If you are one of our blog readers, you know that I am the mother of a twelve year old boy and thirteen year old boy. It has been a crazy experience to learn and discover about the male brain, much less a male tween/teenage brain. It has been fun, challenging, exciting, scary, frustrating, and random all at the same time!
I am truly grateful to God for giving me these two boys, excuse me, these two men. They challenge me and my faith on a daily basis. I am a better mom because of those two and I wouldn’t change a thing!
I was at a junior high retreat this fall and the retreat speaker challenged the leaders to think of these students as trees. He said that thinking of them in this way would help us to not get so frustrated when we didn’t see progress or the fruit of our efforts in their life. In this fast paced and instantaneous life we want results and we want them NOW. I of course view challenges like these through the lens of having two teens, so now I challenge you with the same thing. View your tween/teen as a mighty oak or maple tree.
They need sunlight, water, and good soil to grow. God is the one who causes the growth. You and I are simply the agents He uses in their life to encourage, prune, and to rake or clean up around them. There are of course a lot of other factors to consider. Weather, amount of rain, where exactly it was planted, did it take root?, are there any injuries you need to address and so forth.
It is way to easy to look at the piddly little sapling and give up, thinking your efforts have fallen on deaf ears and a hard heart. But what I do want to say today is: Don’t give up.
When they are silent or aloof in their interactions with you, don’t give up.
When they get angry and mean with their words, don’t give up.
Whenever they scarf their food and don’t give thanks to the one who made it for them, don’t give up.
When you hear yourself say the exact same groups of words to them for the umpteenth time, don’t give up.
Don’t give up. Instead, PRAY. He promises to listen.
“May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His faithful love from me.” (Ps. 66:20 HCSB)
Don’t give up. Instead, LOVE them anyways. That’s what God wants us to do.
“But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.” (Luke 6:35 HCSB)
Don’t give up. Instead, show them MERCY. The way He has given you mercy.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)
So today be encouraged.
Cry out to your God!
Ask for His help.
And don’t give up.