I’m a parent of teenagers. My older 2 kids are 16 and soon to be 14. I’M SO…OLD!?!? Parenting teenagers is an adventure to say the least. Mark Twain once said, “When a boy turns 13, seal him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug the hole” Haha. That’s a funny quote, but I truly enjoy parenting my teenage kids! I agree with author Paul Tripp who refers to the teen years as an “age of opportunity.” It’s a great privilege to be a part of these formative years of their lives, filled with great challenges but also, great joys.
This is a learning process for me, but one thing I know for sure is that teens STILL need parenting. To watch many of today’s TV shows aimed at teens, you’d think that you spend age 13-18 constantly surrounded by friends your age with a bottomless frappuccino in your hand. Not the case. Obviously, the role of a parent is different during teen years, not necessarily less, but definetly different. “Helicopter parenting” will frustrate and drive a wedge between us and our teens. We have to embrace our ever-changing role without abandoning it.
Paul told young Timothy to “flee from youthful lusts”. The Apostle Paul acknowledged that there are sinful lusts unique to youth, and they are to be avoided. The notion that teens need to “sow wild oats” is not from God. The thing about sowing anything is that it grows. What teens do today and the habits they form, those things matter, a lot. They matter for their current life, their future, and most importantly, to God and eternity. As parents we get to be a part of guiding students away from destructive behaviors and pointing them towards a god-glorifying, self-sacrificing, service oriented, joy filled life that God desires for them.
Charles Spurgeon said the following, and I believe it is as true when our kids are 15 as it is when they are 5…
“Parental teaching is a natural duty–who is better fit to look to the child’s well being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God.” ― Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
The teen years are an opportunity to glorify God by being good stewards of HIS children that he has temporarily entrusted to us. What a privilege!?!?