In the last post, we talked about looking for idols in our own hearts as we try to help our teenagers. An idol is anything we find in our hearts that has a position above God and that we will often sin to get or to keep. In the next few posts, I will talk about some of our typical parent idols and how they can affect the way we respond to our teens.
The Idol of Comfort
While we may not admit it, secretly in our hearts we want life be a resort where we are served. My needs come first, I only do what I want to do when I want to do it. The only demands on me or on my time are ones I place on myself. At a resort, you live with a sense of entitlement. You paid your hard-earned money up-front, and now you have the right to expect to be treated very well. Many of us live for comfort and we bring this entitlement philosophy to our parenting as well. We believe we have earned that comfort and certain rights. We deserve the right to peace, quiet, respect, and harmony.in our home. And when we do not get these things we respond in anger.
“I (Jesus) have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (ESV)
God warns us in Scripture that life is anything BUT a resort. In fact, it is often described as warfare or a spiritual battle. Our teenagers are not only in the middle of unfriendly enemy territory, but there is also an inner war being fought for their hearts and minds. On top of the spiritual turmoil within and without, they are undergoing significant biological changes as well.
Parents who demand comfort, ease, peace, quiet, consistency, and harmony will be unprepared and poorly equipped for this war. They will see their teenager as the enemy and fight with him instead of identify and battling the real enemy. Acting out of frustrated desire, they will say and do hurtful things they may regret for years to come. Rather than building up, they will tear down. Rather than encourage, they will frustrate and alienate.
I find this very convicting as I am writing this. Maybe because I recall my parents getting respect and quiet, I somehow thought I deserved and should demand it too. After all, we are teaching our kids how to be respectful and obedient, right? Unfortunately, not always. If my responses are sinful, then I am not showing God’s grace or training them up in the right way.
For more on this topic, listen to the Gospel Treason series.
I’m praying for you! Let me know how I can help or better serve you and your family.
in HIS service,
You can read past posts on our church website HERE.