I remember delivering our first child like it was yesterday. How could I forget? I thought I was going to be the first woman ever to be pregnant for the rest of my life!
If you have ever been a pregnant woman who has gone passed her expected due date you know what I’m talking about. Each day that surpasses that “due date”, the date when the baby is “supposed” to come, it feels like a month!
My husband gently reminded me that no woman has ever been pregnant forever and though I doubted his confidence in that fact for an entire week, he ended up being right 😉 Our first child, a baby girl, was born one July evening.
I was a mama to a living, breathing, precious baby girl!
The journey of being a mama is a wonderful journey to be on! With each year that passes I am amazed how quickly the time seems to fly.
The number of people who have told me, “Your children are beautiful! Enjoy the little years because oh boy, the teen years are coming!” is countless now! Just yesterday I had someone else tell me about the dreaded teen years and to keep my children on my lap as long as I could.
Can I share something honestly with you?
I don’t like it when people say that to me.
I really really don’t.
I have a secret. Can I tell you what it is?
Down deep in my soul I don’t believe that just because a teenager is a teenager that they have to rebel. The word teenager in the dictionary does not have the synonym of “rebel” right next to it!
Okay okay, stop picking up those tomatoes to throw my way and the rolling of the eyes I can see them from way over here. But seriously though. Why do so many people seem to think that the teen years have to equal rebellion?
I get it, I really do. My husband and I have worked with teens for 5 years in youth ministry, and I worked as a teen camp counselor for three years before that and we are well aware of how many teens do rebel. But not all of them do! Do you know that some of the most precious people I have ever met were actually teenagers?
From the day my husband and I found out that our babies were on the way we began praying specifically for them! Every day our children hear us pray for them. They hear our pleas to God for their protection and that they will see the importance of walking closely with God. They hear us pray that they will never ever rebel and turn from Him.
Our children need to hear their parents pray that way! They need to hear us praying for them and we need to pray with them!
The world preys on our children. The world wants us to think that there is no hope for teenagers and that we just need to endure during those teen years instead of enjoy them. The world wants to steal our joy of parenting and see us give up because they are just going to rebel anyway. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Check out Proverbs 22:6, “ Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” That is a promise my friend! Training up our children does not begin when they are teens, it begins when they are tiny! Planting God’ Word in their hearts and lives from the time they are in the womb, God promises that His Word will not return void! Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Our children need to see how much we need and depend on God. Children often mimic what they see others do. If our children see our genuine dependence on God they will learn to genuinely depend on God. If our children see us riding the fence, not making God the most important person in our life, they will not make God the most important person in their life! When our children hear us pray they will learn to pray.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 says, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.”
God needs to be a constant consistent part of our lives! Not only clinging to Him when our road is bumpy and dark, but every single day we need to be depending on Him. Calling out to Him. Pointing our children back to Him.
I pray that when my children are teenagers they will be a shining example to others. I don’t have this parenting thing all figured out, but I am clinging to the One who does. Constantly calling out to Christ to protect the hearts of my children who will one day be teens and asking Him to help them see the importance of staying close to Him.
The teen years don’t have to be a horrible journey, and I’m anticipating enjoying them with my children!