate, impatient, enigmatic and self-exalting. You want to be given an environment where you can learn and share what you have learned without be condemned for your mistakes at every turn. That is not to say that we should ignore continually mistakes in the same area. I am simply suggesting room to make mistakes and allowing them to learn.

Teenagers are not fully functioning adults. If they were then, why are we as parents commanded to train, encourage, edify, love, extend grace, mercy, gentleness, humility, etc. to them, if they lived perfectly?

And while we are looking at teens not being fully functioning in all areas of life, who among us, who are by age considered an adult, can be  named perfect for the task?

Folks, I have yet to meet one human being who fits the bill. Only Jesus has met the standard of perfection and that standard was certainly not set upon humanity’s capabilities!

SO, a gift to give your children, your spouse and yourself this beginning of the school year?

GRACE, MERCY and LOVE.

These fruits are financially free, they fit into any backpack, desk drawer, sweater pocket or set of arms and they do not rot under any type of pressure!

Don’t be afraid to extend what you, yourself, need so badly to your children, even if it is not freely returned. Is that not what Christ has done for us, as our Father?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Happy School Days! Enjoy those precious gifts from the Lord!