Can you imagine a stranger moving into your home? Talk about awkward. What if he acts like he owns the place? He starts rearranging things. Starts making his schedule and his priorities the most important. Even if he’s nice about it, things would change pretty quickly. And the whole time you’re thinking, “What are you doing here? You’re not even a part of this family!” Yet this is the reality for teenagers who live with a step-parent. Just a couple stats:
Last night we continued talking about the parent - child relationship. This time we focused on the parent. Basically, God wants a parent to provide for the health of a child. Naturally we think of a parenting giving food, clothing, a home, love, etc. But we saw from Ephesians 6:4 that the greatest job of a parent is to care for the spiritual health of a child. That means to help a child to understand who God is and how to have a right relationship with Him through Jesus.
So why did we talk about parenting with a bunch of teenagers? Good question. Two reasons. One, someday most teenagers will be a parents (a long, long time from now), so it's good to give them a heads up, a vision to what God wants their parenting to look like. Two, teenagers can help parents do their job better if they know the job of a parent. But how can a teenager help a parent? Great question. Here's some ideas.
New jobs are rough. New environment. New people. New skills to learn. New responsibilities to remember. It can be overwhelming. One of my first real jobs was Best Buy. The first week was scary. Customers were asking me where things are, and I have no clue. I think I once gave someone directions to the bathroom to find batteries! (Not really.) People are asking me what the different is between this and that. My standard answer included color, price and something I remember from science class involving mitosis. (Again, not really.) It was bad. But it got better as it went.
One thing that made working at Best Buy easier was knowing what my job was. I helped people with home theater products. It was simple. It was outlined in a manual. And I knew when I had done my job or not. A customer either bought something or they didn't.
But the job of parenting is completely different. It's not clear; it's vague. There's no parent college. It's more like learn as you go. Rarely do you know when you have succeeded. Regularly feel like you're not making it. And almost always the customer (child) has a complaint. So how does God want a parent to parent? And why should teenagers care about the job of parenting? (Hint: Learn the old saying, "If momma's not happy, aint nobody happy!") Join us Wednesday, Nov 13th @ 7 pm and we talk more about parents.
Last night we talked about the parent - teenager relationship. Even though we mentioned obeying our parents, we talked more about honoring them. The idea of 'honor' is pretty rare today. Sometimes you hear about honoring the memory of someone who has died. But it seems that honor is most talked about in the military. But honoring our parents? It's practically unheard of. Yet God tells us to do it, and He says it's for our good to honor them.
So, how do you know when you are honoring your parents? It's easy when you have talked with them about certain areas. Don't do drugs. Don't smart off to your teachers. Don't mess with your sister. But what if they haven't spoken about a specific subject or situation? Should you call them to ask what they think? Should you guess? How do you know what will honoring or dishonoring? To help, here are some questions to ask yourself.
What's important to a teenager? Lots of things. No doubt music. Having fun and not being bbboooooorrreeeddd. But relationships have to be somewhere in the top three. Think of all the time spent talking and connecting with friends. Or all the efforts pursuing love interests. As important as friends and romance are in the life, there's one group that overshadows both of them: parents. Nothing affects a person like the relationship between him/her and mom and dad. A fight before school with dad can ruin what should be a good day. Or a hug from mom can give strength for any situation. For good or bad, parents are very, very influential in a person's life. So it's no wonder that God has some very specific things to say to parents. So join us Wed, Nov 6th @ 7 pm as we talk about parents being In Charge.
Last night was the first week in our "In Charge" series and we started with the ever popular topic of teachers. Knowing how much time you spend at school, this should help you with everyday life. I mean everyone usually has at least one teacher he/she doesn't like. So knowing what God thinks about this is really important.
Hopefully you'll reread Romans 13:1-5 (hint, hint) and think more about those verses. As you try to answer the question, "What is my response?" let me toss out an idea I wish I would have mentioned last night. Here it is. Try to stay with me. I hope I don't go over your head with my super-duper intellectual, Sheldon like thinking. Ready? Just ask, "How can I help?" Boom! Did your head explode from all the complexity? Tell the truth, how many times did you have to read the question before you understood the idea? 3? 8? Seriously, it's such an simple question, but it can have a big impact.
Each week two blogs will be posted for Blast and Ignite.