I know that so many stages of parenting have offered us "Wow!" kind of moments where we see our parenting as a picture of our relationship with God. And I really thought I knew ALOT about teenagers after years in youth ministry. But, recently I've been having some cool realizations about God from my 3+ months as an actual parent of my own teen. Here are some thoughts:
1. God gives us parents for a chance to work on those "submission and trust muscles" we all need so much throughout life. As parents we are wrong if we don't regularly help with that exercise.
2. God keeps secrets from us sometimes for a reason. Now certainly we've kept plenty of secrets from our kids throughout the years - but older kids often think they are entitled to know everything. Kind of like I feel about God sometimes. How many times have you prayed, - "God, why can't you tell me straight up what your will is for this situation?" We keep secrets from kids to:
- protect them
- because knowing everything would change the way they act toward certain situations or people
- because they aren't ready for that knowledge just yet
- or because I want to reveal it at a special time and blow their socks off with unspeakable joy!
These are ALL situations we've encountered in our parenting - how much more has God had the same ideas for you?
3. God doesn't give us everything he could give us. My 13 year old was devistated when she left her Ipod nano in her pocket and it went through the wash and fried. That Ipod has become a large part of her spiritual life - with worship and especially during her quiet times, we knew its importance to her and hurt along with her at its loss. It wouldn't hurt our family too terribly much financially to go out and replace that Ipod, but then what value will be placed on it? If she earns the replacement - won't she be more responsible with it?
This is Byron with a Tylenol cracker for our over dramatic Gracie who is having a hard time swallowing pills. After several HOURS -I kid you not - of her crying and trying to swallow a pill - B crushed it up on a cracker covered in Nutella. Once we got that nasty medicine into her - her headache stopped. Don't you think God thinks about us like that sometimes? If you'd just do what I ask you, you'll be better off! Now quit the dramatics and just do it!
God loves you and he ALWAYS is thinking of your best interest - in his silence - when tough things are happening - when we just want our way! He has a plan for you - and you are just going to have to have patience and trust him for it! Ah, parenting! Who knew it was such a time of discipleship?