Parenting is a thankless job or at least it feels that way from time to time. You know the feeling as a parent. You are the one that is always giving and giving and your student is the one that is always taking and taking. I know that becomes a little disheartening sometimes but use it to your advantage. Take a minute to think about how you can make this a good thing.
If your child is with you all the time, most of the time, or at least some of the time; you can use these moments as a teaching time. You can now use that 'sucking' life out of you as a positive thing and give them life principles without them even knowing about it. Example: last night in our Youth Ministry one of our students had a little extra tan line on his neck; really it was sunburned. I asked how he got this and he said he had mowed the yard. He was given $10 to do it. I responded that he got ripped off because that yard is at least a $20 yard and we laughed. Here's the fun thing about that conversation, his mom, much like my own bride, loves to mow the yard. So him mowing the yard, even for $10, was a teaching moment for him from his mom. She was teaching him responsibility.
He was soaking in her work ethic as he was mowing the yard. She was instilling this value into her son and he thought he was just mowing the yard.
Our kids, your students, our children are like sponges and they will soak up lots of things from us, some good and some bad. However, we can't allow them to live in an aquarium of culture and soak up everything around them; that's deadly to them and to your relationship with them.
It is our responsibility to stay connected to our kids even through the turbulent teen years. I believe that our kids will become more like us than we even think about or know about. They spend so much time with us that they will become like us; good or bad. Here's one thing to consider about your child's spiritual condition and growth; will they become stronger than you or weaker than you spiritually? Most will not become stronger as a teen as they walk away, or drift from you, especially if you have not had them in tow to deep spiritual truths.
I want you, the parent to think of a sponge, or better yet get one out and place it near the edge of a puddle of water. You will see that the moment that the sponge hits the water that a couple of things happen.
- The sponge will start to soften up as it gets wet.
- The sponge will start to 'suck' up or draw in the moisture.
- The water will disappear but it will reappear inside the sponge.
- The weight of the water is now influencing the weight of the sponge.
- The sponge, to be used, must be emptied of most of what it has sucked up.
Bottom line, parents you are responsible for training, teaching, and nurturing your child in the spiritual realm. Remember they are a sponge, just like Sponge Bob.