Bracing your children for the turbulent years
“You formed me…I am marvelously made!” Ps 139:13-14 MSG
In order for your child to thrive and have self-worth, they must understand four things: (1) How God feels about them. The psalmist says, “His love never quits” (Ps 136:1 MSG). Knowing this is foundational to your child’s spiritual development and to their relationship with God. (2) How you feel about them. So, let them know that though you correct them, you will never reject them. (3) How they feel about themselves. The most painful aspect of growing up is related to the assault on self-esteem that’s almost universal in today’s teen society. Young people typically feel like fools and failures before they have even had a chance to get started in life. So, tell them they are a “work in progress” with incredible potential. “You formed me in my mother’s womb…Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” (Ps 139:13-14 MSG). Help them to discover their God-given gifts and develop them—electronics, art, music, or even raising rabbits for fun and profit. Anything! It’s not so much what you teach your child; the key is that they are learning something with which to compensate when the whole world seems to be saying, “Who are you, and what is your significance?” The teenager who has no answer to these questions is left unprotected at a very vulnerable time in life. So, developing and honing skills with which to compensate may be one of the most valuable contributions you as a parent can make. (4) How their peers feel about them. If they approve, that’s good. But if they don’t, and you have gotten the first three things right, your child will still thrive.