I’m at the point in my motherhood journey where the cutesy stuff just isn’t cutting it anymore. My kids are in high school and middle school now and that naive, innocent phase, as much as it stings my heart, is over. The world expands more and more each passing year and there’s not a darn thing I can do to slow it down. We spend a huge chunk of their lives shielding them from all the bad stuff, and then suddenly have to make an uncomfortable shift: teach them about all the things before the world does. To say I feel like I’m in a battle for souls is not an understatement.
There’s the natural teen stuff we all had to deal with like friendships and dating, but now we have all kinds of bonus issues like easy-access internet pornography, social media nonsense, and vaping. The quick, 5 minutes with Jesus stuff isn’t cutting it anymore. My kids are at Christian schools and the things they are having to deal with keeps me awake many a night. Even the ‘good’ kids are slip-sliding away into all kinds of gray areas that leave me questioning everything. They are inundated with Biblical truth and walking off into a totally different direction.
My son’s high school had their first suicide last week. I can’t even breathe when I think about it. Kids who he grew up with and have known for years are taking paths that I know they weren’t raised to take. So I cry out to God for an explanation and an answer… what can I do to keep this from happening? I’m a doer. If I can read it to them, type it out, teach it, put it on a notecard, I’m on it. My struggle is that I think if I can just convey the right information to them, they’ll want to choose God.
Today, the Lord just kind of flattened this right out of me… in a good way. I pulled out an old prayer I wrote for them a few years ago and read it out loud. Jesus is their Savior, not me.
This is irrationally hard for me to admit. My marching orders come from Jesus. I can’t control my way to Godly teenagers, but I can guide them and pray for them. Here’s just a bit of what I prayed for my kids today:
- Give them wisdom to not be unequally yoked in their relationships. Send them friends that will build them up.
- May rebellion never get a foothold in their lives. Give them a healthy understanding of boundaries and may ungodly things be unattractive to them.
- Show them it’s ok to be different. May they live supernaturally, not strategically.
- May they desire holiness over being popular or relevant.
- May they dwell on the the good things they have and not their weaknesses.
- May forgiveness, confession and compassion be a part of their daily lives as they learn to receive and give mercy.
- Give them a vision, a big picture to live for that goes beyond what they can see now. Assure them that momentary troubles are not permanent and that You have good plans for them.
I’m learning that the time to pray is when I least feel like praying. That’s ok. This is an offensive war we are in. Letting the days slip by without giving them the tools they need is my greatest fear. We can’t be ignorant of what is happening to our loved ones or think they are immune from the enemy’s attacks. None of us are. But thanks be to God that He has them in the palm of His hand and we can remove ourselves from the drivers seat.
Perhaps this is what our teens need most: parents with a single-minded determination to follow him. We will not do so perfectly, but our own stumbling progress toward discipleship puts us on the same road as our teens — and what a joy it is to be traveling toward Christ together.Michele Morin
Traveling the road together is a huge privilege. Scary as can be at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Don’t sit by while the world has it’s way with your kids or anyone close to you… know God’s word and pray it. Shout it out loud. Let the heavens know to whom you belong.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Amen! Just prayed those prayers for my kids too! Praying for the family who lost their child to suicide. God bless you.
Thanks Ryan… prayer is our best weapon!
Dear Shari, your concern for your children encourages me in at least three ways. It is a blessing to read of parents who are seeking the kingdom of our Lord for themselves and their children. It gives me hope for the book I have just published CHILD Keeping ~ God’s Blessing to Parents. And, for the book I am working on now, Focus, Balance, and Order. After the trek through the wilderness with your children, you will be ready to write your own book. Blessings as you keep your eyes on our Lord and work through His love and truth with your family. 🙂
Thank you friend! It is a trek I feel but not a bad one… scary and hard at times but choosing God over and over makes all the difference.
Shara, Sorry, I spelled your name wrong ~ older eyes ~ but not an excuse. Blessings. 🙂
My son was friends with an older boy when in high school. He was a senior– exceptionally smart, extremely popular and a very committed Christian leader in the school.
My son was a sophomore and practically worshiped the ground he walked on.
I certainly couldn’t have asked for a better guide and mentor and friend to and for my son.
The boy graduated and went on to a program sponsored by Chick-fil-A at a private college in North Georgia.
Our son was set on the same path. Not that he was of the same caliber or aptitude, it was merely what he wanted.
It’s a long story—but he was accepted to the school (despite it being a horrific and nearly deadly fit of a school—he transfered wtihout finishing out the year.)
Meanwhile, his friend eventually graduated and went on to seminary.
The friend had met a girl while at the college and fell in love.
She had had a wild past whereas he had anything but.
Yet she had turned her life around and they seemed a good match.
They were eventually married, having bought their rings from my husband while I son was a groomsman.
Eventually, he became a pastor at a small north Georgia church.
As their paths separated and their lives took on dimensions of their own, they were no longer as close as they once were.
His friend now married, with twin daughters and a new church as our son was finishing
up college and had met his own girl…
I’ll never forget the night our son called us inconsolably distraught.
His friend, this perfect boy, had committed suicide….he had shot himself while
he had been staying with his grandparents.
It seems he and his wife had separated.
His wife had decided she no longer wanted to be married to a pastor and wanted out of the marriage and their life.
This boy who had had everything come to him easily and naturally could not handle his world suddenly not being as it should be.
Our community was shocked.
It was the time I think our son, who was mid 20’s by this time, truly grew up.
All naivete was stripped away.
I still find it hard to believe whenever I think about him.
When the reality of brokenness comes into the lives of our children, it, in turn, becomes ever most frightening for us as a parent.
We can’t keep them free or sheltered from it or its repercussions.
We can only pray that they will be stronger than the brokenness.
That the God of all Creation will be constantly by their sides.
Even the “good” kids succumb.
All we can do is pray Shara…pray for God’s grace and mercy.
I’ll share later the first time one of my students took their lives.
There is darkness and there is Light–we must always remember, the Light overcomes the darkness!
Oh Julie… how heartbreaking. Putting all this stock in another broken human being to be your everything is lose-lose game. Maybe there’s something to be said for having disappointments and failures when you’re young and growing and walking through them with God… I do feel like there are so many kids who never experience any real push back from life and it scares me for them. Yes, there is for sure darkness and light… I pray that they choose light, and choose life even when it feels so hopeless. ❤️❤️
I think that’s a lot of it Shara— being able to deal with loss or disappointment or even failure when never having had to experience such — we do such a disservice to our children when we strive so hard to protect them from so much that’s emotionally tough— they have so much white washed — not every kid mind you, but many
Yes! And you never stop praying… The older my son gets the more it seems I have to pray about on his behalf! Such wisdom you have expressed here! Excellent post. ❤ ❤
What an excellent post! The prayers that you shared with us reflect a heart of wisdom, discernment, and trust in the Lord and in His providence. 🧡 As you said, only He is the Savior, and not us!
Thank you so much!! Yes! Not us, thank goodness…
Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua said: “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!
Love 💘Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/