Have you ever had a moment that made you stop and think, “Wow, this changes everything”? Maybe it was finding out you didn’t make the team or that your parents were splitting. Maybe it was finding out you’re good at something or bad at something you didn’t expect. In these moments our lives change direction quickly. The funny thing is nearly everyone who met Jesus had one of those moments. They came in with a plan, a direction, an identity. And as soon as they spent any time with Jesus, those ideas were turned upside down. And, as we look at four of these stories, we find that an encounter with Jesus has the power to flip our lives as well.
Think About This:
I think most people would agree that one of the more terrifying parts of parenting teenagers is the risk factor. They grow up and the stakes are raised. Their freedom increases but so does the potential fallout from bad choices. Parents are regularly faced with decisions on when to allow their students to forge their freedom and when not to. Unfortunately, we can tend to be overprotective in situations that they may not really need our protection from—and in the name of safety we may be inhibiting them in a way we never intended.
In his blog post, How to Help Your Kids, Live Out Their Story, author, speaker, and dad, Carey Nieuwhoff explains the benefits of letting go of control and trusting God with their story.
My grandfather and grandmother did something amazing. They let my dad live his story, not theirs. They gave up control, protection, and let God write a story in my dad’s life that was independent of their own.
My dad is one of my heroes. He actually did build a new life (in another country), not just for him, but for many others. He was not only a great father, but he ran a company for years, served his entire life in the local church and has left a great legacy of character for his kids and grandkids.
I’m so glad my grandparents swallowed hard and let their son pursue his vision. So, now the question.
In an era of overprotective, slightly controlling parenting, I wonder how many stories like my dad’s aren’t being written. Not because kids aren’t ready to write a story of their own choosing, but because parents are too afraid or unwilling to let them go or take risks.
Great plot lines invite things like drama, risk, mission, and calling. All the things that make parents gulp (and gasp).
And by the way, my dad did see his parents again. He eventually had enough money to go back more than a few times. I even went to Holland with my dad to meet them before they passed away.
As you think about how you might help your kids connect with their own story, here are three things to remember:
Prepare yourself now to release them one day.
Understand that God has your kids on a journey from dependence to independence.
Let them lead (without rescuing them) today to prepare them for tomorrow.
Is there anything you need to let go of today to help create a better future for your child?
From How to Help Your Kids Live Out Their Story, http://orangeparents.org/author/careynieuwhof/
Sometimes the best two words you can hear are “me too”. No matter what situation you’re in with your teenager, chances are someone around you is in the same place and asking the same questions. Do you know who those people are? Are there other parents that you can connect with on a regular basis in your community?
This month try taking two steps toward connecting with other parents around you.
- Find Them. If you’re not sure where to find other parents like you, start by asking the student pastor at your church (or where your teen attends). They can direct you to small groups or environments where you can meet other parents just like you.
- Talk to them. Sometimes starting a conversation with someone new can feel awkward. If you’re unsure what to talk about, start with this parentCUE. Say something like, “Hey, did you get that article in the parentCUE? What did you think about it?” Knowing you already have something in common can open the door to more conversation. If not that, try opening up first. Vulnerability breeds vulnerability. So think of some of things you may have a hard time with when it comes to your student’s independence. And then share it. You may be surprised at what someone shares with you in return.