Don’t push your God on me! You’re a racist! You are so anti……..! Are these statements ringing true in your home? Are you being labeled by your teen or young adult because of your faith? Has their ideology and theology changed so much that you don’t recognize what they believe anymore?
Welcome to parenting 2021. Our world is in chaos and upheaval, leaving us spinning in circles. The younger generation is being groomed by propaganda at every turn. With liberal professors in college to progressive movements through social media, television, and movies, they are being inundated 24/7 with socialistic and at times communistic ideology. Right is wrong, wrong is right, no wonder these kids are so confused.
No, we did not raise our kids to be this way. Many of us did our best to bring them up in the knowledge of knowing who Christ is. We prayed over them. We ministered to them. We showered them with love. However, as all young people do, they reach a point of wanting independence, looking for answers, and making decisions through their own experiences and passage of life.
Unfortunately, as a parent, it is often difficult to watch our child (whether they are a teen or young adult), be blinded by what the world offers for quick gratification and answers to their problems. Peer pressure to be like everyone else around them is prominent. Your child is more vulnerable when they struggle with mental illness, addiction, and a plethora of other issues. This makes it problematic because they often fall into traps that offer a better or easier life. They do not understand the pitfalls that come with these entrapments.
We all know earthly pleasures are temporary, and for our youth, those pleasures never last long. Therefore, they run after things to fill the void once again. This is a neverending cycle. Even in the midst of their searching, periods of anger, bitterness, and frustration build up within and they eventually fall into one or another category…fall apart or go deeper into the abyss of uncertainty. They will defend their ground against you. They will fight anyone who corrects them. They will even deceive themselves with unsound ideas, theories, untruths, and opinions. What is a parent to do?
Parents are beside themselves seeing the self-destruction of their children in this nation. Here’s the good news – GOD IS WAY BIGGER THAN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD AND IN YOUR CHILD’S LIFE!
God knows our sorrow and pain from the choices and decisions our children have made. He knows the depth of our hurt. He also knows how to mend our broken hearts because he seeks the brokenhearted. He has never left us nor forsaken us. This is a promise straight from His Word. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
I am often reminded of the story found in Luke 15:11-32 – The Prodigal Son. The son was rebellious, prideful, pushy, and thought he knew better than his father. He wanted to explore the world, spend his inheritance, and be free from his parents. This paints a good picture of our youth these days. I’m sure it was extremely hard for his dad to let him go. His father knew what the world was like. He also knew that nothing good would come from the journey his son planned to take. So what could he do? As a parent, my first action would be to pray.
I just love verse 17 in this story. Only five words which speak VOLUMES!
Are you ready?
“When he came to his senses…..” That’s right! His son came to his senses. Hallelujah! Isn’t this exactly what we hope and pray for with our prodigal children? We may not be able to knock any sense into our kids, but God certainly can reveal the truth to them. He is also able to open their eyes and ears to understand the place they are in and how to change their circumstances.
God works mightily through our prayers. Satan also works overtime in bringing about dissension, division, destruction, and to take away what God owns – our children. He is the author of their lives. Because of our prayers, God pursues our teens and young adults and brings them back under His wings. When we pray, Satan’s anger is deployed. He doesn’t want families to be reunited, restored, or healed.
So what can we do? We listen. We open doors of opportunity for them to share what is on their heart and in their mind with no judgment or debate. By doing so, this will give us more wisdom on how to pray for our children and help us to understand their mindset. When the time is right, lead into questions that help them rethink their ideologies, opinions, reasoning, and so on like, “Can you tell me what would happen if this occurred? What would you do?” The idea is to allow them to freely and respectively speak in an environment where they feel listened to even though you may disagree on their ideology/theology. Remember to always be praying during these conversations in order to receive wisdom and discernment.
When in prayer, ask God to bind up the enemy and remove him and every evil spirit that comes against our children or tries to deceive our children. We are their advocate and must always be on alert of what the enemy is trying to do.
In closing, let God direct you in your conversations. It is easy to get heated up in giving a response or opinion.
Speak Less, Pray More is my motto. To remind you of these things, here are a few scriptures to help and guide you with your child.
The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know
how you should respond to each person.
He who restrains his words has knowledge,
And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.