I was alone in my friend’s kitchen, rinsing off strawberries and slicing them up to serve over ice cream, when I heard the topic for the group’s discussion announced: raising counter-cultural teenagers. Did I hear that right? Most of the people gathered were parents of babies, toddlers and 2nd-graders. Were we really talking about teenagers tonight?
I was thankful to be in the other room so no one could see the fear behind my eyes. Parenting through the teen years is something I am scared of messing up. Those years are so formative, and those lessons so long-lasting. It all feels a bit daunting. I fear that I will miss those transient teachable moments, try to control too much, and get angry when they make bad decisions. I’d rather help build mud pies than have hard conversations. I’d rather worry about what message they’re getting from PBS cartoons than worry about what porn images they’ve found from the internet. I don’t feel like I’m strong enough to raise three boys from boyhood to manhood in a matter of years.
And it’s true. I am not strong enough. I’m sure I will mess it up.
But God gave me these words this morning:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
That was so good for my heart to hear this morning. Yes, I will mess up during those teenage years. And I’m sure there will be times that I will long for mud-pies and PBS cartoons. But God’s love and mercy and grace are enormous; He is big enough to handle the challenges of those years. He has a plan to show off the incomparable riches of his grace through me, and through my sons.
May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love. Jude 1:2
What about you? As you raise your little royalty, do you have fears about parenting through a certain stage? What verses has God put on your lap to give you comfort?