Get Outta My Face!
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!)
Hi 🙂 I just wanted to drop by this morning and thank you for the wonderful devotional. What an awesome concept – “chalking in the lines.” We have a 2 year old and 1 on the way – so we have a while until we hit the teen years and such, but I really enjoy accumulating info, advice, and counsel on parenting at every stage. This was awesome!
And I really enjoyed today’s post. I love this:
“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”.
Thank you so much! Have a great week 🙂
I am so glad you spoke on this subject this morning! As of April I too will have two teens and a preteen. I have the two teen thing going strong and as a young Mom, I do not have any friends in the same situation. This feels very alone and scary! It is nice to hear that someone else struggles with the same issues and feelings. As I read book after book trying to be the best parent to teens, I sometimes fail and sometimes triumph. The times I fail (just as you said) is when I react, when I do not respect them first, when I take their actions personally, and when I am dealing with my own issues – therefore not able to think clearly. When I triumph is when I stay calm, when I listen first, when I ask smart questions, when I am truly understanding and looking at the situation from a teenager point of view. It is amazing the difference in responses and outcomes.
One book describes this as connections. That connecting with your teen is the MOST important thing you can do. All the other issues (other than the life threatening ones) are not worth loosing your connection with your teen. How true this is! But easier said than done…
My status on facebook stated the other day – I love my kids, I hate parenting! So, I just pray that I can keep my connections with my teens for the next 7 years! Parenting correctly (especially teens) is theeeee hardest thing ever.
After failing just last night, I needed to hear the Prov 31 and then read this blog this morning!
Hi Lynn – I just read your devotion from Tuesday “Chalking the Lines”. It caught my eye because I too love Football with my husband! It is just like God to use what we love to teach us His lessons. I just spoke to my husband this morning about the need for our teen daughter’s boundaries to be drawn once again. (For the umpteen time this month!!) And while my husband is the boundary king and undergirds me in all of our parenting challenges it is always good to hear from moms regarding the hard decisions we have to make in disciplining our children. We have been through these teen years with our oldest but it seems just as hard as we go through them again. How can we keep the resentment from building? How can we insist on respect through the discipline? How can we rebuild trust that has been broken? How can we reach the heart? All questions I had this morning. God is faithful to show us. Your devotion was timely.