I want to talk about the high school experience. Finding a place to fit…isn’t that what most of us are looking for even as adults? I can remember making a conscious decision to “fit in” when I was in late junior high and early high school. When I was a young child, my parents were very diligent in taking us to church and reading us Bible stories. As a matter of fact, I could recount the story of the fiery furnace and the widow’s mite before I was 2 years old. I say that with a very humble heart, because during high school I made some very sinful, very destructive choices. At the end of my senior year, I stood on a stage in front of my friends and family waiting to find out if I had won “Ms. Favorite” of my high school. I stood there looking into the faces of my family, my parents who loved me so, and knowing all the pain and devastation I had caused them as I made a name for myself. I promise you that if you could hear Satan laugh, I heard him…as they announced me the winner. I had done it, I had become “popular”…and look what it cost me and it was so completely empty.
I have conversations with parents over and over regarding the topic of “fitting in”. As a parent, it is so difficult to think of our children being left out or feeling different. None of us want to see our children hurt. I notice a society of parents trying to walk a line…the line between succumbing to immorality and standing out. We don’t want our children to drink, do drugs or have sex but we want to get our toes as close to the line as the line requires for them to “fit in” yet not stepping over into full blown rebellion. The sad truth is the line keeps moving. There is no way that we can stand so close to a very slippery slope and not lose our footing.
Steering away from “bad things” is not necessarily steering toward Christ. Focus on Jesus instead of the sinful behavior we are trying to avoid.
As I have thought about that statement I have imagined trying to steer my children away from a cliff. We may avoid the cliff, but if we are simply avoiding the cliff we are still not headed in any particular destination. We have to have the end game in mind.
One way we can know that we are steering away from rather steering toward Christ is when we default to the rules only…all of the don’ts. What tempts us as parents to resort to the rules rather than relationship with our teens?
We are in this together. It is my pleasure to journey with you. You make me better. Thank you for sharpening me.