Friday, May 14, 2010
I am a youth leader at our church. Technically in "charge" of high school girls, but I will love on any of those kids. Our youth group runs the gamut of new believers to kid with a faith so huge, I am humbled. I never set out to be a leader, but God usually puts you where He needs you, so here I am.
Teenagers today face a world with no moral compass. None, except their parents. And a lot of parents want to be their friend, not their parent, with horrifying results. Again, no moral compass. We are upon prom season and graduation party season. Only one of my children is going to prom and it is as a good friend, not a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, so I am okay with that. Tyler's faith and walk with God is so amazing to me, that even if he was going as boyfriend/girlfriend, I would not be worried. That is not me putting my head in the sand, that is me being fully involved in my child's life.
Knowing his friends, where he stands, what he's doing, all those things lead his father and I to trust him. It is not as if he has never messed up, he has and will again, but he is working on his faith on a daily basis and has it more together at 16 than I did at 35. Again, I am humbled.
Back to Prom. Mothers of girls, please, please, please, go shopping with your daughter for her dress. Please do not encourage her to buy the "sexiest one". Please do not encourage her to go bra-less. Please do not give her permission to stay out all night. If you are going to do all of these things and your daughter's dress has more holes in than swiss cheese, don't be shocked by anything that happens that night. Be a parent, not a friend.
Mothers of boys, talk about honor and respecting girls. Talk to them about the fact that the girl they are going out with is someone's daughter, someone's sister and a child of God. Do not get them a hotel room for the night. Send a message of respect and principles to your son and expect great things of him. Be a parent and not a friend.
I am telling you, by someone who is around teenagers all the time and twice on Sundays, these kids are crying out for guidance. Crying out for rules and regulations. They will fight you and say you are not fair, but in ten years, they will thank you for sticking to your guns. As much as they might gripe about it, these kids crave structure.
Do your kids know about the consequences for their actions? Good and bad? Are you having hard discussions? I hate it too, but it is a necessity. These children (and they are still children) are facing things in their lives that were always on the fringes of our lives. If we knew potheads in school, they know heroin addicts. If we knew "that" girl who got in trouble, there are seven in the sophomore class who are pregnant. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. It's not different anywhere else and there is no perfect utopia where everyone is just fine. We are all struggling.
So, if you don't own a teenager, is there one in your life who you can lead? Mentor? Be a part of their lives? Speaking into their lives positively?
Where is the teenage chaos in your life? Share the love.
God bless you and yours.