October 20, 2008
Give Them a Chance
“For if they fall, one will lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.”
Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NKJV)
Recently, I read an interview of a seventeen-year old girl that absolutely blew me away. In the interview, she talked about how badly she wanted her parents to know what was going on in her life: who she was dating, how far they had gone, how he treated her and the mean things he had said to her. She didn’t tell them, though. She was afraid; afraid of how they would react.
As a parent, this scenario crushed my heart. I want my kids to be able to tell me the hard things in life that they are struggling with. I want to be that safe place for them and for them to know that they are not alone. I want to be able to pray for my daughter, love her and hold her when she needs to cry. None of that is possible though if my child does not feel that she can be honest with me.
Honesty. That is a tough one. We expect our kids to be honest with us, yet how do we respond when they are?
The Lord has made us, as parents, to be His hands and feet to our children. Yes, we need to discipline them. We also need to be the ones to show them the Father’s love and forgiveness. We need to be the ones who love our kids when they find it hard to love themselves.
Give your kids – or any kids in your life – a chance. Let your child know that you are aware of what is going on in her culture (make sure you do!). Through non-confrontational conversation, open the doors for honesty and let them know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens, you will be there for them.
And when they come to you, lovingly point them towards the guidance and grace offered by our Heavenly Father.
Dear Lord, Show me today how to open the doors of conversation with the children in my life so that I can be a safe place where they are heard and cared for deeply. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
Pull a chair up next to your daughter to read together Living With Purpose: A Radical Revolution devotions, written just for tween and teen girls. Today’s RadRevolution devotion provides a teen’s perspective on “Give Them a Chance,” challenging daughters to give their parents a chance!
Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh
Plan a time when you can get one-on-one with your child. Try a walk at the park or dinner out. See it as an investment in them. Begin to share some of your own struggles growing up and let them know you understand how hard it is in today’s culture.
Pray and ask the Lord to help you build a trusting relationship with your child where you trust them and they trust you. Ask Him to show you when is a good time to start conversations with your child … such as on the way to school, while decompressing after school, or while out for a walk.
Make yourself available to a child who does not have a parent who is attentive in her life. Ask the Lord if He would have you to start a mentoring relationship with that child.
How do I respond when my child tells me something about her culture or life that I am not comfortable with?
Do I take steps to understand the current culture so that when my child shares with me I am not shocked by it?
Do I pray for my child and ask the Lord for wisdom to give to her for the things she faces each day?
Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” (NKJV)
Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (NKJV)
Psalm 51:6 “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” (NKJV)
Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 20 October 2008.