Posted on February 29, 2020 in General
I have spent a lot of time praying for you and thinking about the incredibly difficult and eternally important job you have in raising the next generation. I admire and respect you more than I can convey. You are swimming in dangerous waters with those you love most…it can be exhilarating and exhausting…all you need is one more thing added to your schedule. Recently we offered a Rescue Parenting Retreat. Knowing that many would be juggling sporting events and haircuts in order to attend the weekend, I began asking myself why is it worth it for you to spend your weekend attending our seminar.
We have asked the question, “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about today’s teen culture?” Many of you responded with: entitled, scary, lacking respect, invincible, the “hook up generation”, instant gratification, too much technology, exposed to too much, spoiled, lonely, full of potential, selfish, impolite, big dreamers, irresponsible, and the “me” generation. As I read these responses and in many respects agree with them…it occurs to me why this seminar is so important.
It is important first because all of these adjectives stand in opposition to what the Father calls them to be…He says that our teens are hemmed in, that He makes the road rise up to meet them, He covers them with His wings and goes before and behind them. He has prepared in advance good works for them to do, has given them the very mind of Christ and declares them to be more than conquerors. Regardless of how the waters of the culture rage around us, if we know the Father, then we have the authority to cause our homes and our teens to line up with the Word of God.
Secondly, as I look through our list of descriptive words about our teens…almost all of the negative attributes we listed have at best, been sifted through our hands as their parents and at worst, we may have even been the origin of some of those attributes. How does a teen become entitled, disrespectful, selfish or too entrenched in technology? Could it at least be due in part to our allowing it if not, even if unknowingly, encouraging it?
I know we all love our children with a desperate kind of love. We want them to have more than we had, to be more than we are and to avoid some of the difficulties that we spent years trying to conquer. We work hard to provide for all of their needs and all of their wants. We are so busy trying to get them to the best lessons with the best coach, to the mall to buy the best shoes, to the party to be with the right people and eventually in the perfect school to pursue the right career…that there is little time to notice that somehow along the way, we have only fed the beast. We didn’t mean to…we didn’t want to…but we did.
I believe with all that I am that we can change our expectation of “our” teens: the ones that you teach at school every day, serve in Sunday school and those who sleep down the hall from you… we may not be able to change the world, but we can change ours, we can change theirs. I am praying that our community will draw a line in the sand. We will not continue to settle for barely keeping our heads above water and gasping for breath. We, as parents, will choose to find Him on the waves, reach up to take His arm, and with our eyes fixed like stone on His… learn to walk on the waves of this culture, equipping our teens to do the same. I am praying we will see them believing Him and pursuing Him with all of their hearts.