In a few weeks I will officially have a preteen! I have to confess it seems like those first 2 or three years kind of slowly crept by and then all of a sudden life hit warp speed! Then, to ponder the thought that I have another one behind him in a short seventeen months…ouch. Life is truly like a vapor! I want to take this moment to encourage all of you with preteens in your house to read “Age Of Opportunity” by Paul Tripp, it is on our book table and it is allows you to see things in light of being a steward over our children. There will be a gamut of emotions that you go through in reading this book - from deep profound conviction of your weaknesses and failures, to a rejoicing that there is a foundation in the life of your child that you have worked hard on and prayed for God’s grace to establish in him/her. As the author points out, during the teen years it is not the time “to accept a culturally dictated generation gap.” But the main idea early on in the book is that God can use this time not simply for our teenagers, but as a time to help in OUR sanctification. A statement in the book that brought me to prayer was “It is a waste of time for us as parents to think about strategies for parenting our teens without first examining ourselves.” As I walked thorough Chapter 2, I realized how easy it is to bow down and hold to my idols - I get so consumed with my comfort that too often I miss wonderful teaching moments with my boys even now. I am hoping that through the grace of God that He sanctifies me daily and I grow better as they grow older.
We live in an incredible day, a time that there are more resources at our finger tips that enable us to parent biblically than there has ever been. We have to remember that “To whom much is given, much is required” I was raised in a home that loves the Word, married to a wife who loves the Word, and am attempting to teach my boys to love the Word. What I have that my parents didn’t? - Men and women of God who are biblically sound and equip me - not with a “how to get your kids to jump through the hoops to make your life easier” but really take the Word of God and allows you to examine you with it, which will allow me to better use it to teach my children. When I disobey the Word, my family will be the first to notice it, however when I am living in accordance to His Word they can be some of the first to benefit from it. Those areas that we become stiff-necked in are the ones that our children tend to pick up rather quickly. An extreme illustration of this happened several years ago; Michele had counseled with a lady who said she couldn’t spank her little girl because she would “lose control.” Well the issue in this lady’s life wasn’t a spanking issue, it was a self-control issue. As you watched her life, she couldn’t control her tongue, her anger, she stayed in constant rebellion to her husband and would sit in wonder as to why her child was out of control. Again, one of the greatest themes of “Age Of Opportunity” it is more about the grace of God working in my life so that I can be a better parent to my teenager…. It is more about the heart, than it is the behavior, but as we know the heart is the key!