My husband and I are entering a new season of parenting, our oldest is 14 going on 15 years old and in his first year of high school. Over the next several years we will have several other children that will be following into their teenage and high school years. I do not know that there is any way we can adequately be prepared for what this season in our parenting journey may bring us. It almost feels like we just need to be braced and ready for the impact of what is next. Oh Lord help us!
While my emotions and thoughts drive me stray with worry and anxiety. My mind knows that what we need to do is to stay in constant and unceasing prayer.
‘pray without ceasing’ 1Thessalonians 5:17
However my struggle is really to learn to let go completely. For so many years through child hood you have such a huge impact on what and who your children are exposed to but these teen years they are becoming young adults and need to learn to make their own choices. To stand back and allow them to make their own choices even when I know they may fall is possibly the most challenging parenting role I have yet encountered. My biggest fear is for our children to make the same mistakes that I have made, it hurts my heart to think of them having to experience what I had to go through to get to where I am today and it is my biggest desire to protect them from that. The big bad mean momma bear in me wants to come out and keep protecting them. I need to turn mama bear protection directly to prayer and not allow this fear into trying to control their actions and choices.
I have read dozens of christian parenting ‘how to’ books and I will have a fleeting wish for a more specific step by step instruction manual in how to raise our children and then remind myself we have one, God’s word, the Bible is where we need to be turning and studying and teaching our children from.
The most powerful tool we have as parents that we can do is to pray for them, constantly and without end. We need to continue to love them, support them and equip them to make these big life changing decisions on their own. If they make poor choices and fail then they will have to learn from their own mistakes, every child is different and going to learn things in their own way. It really does not matter what are children do with the future careers, family, education as long as they are followers of Christ and find true salivation, God will take care of everything else.
Don’t get me wrong this is not an open ended, our teenagers get to make all their own choices and sink or swim. Of course we will maintain some rules and boundaries but it is during this time that they need to learn to make choices and to be responsible members of our society and be accountable for their actions. We as parents need to equip them and allow them to make more and more decisions and then hold them accountable and responsible.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” Colossians 1:3-6
As parents we are human, we are sinful and we will make mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. It is my natural tendency to beat myself up over my mistakes, especially when it comes to parenting. But this does not help and something I am working on and praying over. To accept the mistake and learn from it and move on. Oh boy, so much easier to say that than to actually do it!
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
14 years old and in high school and now the decisions they are making could and will impact the rest of their lives! And these are the decisions we need to equip them and prepare them to make. But most importantly we need to be praying they are following God’s will through all this. Let go and allow God to takeover these uncharted teenage years we are diving into.