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Without Christ, we ALL are bad!
Posted by Barbara Smith (BWSmith)
This message was originally posted on
Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web

Barbara posted this reply in a thread titled,
"Teenagers are always bad????".

There isn't a woman on this board, or her dear husband, who is "always" good -- So why do we condemn teens, some of whom may not be Christians who are acting "naturally?" Sadly "bad" teens are sometimes only acting out what they have observed in their homes as appropriate behavior. The worst moments in my life has been hearing my children say "stuff" they learned from me!

It is only with the indwelling Holy Spirit that we can chose what is right. If your daughter has not yet submitted to Christ -- pray for her to open her heart. And that no temptation overtakes us that is uncommon -- or which Christ does not provide a way of escape. (And we have to practice what we preach -- and boy can my kids spot my hypocrisy!)

Now, if your dear daughter is physically mature enough to have children, you must pray for her and with her and over her to become a woman after God's heart. (See Proverbs 31) She needs the same loving reassurance that a toddler needs -- but you must treat her as a woman -- and love her as your precious child. And this can set even the best-intentioned mom crazy!

About a week ago, there was a very good discussion of this -- Nobody gets a pass in the Bible to indulge emotional tantrums -- whether they are profoundly disabled or zoning out because of hormonal flashes.

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE CREATURES -- and need not remain victims of our circumstances -- *if* we appropriate the tools Christ generously gives.

"Teenagers" are not in the Bible -- you are either a child or a young woman -- Consider praying through Colossians 1:9-15 for your daughter -- more than once and tell her you are praying this for her.

You are going to become more and more familiar with the floor of your house -- if you are not so accustomed -- because this is resolved only through prayer. (See Mark 9) I have recommended face down from time to time -- just to keep my heart rightly focused: He is God, I am not. And you probably will need some lotza tissues -- but guess what, God knew you and your husband would be the best parents for these children -- even the prickly ones, because HE designed your family! See Ps 139 (I keep harping on this, I know)

Now you and your husband need to think about how to discipline for uncontrolled emotional outbursts. Responding "in-kind" won't cut it. (Been there, done that -- lotza regrets there for me 8>() Pick a logical consequence and stick to the discipline after fair warning -- and always root your decisions in what Scripture says about how and what we speak.

Don't let opposition or frustration derail your training -- you keep to your task, even if she doesn't thank you profusely. You are pleasing Christ by honoring HIS word and upholding HIS standards of conduct. Don't let the enemy lie to you about the situation at home either, if you are willing never to turn a blind eye to the truth of your children's conduct.

And -- as my dh asked me -- keep asking yourself, so WHO do you want to trade places with -- What child would you rather have than the one God himself entrusted to your care -- to be HIS representative.

(See 2 Cor 5:18-20 -- this may sound run-on)) "Now all these things (from troublesome tots to trying teens) are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and HE gave us the ministry of reconciliation . . . (meaning our children need to hear the message as well as SEE the message of reconciliation!). . . and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (He doesn't keep a running account, neither should we -- and our children's offenses are always against God first -- and HE can take care of it!) Therefore, YOU and your dh are ambassadors for Christ, . . . and no, your kids may not be impressed -- but never forget your calling.

© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Please contact Barbara Smith at workbook@toad.net before reprinting any of Barbara's messages. These messages are taken straight from the chfweb.com Message Board and Barbara may want to check them over for publication. Please include, in the body of your message, which message you are interested in reprinting.

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