Ahh, the Teen Years

I was ‘single-mom status’ for almost a decade of my sons life.  For the most part I navigated the infant, baby, toddler, and child stages rather well even though my son was certainly no saint.  I definitely had more than a parents fair share of red lights, extra teacher conferences, and his strong will that questioned everything.

But, we made it out of the kid stage.  And I would like to say I am proud of who my son was.  He had compassion for others, a keen sense of what was good and what was evil, and a lot of biblical knowledge. Go me!

But goodness gracious I never gave much thought to the “teen years” until they were slapping me upside the head.  My young man just turned 14 and I must start with saying I still am proud of who he is.  He still has compassion, he still understands biblical matters in more than a surface way, and he still knows the difference between right and wrong even though his frontal lobe is still under construction.

When people warned me about teen-dom I brushed it off to be quite honest.  Me and my little guy were two peas in a pod and I daydreamed that my son would be the culture changer for Christ within his sphere of influence.  Defying all the odds…son of a single mother makes it to his wedding day, pure and un-defiled.

Oh my gosh, I actually thought this. Not that I think it still can’t happen, but now I am reevaluating my goals and motives in parenting.  I am seeing that this is a human heart I am dealing with and not some poster for good behavior I am painting to hang on the walls of the Godly mom museum.

I’ve had to stop caring about what others think of my family and only concern myself with what God is doing in our lives.

I’ve had to let go of the fear that my son may entertain, or gasp… live in some kind of repugnant sin for a season because I need to trust the Holy Spirits dealings with him.

I’ve had to allow him to make some simple decisions for himself now even though they are not my decisions because in four short years the law allows him to make all of his own decisions.

I’ve had to let go of the adult life I envision for my son because I need to leave room for God to change those plans. (I will still use prayer as my secret weapon!)

As I raise my teenager with prayer, confidence, and the wisdom of the word, God is using this privilege as another means to show me that he is sovereign and I must look to him to help guide all the precious matters in my life.

I am not sure how my son’s life will turn out.  Tomorrow is not even promised to any one of us! I will however, love him each day he is under my guidance, teach him the truth, and let God be God in his life.  God is big enough for the task.

 

My Son Has Christian Parents

My son will never know what it’s like to smoke a joint with me. Nor will he ever be allowed to have a member of the opposite sex in his bedroom with the door closed. Those things were allowed in my home when I was young.  I have long since forgiven my beloved mom for these things that I once believed were cool, but as I matured, came to realize they damaged my teenage soul.

Fast-forward to when Christ came into my life at twenty-three.  I was pregnant with my son.  This little man was now going to be growing up in a Christian home!

UsI must admit I am slightly jealous of him.  He will not just be learning about when and how he should have sex from his friends at school, he will be hearing what God has to say about it.  He will not be hanging out late at night with people handing him hits of acid behind a movie theater because I am too strict for that.  When he recently asked me if he can have a girlfriend, I looked my thirteen year old in the eyes and said, “No, invite her to youth group.”

I question myself constantly. Ever since he was little the Holy Spirit would instruct me as I raised him.  I read about spanking in the bible and believed it to be truth but I was so confused on the execution.  Than one day when my boy was almost three, he hit me, told me no, and threw a toy at me all at the same moment.  Very gently, yet with divine authority, I felt the Lord speak into my being, “Now is the time to spank him.”

I calmly told my son he may not treat me that way and gave him three hard whacks on the butt.  He stood there perplexed. My guess is that he was shocked I showed him who was in charge- and it wasn’t him.  He thought for a minute and than the tears and loud crying came.  I consoled him and told him he may not hit and throw stuff at me.  Worked like a charm. He learned that he may not walk all over me. Satan the counterfeiter would have loved to teach my son to rule over me so his life would be easier to ruin as an adult.

I have had to apologize to my son many times through the years. I believe it shows him that I am a real person.  However, I have always reminded him of God’s expectation that he is to honor me with obedience.  In doing that, I would remind him also of God’s promise to bless him and give him a long life.

I have been immersed in depravity and than rescued from practicing many sins. Yet I wonder about my son. I am proud of him.  His heart is compassionate. He is funny and genuinely loves people. He has a very strong sense of right and wrong.  I wonder though, will his relationship with the Lord be deep? Will he have to trudge through willful valley’s of sin and wickedness in his life?  Will he decide to reject what I have taught him?  I am content not to know these answers at this moment, but when these answers unfold, I will be relying on the Lord and trusting him to guide me, just as I did when my son was three.

My God is faithful. That I know.  What I also know is that I have the power to influence, I have the power to parent, but as he is nearing maturity, I may not control him.  God wouldn’t have it any other way.