Tips for Rearing Teens
I am writing this article from beautiful Branson, Missouri, as we continue our journey to Washington, Iowa, for Tim and Rebecca’s wedding. We are in the sixth state of the thirteen through which we will be traveling—FUN! It has been amazing to see all the beauty of our great land. How could one be so foolish as to ever believe that our world just evolved? I am thankful that I know the Creator, and that I know Him in a very personal way!
By the time you read this article, we will have enjoyed our son’s wedding and will be headed back to Santa Clara. It has been the thrill of a lifetime to watch three children grow up and marry, then to witness them serving the Lord in His harvest field. I am looking forward with great anticipation to all that God has for our family as we serve Him together at the great North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California—our assigned mission field. I have become ever more aware of the truth I have known, that North Valley is certainly an Acts 1:8 church, taking the Gospel to every creature. Summer will be filled with exciting days, vacations, and special events; but, in all of that, please don’t leave out God!
I am excited about the first major event of the summer for our church, the Western National Youth Conference on June 15-18. What a privilege it was to minister to our teens and to teenagers from churches across the nation. A large host of you have children who are in the midst of those teen years. Enjoy them! Don’t grumble and complain about every activity and sports event. Teenagers are not aliens from another planet, although you will at times be convinced they are in a “different world.” If you have teens in your home, please ponder the “Tips for Rearing Teens” I suggest for you. Enjoy this journey with them. It will be yesterday before you can blink your eyes!
- Encourage your teenager in the things of Christ. Speaking of spiritual matters should not be foreign in your home.
- Pray for your teenager every day. Each teen should have at least one page in your prayer journal.
- Endear the heart of your teenager to the pastor, youth pastor and other spiritual leaders in his life.
- Pray for your teen’s spiritual leaders. Teenagers place a lot of confidence in them, and they need your prayer support as they guide your teen in paths of righteousness.
- Your teenager should be making many decisions by this time in his life. Be there to guide and direct him, but do not make every decision for him. A person must learn to live with his choices and, yes, sometimes the consequences of those choices.
- Be really careful about using the phrase, “When I was your age.” Unless teens ask about your era, be careful not to always be telling them about it. Many things have changed since you were a teen! Do I need to make a list?
- Please don’t be a “buddy” to your teen. While a parent can be a close friend, a teen really needs you to be the parent!
- Respect your teenager. He is a human being with feelings too.
- Get your head out of the sand; don’t be ignorant about what is going on in the life of your teen.
- Wise is the parent who knows the friends of his teen and the relationships he has. Don’t assume that all of his friends are a good influence. So many are just the opposite.
When you seem to think your teen “thinks he knows it all,” remember he doesn’t. A teen needs your guidance and wisdom more than ever. Please don’t leave the rearing of your teen up to the pastor, youth pastor, principal and Christian school teachers! You are (or should be) the number one leader and influence in his life.
My teens are all raised. They now are all married, and two of the three have children of their own. I do not get to start anew with my teens. Those days are gone and will never return. Please enjoy these days because, before too long, you will be ushered down the aisle as the mother of the bride or groom. You will hear the Bridal March, listen to their vows, and watch as they ride off into the sunset, starting their journey called life. Yes, it happens just that quickly! Enjoy!
Teens really are awesome! Rules without relationships breed rebellion. Cultivate that relationship with your teen today while there is time.
Until next month,