Raising children really was a breeze – until they reach about 13/14. The difficulty level ratchets up a few notches at about 16/17. This growing up business is not for the faint-hearted. Some teens do not have both parents in their lives. Sometimes, their parents are unable to be spiritual mothers and fathers due to challenges they face. And, guess what? Sometimes, even very hands-on parents are unable to reach their children. That is why it is even more important to reach out to other children, other teens – to become spiritual parents to those who you do not claim on your income tax – but who desperately need to be claimed into the family of God.
You might be the only person who ever prays for that teen.
Maybe a kind word, a wise word, an uncalled-for prayer might be the seed planted that not only saves a life, but saves a soul.
And not just prayers and kindness for the children and teens that are doing things right. But prayers and kindness for the ones who are missing it – the sinners, the ones you do not want your kid hanging with. The one you think, “My kid will never do that.”
However, if your kid ever did “that” – would you not want someone standing in the gap, praying for him/her – praying maybe for you, too – Comfort for you? Strength for you? Hope for you?
Do for other teens as you would want someone to do for yours?
It could maybe save your kid’s life – when you yourself are unable to.
Hebrews 10:32-39 with a prayer from Blue Cotton Memory
“But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated”(Hebrews 10:32-33)
Being a parent can be a struggle. Sometimes people reproach, not understanding the situation. Sometimes even my children may reproach – out of rebellion, speaking untrue words just to afflict. Oh, Father, send friends who help lift us up when we are down, who encourage us on this child-raising journey. Friends who Extend a Friendship. Encourage. Pray.
34“For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (Hebrews 10:34)
Give me a heart of compassion on those children and teens who miss it, not just mine. I see teens crying out for help. For a God they either do not know or refuse to acknowledge. Fill me with Love in my Heart for these youth – not judgement, not condemnation but love. Let my hands reach out, both in prayer and help. Let me not give up, either on my kids or someone elses. Open my eyes to recognize the destruction for what it is – and see God’s plan beneath. Why? Because you know God has a better plan for you and for them. I am assured of my place in God’s family. Let me to effectively bring them into the family room of God, to discover their place in the most powerful family in the universe. Give me will and desire to serve with a heart full of love – not bedrugdingly, not judgementally, not dragging my feet. Grow my heart to love both inside and outside my household family without resistance.
35“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35).
Strengthen me to Stand in confidence of God’s power. God’s Plan. God’s Mercy. God’s Hope. Sometimes my teen and other teens seem like they are on a path to destruction – Let me not waiver, but stand firm in confidence in God’s plan for their life and mine as a parent.
36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised” (Hebrews 10:36)
I will Not Give Up! Arise Faith within me that God knows everything going on in my teen’s life and the life of other teens God places in my life. God is the shepherd who goes after every lost sheep. Because God. Promised. He. Would. Neither. Abandon. Nor. Forsake. He knows how to reach into the coldest heart, the most rebellious heart. He knows how to bring life back to the dead. He knows the desires of my heart – and the desire of my heart is not only for my teens to stand beside My Father – but for other kids, too.
Yes, God finds no respect, no pleasure in rebellion, in disrespect, in sin. But I cannot give up on the children God has given me and the other children whose lives I touch. I cannot shrink back – not matter the pain, the confusion, the frustration, the desire to walk away.
39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Hebrews 10:39).
On the Day of Pentecost, God gave us a great gift. The Gift of the Holy Spirit, who so empowered the man who denied Christ 3 times before being filled with the Holy Spirit, that he went out, bringing multitudes to Christ, never shirking with fear from standing firm on the Gospel of Love. Because, if we shrink back, not only are we destroyed, but those who so need saving are destroyed. What worth is my soul if I give up and let another be destroyed because of my lack of initiative, strength or stamina? I must stand on my faith. Persevere in the face of the storm. And continue reaching to pull someone into the loving arms of the Father.
Help me Father to be the parent I need to be!