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Thanks for Everything!

Encouragement for Parents of Teenagers 695x181

Thanks for Everything!

The things you’ve done.
Parents are there through thick and thin! You were there to change TONS of diapers. You made late night runs to the drugstore for medicine. You washed MOUNTAINS of clothes. You sat through LONG concerts where you weren’t really sure what song the band was trying to play. You drove miles and miles to school, to practices, to friends’ houses. You shopped TIRELESSLY for just the right school supplies. You returned the wrong clothes that you thought were perfect. You spent HOURS making last minute school projects. You helped with HUNDREDS of 4-H projects. You staffed fund-raisers for teams. You bought lots of fund raiser stuff you didn’t really want. You WAITED for the youth group to return late at night. You GAVE UP your own dreams to pay for family vacations, instruments, lessons, braces, and sports gear. Isn’t about time that you got some credit?

A little appreciation would be nice.
Your children really should appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for them. They should be thankful for all that they have. They should not keep asking for more and more without considering or appreciating what you have already done. The key word in this paragraph is SHOULD. They should be appreciative, but you are not the first person they think of. Most children and teenagers, in particular, are extremely self-centered and focused on themselves. They just are not thinking about what you already did, they are thinking about what else they need.

Be thankful when they notice.
Are you expecting thanks and appreciation? Are you demanding it? Is being appreciated the reason you love and care for your teenager? If that is what you are living for, then it has become an idol. When we start looking for thanks for every little thing,  we will be disappointed and maybe even bitter. Remember your own vertical relationship with God as you minister to your teenager. Pleasing God and bringing Him glory in our service and parenting is much more fulfilling than the few and far between praises from your children.Similar to respect, when we crave and demand thanks from our teens they are often less likely to show it. Check your heart and make sure the idol of appreciation is not firmly entrenched.

For more on discovering idols in your heart, listen to the Gospel Treason series.
P.S. The themes and main ideas come from Paul David Tripp’s book “Age of Opportunity”. I’m summarizing what I read, adding my own thoughts and Scripture too.
You can read past posts on our church website HERE.