Welcome back to 31 Days of Servant Leadership!
As leaders of our homes, as mothers, as teachers, we should not live in fear of our teenage children.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP
I stand on this verse as a promise from God for my relationship with my children.
I pray it over our family. I ain’t raising no cowards! I teach “with great power comes great responsibility.” Look at Spider-Man and also look at Jesus. Jesus knew He had All The Power. He knew He could wield it, but He didn’t. He was wise and knew there was a better Way. Spider-Man has lived through a gazillion comic books, TV shows, and movies – and he’s still letting his emotions get the best of him.
No excuses. It doesn’t matter how they feel or what their friends or acquaintances or celebrities do. We are commanded to honor our parents. And that doesn’t end at a certain age. All children must do it always.
“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3
Should we exasperate our children to get our way? To show them we’re right?
Of course not. If we want our children to be leaders, then it’s up to us to train them to be leaders.
Is your testimony an example to raising servant leaders? What kind of example do you set for your children? Because they’re watching and I think toddlers and teens watch more closely!
Do you slack off in some areas?
Do you drive with grace in your minivan? Do you listen to Godly music? Do you watch wholesome TV shows and movies?
I don’t care what you watch or listen to.
But your kids will ask why it’s ok for you to listen to Nine Inch Nails and watch Magic Mike and read 50 Shades of Grey, but she can’t.
If you have to hide from your kids to watch, listen, or read something, then maybe it’s not right.
Please explain that double standard to her (and to me.)
My kids convict me all the time. My daughter (who turns 13 MONDAY!) often asks me to change the radio station from country to Christian or classical. She doesn’t want to hear love songs and I am so proud of her.
I got to thinking the other night as I dropped Liz off at Civil Air Patrol. The sun was sinking into the road and I couldn’t see very clearly if there were cars coming. I waited until I was sure before pulling out of the parking lot to turn left into the sunset. I pulled into the center lane to merge into traffic. This mom pulled out behind me and whipped her SUV AROUND me and caused a car to swerve into the far left lane to avoid her. I watched her zoom past as she scowled at me. I pray she got where she was going.
How often do we rush headlong into this parenting thing with no goals, no plans, no direction? How often do we blame circumstances beyond our control rather than being proactive?
If we want respectful, helpful, loving teens, we need to begin when they’re babies. We need to train them to be that way, so there’s no alternative acceptable.
Not too long ago, there was no adolescence. It’s a new idea, after child work laws and mandated schooling were instituted. And became more common after WWII.
A pathological state of youth, heretofore unrecognized by history, was designed by G. Stanley Hall of Johns Hopkins University. He called it adolescence and debuted the condition in a huge two-volume study of that name, published in 1904. Trained in Prussia as behavioral psychologist Wilhelm Wundt’s first assistant, Hall (immensely influential in school circles at the beginning of the 20th century) identified adolescence as a dangerously irrational state of human growth requiring psychological controls inculcated through schooling.Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Before that, poor kids went to work as soon as they were able to contribute to the family and rich kids completed a classical education and took on responsibility and went to work. I’ve read many accounts of tweens and teens changing the world – commanding ships, navies, armies, religions, writing books, beginning movements, revolutionizing math, composing music, creating art, inventing, shaping the world of science…many of our nation’s forefathers began their careers in the military, courtroom, or plantation when they were very young.
And the average American teen plays video games rather than being a radical world changer for Christ?
Read Part 1.