"Tests are not a plot and conspiracy against you. A test is to determine what you know, to see if you're ready for the next level (ie - a math test). Don't moan over tests — count them all joy, and pass them!" — Karen Jensen
Let’s face it -- teenagers are basically hard-wired to butt heads with their parents. If that’s happening at your house, here’s the good news: you’re normal.
Your teenager is going through a million changes in their body, their mind, and their surroundings. Meanwhile, they’re trying to fire you as a parent, then rehire you later…as a consultant.
But hey, if they weren’t growing and changing, something would be wrong. Is it possible to celebrate their changes and progress, enjoy the process, and emerge from the teenage years with our sanity intact and our kids headed for their divine destiny? I think it is.
Here are four important things you need to know:
1) They’re not trying to drive you crazy. No, really. What they’re trying to do is grow up. They just aren’t very good at it yet (neither were we at their age). So they’re practicing – on you! The beginning of teenagerhood is the beginning of the separation process that we all have to go through to become adults. They’re supposed to have friends outside the family. They’re supposed to challenge the status quo. And some days they show signs of brilliance – they make great decisions and choices -- and some days they don’t. Our goal as parents during these years is to help them learn to make their own right decisions and choices. Because our ultimate goal is to raise them into adults who can function well on their own, make great decisions, be useful members of society, and fulfill their divine destiny. But realize that it’s going to be a two-steps-forward-three-steps-back kind of process. Be patient.
Hopefully you’ve been reading my last couple of blogs about getting godly advice when you need it. If you haven’t, you can catch up here: Do's and Don'ts for Giving Someone Advice, Who Should You Get Advice From? and What I Learned from a Razor Blade. Getting good advice is important, but we don’t just ask anyone.
Once you know who to ask, then it’s important to know how to ask. It turns out that when you’re asking someone for advice, there’s a right way, and a wrong way. Ask me how I know. I’ve done it the wrong way!
Don’t Do What I Did
After my first husband died and I took over pastoring alone at our church in Boise, Idaho, God provided me with a wonderful pastor-mentor and his wife. They were dear friends. They had been pastors for a number of years, and they helped me through the process of pastoring alone. They helped my staff and me in more ways than I can tell you. What a blessing they were! Anytime I needed pastoral advice they were on hand to help.
But one time I went to that pastor and said, “God told me to do such-and-such, so I’m going to do it.” I can’t even remember now what it was. At the time he just nodded and said, “OK.”
But when I did it, it turned out badly. Later when I was telling him about it, he said, “Yeah, I figured that would happen.” Sort of miffed, I asked him, “Why in the world didn’t you tell me that beforehand! Why did you just let me go ahead and do it?”
I’ll never forget his answer. He said, “Because you didn’t ask me, Karen. You came and said, ‘God told me, so I’m going to do it.’ What could I say to that?”
Wow. I learned a valuable lesson: when asking someone for advice, don’t lead with “God told me…” That leaves your adviser no room to give their opinion or help you in any way!
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice. As a result, I’ve learned some things, and I want to pass them along. If someone sees you as their mentor, friend, or spiritual overseer and comes to you asking for your advice, there are some important things you should know.
1. DO realize your influence. Just by asking for your advice, chances are pretty good that this person looks up to you and reveres you. You probably have a great deal of influence with them, so treat it respectfully. Realize they might be ready to act upon any advice you give them, so don’t take that lightly and just blurt out something without seriously considering your answer first. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines advice as “an opinion or suggestion about what someone should do.” Emphasis on opinion. A person comes to you because of your experience, wisdom, or relationship with them—and hopefully because they know you care about them.
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September 25-27Parenting Seminar / Sunday morning serviceA Place of Meeting - Pastor Nathaniel CraneHope, Arkansasapomhope.org
October 1Taping "It's Supernatural" with Sid RothCharlotte, NCsidroth.org
October 2-4Marriage & Parenting Seminar/Sat night/Sun AMLifePointe ChurchMattoon, ILlifepointeforyou.org
October 6Girls of GraceLiving Word Christian ChurchBrooklyn Park, MNlwcc.org
October 10-11College Outreach Life Abundant FellowshipBurlington, VTlacvft.org
October 16,17Teaching OT Survey at RHEMA QuebecDrummondville, Quebec, Canadarhemaquebec.org
October 18Sunday AM ServiceVerbe de la VieMontreal, Quebec Canadaverbedelavie.ca
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