Grandparents are fond of saying, “Little children, little problems. Big children, BIG problems.”
For the most part, that’s a true statement. I remember having little ones and worrying that they would put something in their mouth and choke or fall and hurt their head. I worried if they didn’t eat and I worried if they ate too much. I worried about losing them at the mall or them running into the street. But none of that fear could have prepared me for the fears of having teenagers. Starting high school, getting offered drugs, making bad judgment calls, picking the wrong friends, learning how to drive, the list can go on and on.
I think most parents of teenagers have experienced that knot in the pit of their stomach that comes from their kids not answering their cell phone or someone calling to let us know that our kid has misbehaved. For some parents, dealing with difficult teens is a daily struggle. Most of us know what it means to have sleepless nights worrying about our teens.
But then I am reminded that this is not a one or two person job. No, I am not talking about “it takes a village,” although I believe community is important. I’m talking about the One who created them.
It is easy to take credit when our kids are doing well. But it can be very painful to take the blame when they make bad choices. We wonder where we went wrong. What we could have done to prevent it. Why this is happening to us. And while it is always good to learn from our mistakes, we need to remind ourselves that our teens have a free will. And God knows what our kids are going to choose. AND, He’s on top of it.
The next time you feel hopeless before the decisions your teen is making, remember that true relief is found in surrendering it to God. He is in the business of restoring and using even the worst choices and mistakes for His glory and as an opportunity for our kids and us to grow in our understanding of Him and in our understanding of life. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.