Someone compared raising teenagers to trying to hold a wet bar of soap.
Too TIGHT and it shoots from your hand!
Too LOOSE and it easily slips away.
A GENTLE but FIRM grasp keeps it securely in your hand.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is reasonable and loving boundaries. Guard rails, curbs, double lines are all boundaries that help us drive safely. We don’t hate them or ignore them because we know they are there to help us get where we want to go without entering dangerous territory.
Boundaries help teenagers recognize right from wrong, stay safely withing God’s will and way, and teach them self-control. The ability to make wise choices will serve them well as they take on increasing responsibilities for the rest of their lives. While they may chafe at the limits now, your adult children will be able to look back and thank you for taking time to teach them right and wrong in a world that is working just as hard in the other direction.
When your children are young, they need a high level of rules and supervision. As they get older and demonstration maturity you can lessen the rules and explain the reasons for boundaries and show the love behind them. God gives us the example of a loving shepherd caring for a flock that needs his help. Make sure your children understand God’s firm but loving character and see that in you.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 (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.