I woke up this morning to check my email and there was the Proverbs 31 devotion. Even though I had written it, I needed to read it! I needed to be reminded of how important it is to continue to set before our children the boundaries that are good for them. This past Friday night a father in the Bible study that Greg and I attend shared that his son wanted to start dating. He had his eye on a girl and was ready to take her to the movies. The father told his son that first he needed to make a list of what his boundaries for dating would be. His son’s reply was “But I haven’t even started dating yet.” “Exactly…that’s when you set boundaries.”
This weekend, Mariah, Greg and I sat in the bleachers and watched young bodies smash each other on the field. This time Zach was playing rugby instead of football. Greg pointed out to me that the boundary line had changed because in rugby, the outside boundary is further out than in football. To make it clear, they changed the line from white to black. Likewise as our kids get older, we need to keep re-evaluating the boundaries. Is it time to set the line a little further out – give them more room to prepare to leave home?
While reading “Get Outta My Face! How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens Through Biblical Counsel” by Rick Horne, I was reminded that the first place to start when relating to teens is to remember that like us they are fallen sinners. Like us, they will fail, fall down, make mistakes – we all do. Second, we need to relate to them with respect. I think this is the part that I often struggle with. Growing up in the generation where “do as I say not as I do” was the mantra, it is a complete mind shift to think that we should treat kids with respect. Kids, like us, are God’s children. They are in fact, not only our children, but they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. (possibly a new and weird concept). When you think about it from that perspective, when we correct them, set boundaries for them or teach them from the Word, we need to keep in mind that we are not only their parents, but their brother or sister. I have found in my relationship with my teens, that when I speak to them with respect, they listen. When I speak down to them, yell at them or react instead of respond, it always backfires. This happened in our home last Monday. I was getting ready to go and speak to a group of moms and their daughters. One of my talks was “Being a Handprint Mom: Leaving a Lasting Impression”. Sure enough, I got into a fight with one of my children and let’s just say I didn’t leave a good impression! The enemy tried to bring a wedge and I gave him all the space he needed!
The only way that we can be the mothers He has called us to be is when we each and every day “get under the faucet of the Holy Spirit”. His Word tells us that all of those who come to Him will never thirst. I know for me, that means drinking and drinking plenty each and every morning!
Please share any creative ways you have of relating to your kids. We all have plenty to learn!
(PS If you would like to see pictures from the Super Bowls I wrote about, check out my post from February 2nd. Kurt and Brenda Warner are friends of Greg and I. We were so sorry to see them lose to the Steelers!)