Navigating the teenage years can be down-right exhausting. The early years with toddlers are exhausting physically. You find yourself excitedly wishing for the days you can engage in deeper conversations with your children, or just simply be able to leave them at home by themselves without a babysitter! But what you, as that physically-exhausted parent wistfully longing for the “easier” times ahead, don’t realize is that the teenage years can be 10x more draining than the toddler years. The exhaustion is more mental than physical, but the demands on your time, energy, thoughts, etc. are just as real. You find yourself consumed with fears and anxieties that you never even dreamed of experiencing when your little toddler was running around your house like a crazy person. It can become so incredibly difficult to trust God with your teenager’s life in the midst of these fears and worries.
Because I am not a parent of teenagers, I thought it’d be helpful for you to hear from some fellow parents that are in the nitty-gritty of this stage of parenting. I asked them the question: “What is the hardest part about trusting your teenager to God?”
Here are their responses–
“Definitely the control. It seems so easy to give them over to Him knowing He loved them first and more, yet I seem to forget that too often. It is easy to feeling like nobody else can do it better. I have to actively remind myself He has the plan for all of it. It’s also hard to know they will make mistakes along the way, but God gives us grace and can use those times to grow them. I also don’t want to be embarrassed if they do something really stupid. But I know that’s part of giving them to Him too.”
“You know their potential and see the things that cause them to struggle. You know God loves them more than you do, but it is so difficult to watch this process. We want to fix it, thinking we know the best solutions, but really only God can bring them through. It is difficult to wait and trust in God to work.”
“The hardest part of trusting God with my children boils down to this: what God thinks is best for my child–the call He might place on their lives–might not be something I think could be best for them…as a parent I need to be actively and continually releasing my children to God because He actually knows their heart, mind, soul and strengths better than I do! And know what else? He loves them better and more unconditionally than my husband and I can and do too. That’s a humbling realization that keeps us holding our children with open hands rather than closed fists, even when it’s difficult.”
“It obviously makes it easier when you know they know Christ. But I would say trusting that even when the bad things happen, believing God can bring something good from it. It’s hard to see past the now and know that their trials aren’t always bad in the long run. Sometimes letting our kids fail isn’t always a bad thing.”
“My kids don’t drive yet and I imagine that will change everything! But for now, I have a hard time trusting that they will remain strong in their faith without me pushing all of the time, especially at school.”
The good news for us is that even though it is hard and this job seems beyond our capacity, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness! He actually brings us into situations and circumstances to show us that we are weak and we desperately need Him.
Maybe your teen is going through an incredibly difficult season right now.
Maybe you feel inadequate to lead them through this.
Maybe you are at a complete loss of what to do or say to speak into their lives.
Maybe your teen is walking through a great season right now and you find yourself walking on egg shells, hoping the proverbial bubble won’t burst soon.
Maybe you feel completely spent and exhausted and just need a break.
I don’t know where you’re at in this season right now, but I point you to the one who SEES you and KNOWS you, to the Father who is FOR you and your teen. You are not walking through this alone. God has appointed YOU as the parent to your teenager on purpose. He wants to use these teenage years to grow both you and your teenager more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. He wants you both to not just survive these years, but thrive in them! And He promises that He will equip you with the tools, wisdom, words, patience, love, energy that you need to do so all by the power of His Spirit.
Parents, draw near to the Lord and cast all your anxieties and fears over the life of your teen onto Him. He is our Good Father who is big and gracious enough to not only hear them, but to move in response! Know that we are here for you as a partner and resource to help you navigate this whirlwind of the teenage years. Be encouraged by these promises from the Lord in Isaiah–
11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord. -Isaiah 54:11-17, NIV
Published on Sep 2018 @ 1:19 PM CDT