“We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.” – 2 Corinthians 1:24
The teenage/young adult years can be wrought with challenges. The child is growing wings and many times as parents we can mother hen them to death.
They have big ideals— and we douse them with reality.
They have high expectations— and trying to spare them from disappointment we try to bring them back down to earth.
The Apostle Paul didn’t have any kids, but he was a great spiritual father to a lot of new believers and churches. And even today, in his writing, we can read his incredible heart of love just like a papa looking out for his wee ones. In this verse I think is wrapped up a key component to parenting any teen/young adult.
“We are partners…”
Any time your child has guts enough to come and share a dream, vision, or hope they have for their own future, they need to see you as their “partner in crime.” Someone they can come to, count on, and know that you will partner with them in helping to prepare them to accomplish their great work.
“…working alongside you…”
Kids can’t hear your thoughts, they don’t know whether you believe in them or not...until they see you working alongside them. It’s not enough to drop words of encouragement every now and then, BE there at the games (not just physically, but mentally too!). Participate in the sport, be involved in the school, help in their organizations and work alongside your child to help them accomplish their goals. Just last week, I had to really PUSH into one of my bigger kids. She didn’t like it at the moment, but a week or so later she saw my reasoning and the result-— the result was productivity! Work alongside your kids moms and dads. Don’t just point and say do it. You gotta work with ’em.
“Be joyfully expectant.”
Here’s one most parents miss. And yet, it is VITAL. KEY. CLINCH!
If you don’t joyfully expect good things through, from and for your kids, they’ll never learn to have joy and faith in God as a loving, giving, joyful Heavenly Father. When we teach our children to be joyfully expectant of good things from God, they go to work at almost anything with a passion.
Children who grow up with parents who partner with them in their dreams, work alongside them in the mundane, and joyfully expect God to show up in their children’s lives will have an incredible outcome…children who grow up to have an awesome life of fruitfulness in their purpose.