I know the teen years are supposed to be rife with rebellion and division within a home. At least that’s what the world tells us, but I don’t buy into that. I’m sure they will be challenging. I’m sure there will be some tough decisions, disagreements, and tense moments; times where I will question if I’m standing firm in the right areas and whether I’m loosening the reigns at the correct time. But my hope, and I’m sure it is the same for all parents, is that the challenges of the teen years will only serve to build good character in all of us and that on the other end we’ll transition into being friends as well as family. I hope that by the time they are adults, their relationship with God will be mature enough, and I will be humble enough, for us to minister to each other….for it to be a two way street.
So the tools that have come across my path have been these…
A really good book to begin to teach kids how to study the bible for themselves. Done by Kay Arthur, these are a series of several books and I just can’t go on enough about how meaty they are. They are fun, have great illustrations, and a few fun activities in them, but be assured that your kids will be filling their bible study toolboxes with some excellent tools and habits.
This one is a new find that is just amazing. It's funny but has so much great information in it. It deals with peer pressure, dating, (and really backs up our stance about NOT dating in a non-legalistic way) sex, pornography, purity, body changes, living for God, and not following the crowd. I've started assigining a chapter a night for my son to read and then we talk about it. He always comes down to report how great it was. I'll be saving this one for my daughter to read in a few years.
I know these alone aren't going to solidify his own faith. The Holy Spirit and the Word soaking in to his heart will be doing most of the work. But it sure can't hurt to be proactive in theses areas rather than reacting to problems after they've already occured.
Since September is the birthday month for all three of my boys, (our anniversary is nine months earlier and my in-laws refuse to babysit on that night anymore because obviously we are, um....celebrating.) I make sure I have a picture every year with them.
Here's hoping they look just as happy to be standing next to their mom 10 years from now!