Monday, December 14, 2009

Talk like a Teen

Do you have a teen or a tween?  I have one teen and two tweens.  Let me just say that I've noticed they don't talk the same as I do.  They are moody, and emotional, and sensitive at all times (Wait, I think my husband may see a pattern learned from me! LOL!).  They also want to stay up really late to just "chat" with mom and dad.

They have changed the way they want to communicate - So what's a parent to do?

2Timothy 4:2  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (NIV)

 When I read the last part of that verse, with great patience and careful instruction, I begin to see the answer.  God knew that our children would be changing and growing and so He instructed us on how to handle these new situations - use great patience and careful instruction.

For this we need to be in the Word, continually in prayer and above all, listen for the voice of the Lord.  Look for opportunities to feed the Word of God into their souls in every situation.  If we aren't meditating daily on God's Word ourselves, we won't be prepared to feed it to our children.

Where does the great patience come in?  I've found that most of the time, they will not respond immediately to the instruction I'm giving them. I need to give them the space they need to "chew on it."  Instead of expecting immediate repentance, they need time to ponder and pray about it themselves.  When I've taken the care to give them space, it has always resulted in a change of heart.

I remember a recent incident where two of my tween/teen girls (I'll call them A and B) were bickering terribly with one another.  They were being down right cruel and I was shocked!  I went to my room (I too need space to have that patient heart!) and prayed. I asked for wisdom and felt the Lord gave me very wise instruction from the Word for them.

I sat them down and read the Word and then explained it to them.  NOTHING!  That's when I decided to just seperate them.  They went to their rooms for a time and then went on about their day.  Still no sign of real repentence.  I was distrought!  I called my husband and asked for prayer and just fretted for hours over their seemingly lack of love for eachother.

Then God gave me a nugget.  It was bedtime and as I walked passed one of their bedrooms, I heard the following conversation:

A says, "B, I'm sorry for the things I said to you today, you know, I really love you."

B replies, "A, I'm sorry, too.  I guess I was being selfish. I'm so glad you're my sister - love you too!"

With that I went to my room and wept (Both tears of joy and relief).  It was during this trial that I realized teens need to process themselves before they can experience true repentance.

It reminds me of planting a seed.  We can plant it, and water it and even give it light, but only God can cause it to grow (and growth usually takes time).  He is the life giver.



Steve said...

Amen. Very good post.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Oh I love how God faithfully gave you that nugget. The fruit of patience and endurance! Woo Hoo!

We have to sew the Word. He brings the harvest in due time!


The Old Geezer said...

I would also add my amen. My almost 13 year old grand daughter lives next door to us so we get to be a part of her tween to teen transition.

Warren Baldwin said...

Very good. My did that as tweens and as teens and I'm hoping not so bad as twenties! But they love each other.

Parents fret over the altercations of their kids, and that is natural. But it is good for us to remember that it is in the context of the home and sibling tensions that they learn forgiveness and love. Growing up with brothers and sisters and parents to supervise the chaos is THE BEST preparation for marriage. Good job.

Edie said...

Excellent instruction Sonya.
Merry Christmas!

Stacy Wittkamp said...

This is so true Sonya!
I am so guilty of getting frustrated when my children don't just embrace my instruction immediately. The teenage years require us to give them the space to make their decisions from what's on the "inside of them" and not from what's on the inside of us". I guess our heavenly Father behaves the same way with us.

Greg C said...

I love this message. It is so true. They need to learn about life themselves and we as parents sometimes forget that.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Thanks for this post, Sonya. Having weathered the tween/teen years with my 19 & 21 year olds, I can honestly say that you speak total truth!

God is patient with us, and we must extend the same to our kids. His timing, not ours!

I love it when I hear my kids saying the words that I had shared with them thinking they had fallen on deaf ears.

Merry Christmas, my friend!

~ Dawn ~ said...

What an awesome post. I have a teen myself and I am finding it harder and harder to really connect and now I see exactly what you are saying. Just like we do, they need their time too.