I write this article to encourage you, dear parent, on how to affirm your teen when they blow it, when I myself struggle with this very thing.
I struggle to find the words I need to express my disappointment over my teen’s behavior, while still encouraging them in what they do right and who they are as a person made in God’s image.
But that’s hard, you know?
As the years go by, I discover more challenges to this parenting gig. There’s a letting go when I want to hold on tight. There’s being a safe place, while still coaching them in the things of life.
It’s trusting God with their lives and hearts and believing that he cares more for them than I can imagine. It’s tempting to give up when we don’t know what to do.
Instead, let’s link arms while we find ways to affirm our teens even when they blow it.
But First, Help for Your Heart
Before I get into the list of affirmations for your teen’s heart, I want to address your heart.
Your heart might be feeling all kinds of things when you discover your teen’s been blowing it. You might feel disappointed because of their choices. You might feel rejected because they blatantly chose something that they knew you would disapprove of.
You might feel as though it’s “all your fault” and that “you messed up big time.” And maybe you’re like me and you see one event linked to possible future events that finds your son or daughter completely lost.
I want you to know this: the same grace that God gives us when we mess up is the same grace God gives our kids when they mess up. The challenging part is relying on and receiving that grace.
I am a work in progress. You are too. And so are our children.
How Does God Deal with Us When We Mess Up?
Three words come to mind: kindness, gentleness, and specificity. It is God’s kindness that draws us to repentance.
He is gentle with guiding our hearts, and he is specific. He is specific in revealing where we misstepped or missed the mark. Righteousness—right-living—is part of growing as a Christian.
I’ll miss the mark, you’ll miss the mark, and our kids will miss it. The key is how we respond.
If we refuse God’s grace when we mess up—if we harden our hearts to hearing his voice, or justify our behavior—how much harder is it to receive his forgiveness? And if we can’t receive his forgiveness than how will we know grace and if we don’t know grace, how will we extend it
These are the questions that scurry through my mind in the middle of hard talks with my teens. And they are the questions I ponder when I screw up.
But even though we mess up as parents, that doesn’t mean that we recuse ourselves from guiding and teaching our teens. I know it seems like they don’t want us in their lives, but they do.
Studies prove that a teen’s security grows in proportion to their parent’s involvement. It’s one of those situations where we sow seeds and wait for them to grow.
Today, if your teen is blowing it, I want to encourage you with a list of affirmations that you can speak to your teen:
1. “God made you on purpose for a purpose.”
In a world driven by social media, peer pressure skyrockets along with the feeling of isolation. Our teens are more connected than ever, but still feel so alone.
A seemingly secure teen can struggle with feelings of worthlessness and wonder if they have purpose. The need to hear our reassuring words, even in the midst of great uncertainty about themselves and their future, that there is a plan and purpose for them.
Psalm 138:7-8: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
2. “It’s okay to not be okay.”
We live in a world where okay isn’t good enough. The pressure to present perfect to the world crushes our kids and demoralizes them when they don’t live up to internal and external expectations.
But we can reassure our kids that it’s okay to not be okay. Struggles are part of life and admitting struggles is one way to allow God and parents into the conversation they have with themselves. Growth is a process that takes time and sometimes we’re not okay, and that’s okay.
Psalm 62:8: Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
3. “I love you.”
Three simple words hold great power…Continue Reading…@ https://www.crosswalk.com/
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