In her book Arrows ‘Raising Children To Hit Their God-Given Mark’, Keeley Schafer talks about raising teenagers and how a mistake doesn’t define who our children are. “A mistake doesn’t define the essence of who our children are, and it certainly doesn’t define what God thinks about them.” Wow, when I speak about the influence I receive on raising my daughters, Keeley is most definitely one woman that I admire.
Those few words, are so powerful. I’m in teenage mode right now with my oldest daughter. I cringe over the years hearing people say, “just wait until the teen years.” In their experience or maybe even just hearing about “the teenage years,” they assumed that all teens tend to be the same way. I guess I can understand in this world we live in. But to not have a higher thought or spoken word of who our teenagers will and won’t be is like Keeley also says, it sets our children up for failure. The one thing I don’t want as a mother is to set my daughters up for failure by my own doing. I look at my daughters, and speak, believe and know that they will grow up in the Lord. Not to say they won’t make mistakes, but it doesn’t have to turn them away from God. One passage from the book also sticks with me.
“We can have a full expectation that our children will continue in the ways of the Lord through childhood, and will have a strong relationship with Him in their adult years. There is no reason to believe our children ever have to run from God.”
Shouldn’t that be what we hear from those who have walked the path of teenage years before us? Whether their teenagers turn from God or not. Saying the right words, gives a better expectancy on our teenagers lives. I expect them to be respectful, I expect them to not lie, I expect them to treat others kindly, I expect them to not be sexually active before marriage, I expect them to not allow their hormones to get in the way of their emotions. But even if they made all these mistakes in the course of their teenage years, I will continue to speak life and not death into them and know that they will not turn from the Lord. I tell this to the younger mothers that will come after me who are going through the baby years and toddler years now. They need to hear that it’s not so bad, it’s beautiful as long as you cultivate an atmosphere of Gods words onto their lives. Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
I want to build up mothers and daughters to know that what we say has power and can either attract the right things or the wrong things in life. Mothers, speak life over your daughters, to their face, while they sleep, while you pray together. Let them know that they don’t have to do and be who the world says a teenager is suppose to be. Lead them by the word of God, let your heart weigh your words and allow them to make mistakes, but know that their mistakes do not define who they are in Christ.
For His Glory,