Raising A Teenager

Puberty was not kind to me…I knew there could be trouble ahead.

Hosea 11:1-12

Reference: “But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.” ‭‭Hosea‬ ‭11:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Explore: We have already had the arduous task of raising a teenager. To be honest, puberty was not kind to me.

It wasn’t that I was bullied or that I rebelled from my parents, I was just overly self-conscious and ignored by people I thought were cool.

And so, when we entered the season of raising a teenager, I knew there could be trouble ahead.

Our journey was a little different to most. Our teenager entered our family as a foster daughter and so our starting age was already 13.

The first few years went by quite well, but by the time she was 17, even though our values and expectations were very clear, she decided to make decisions of her own that cut us out of the equation.

As I look back I can see there are some things we could have done differently. But one thing I learned the most was that people make their own choices.

It didn’t matter how many conversations we had, how much assistance we gave or how much love we offered. Our daughter still made her own decisions.

Application: When a child makes a poor decision it’s natural to look to the parents. Of course, parents do have a strong influence on their children, however, we can’t forget we are born with free will.

You only have to watch a toddler eating a meal and they will show you how much free will they have been born with!

There is no denying God is the ultimate parent. His wisdom, forgiveness and unconditional love is something we should all aspire to… And yet, even His children made their own decisions.

The great thing to learn from God, and we read it in Hosea 11, is that He left His arms open for His children. He felt all the emotions of a betrayed parent, but He still waited for them to return.

In all the relationships we hold, as we watch people making their own decisions, may we love them unconditionally and keep our arms open to them, even when their choices are not in line with what we would have them do.

Prayer: Heavenly God, You are the ultimate parent. Forgive us when we turn from You. Thank You for always having Your arms wide open for our return. Amen.

Have you recently witnessed someone making a poor choice?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.