Do you ever look at your children and get really scared? You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. It can be paralyzing to think about all of the changes they are going through, the problems they are facing, the decisions they will need to make about the future. This is not a new problem. Even author Mark Twain addressed this back in the 19th century. “When a child turns 12 you should put him in a barrel, nail the lid down, and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug the hole!” Hiding our children away is not the answer, but what is?
We should be cautious, watchful, and discerning, but we cannot let ourselves become victims of fear. A typical response to fear is flight, as in removing our children from the world and keeping them from all harm. As followers of Christ, we should be looking at parenting and the world around us through a different lens: God’s Word.
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
Fear of the world and the wholesale removal of our children from it’s influence is never possible, and it fails to prepare our children to live for Christ in the world. This fear may also keep us from constructively responding to and addressing the challenges our teens face on a regular basis. If we are afraid to talk about certain issues with our children, you can be sure someone else will, or they may seek to find their own answers from the wrong places in the media.
Jesus conquered fear and sent His promised Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us. As parents of teenagers, we are somewhat like the shepherds keeping watch over their sheep on a hillside over two thousand years ago. The angel of the Lord spoke to them and said “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (ESV).
in HIS service,
P.S. The blog titles and main ideas come from Walt Mueller’s book “99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers”. I personalize and modify the message, and also add Scripture.