And so it was that day when I never dreamed we could co-exist in the same house with a calm about us. Really, I thought that the days of having a daughter who loved me, a daughter that I could teach, were gone. The beautiful big eyes that would stare as I made dinner and ask me all sorts of questions; the little hands that were always trying to do what I was doing, well, they were not there anymore. The eyes were exploring the world and watching everything instead of just me and the hands were learning more trades than just what I could do.
This is always part of growing up and becoming the person God has meant you to be, but for a momma heart this is hard to watch. We always want to keep our children close to us, not just to protect them, but to guide them as God had asked when He blessed them to us.
My oldest is now fourteen. It is still completely surreal that I have a daughter in high school now. I know that I am not the first parent to ever think or say that. There was a switch from childhood to teenage hood in our home. It was as if I, the momma, had no clue any longer but the people all around us had it right. They knew more than me and loved more than me and they were fairer than me. This is normal in a lot of homes, I know, but I was not okay with this.
I gave my daughter to God as soon as she was born and I trusted Him to always guide her on the road that was right. Not always has she made wise choices, but she has learned and turned to the right path. I am so proud of her for that. It shows great integrity and maturity in her young heart.
Recently I had an epiphany, if you will. We were in the car watching all the people on the street as we passed slowly by and my girls wondered what makes them want to dress and act the way they do. This was a learning moment for us and I was really jumping with glee because it has been a while since I have been able to have one of these moments with just my big girls. “Eeep! It’s time for mom to do her thing.”
“Girl’s, while you have had a childhood of growing up in church and knowing God’s love for you, not all these people here have had the opportunity to know that love. You all know that no matter what you do or what you say your dad and I will never love you any less. You are our daughters and we love you more than words can say. You know you will always have that love with Christ as well. These people, these women you see, they do not know that. They do not see what they are worth in the sight of God.”
“What do they see, mom?”
My heart aches for the women here. “They see pain, suffering, no way out of a life that has no good end. Girls, their world is rocked by hurt. They have probably known this their whole life. This is why your dad and I care about the friends you keep, what you wear, what you listen to, what you read, and what you say.” My girls were staring out the window still. It was quiet so I went on a bit. The more I can get in the better, right!
“You know, girls, what goes in is what ultimately comes out. What’s in your heart is what you serve. So, if you are constantly listening to country music love songs or rock or heavy metal, what do you think is going to come out of your mouths? Though you don’t think the words mean a whole lot – they have more meaning than a full book and you put that into your hearts. When you dress without thinking modestly, well, it shows in your heart. Most importantly you are giving eyes of the opposite sex the opportunity to see parts of you that are only meant for your future husbands to see. We stress modesty in our home, but these ladies you see may have never had anyone teach them to respect themselves enough to do so. And when you hang around with other kids who curse repeatedly, drink a little, smoke or may even do drugs, that all goes in and while you think you are a strong Christian and can handle it, you may find out a little differently when push comes to shove.”
My girls had no questions after that. They were pretty happy to be at the ice cream shop actually. But it made me think of this verse, “Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires” Romans 13:14 (NIV). Needless to say we will be working through many areas of the righteousness of God this school year during our Bible time.
I guess I want to encourage you to talk to your teenagers. If you don’t tell them what you expect and what God expects there may never be anyone to do so. Help them to surround themselves with good influences in friends, teachers, mentors and find an awesome youth group or church that would help to fill in the gaps where their ears may not be listening so much to you as mom during this time of growing up. You get to have a say in this. God blessed you as their mother to do such things and He expects it of you.
Lord, I pray that for all of us who have teenagers in our homes that you would provide the wisdom we need to guide them as they go through a difficult time of discovering who they want to be and who you want them to be. Help us to guide our children as you would have us lead them and always point them back to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.