A couple times a year we host an anonymous question and answer time for teenagers. They respond well. You can read about these in past posts: Getting Teens to Air Their Questions and The Top 15 Questions Christian Teens Ask. We did this Q&A time again recently, and I was surprised how many questions were submitted about parents. Bear in mind, these were anonymous. My heart was stirred and challenged, both as a parent and a pastor, as I read these questions:
1. What do you do when your parents fight a lot and your mom has constant negative things to say about your dad?
2. My mom & dad have been going through a tough time. My dad really hurt my mom, and she is bitter and often “vents” to me. I’m not really sure how to take it or how to feel about it.
3. I turned 18, but my parents are reluctant to treat me like an adult. I still honor and obey them, but they still treat me like I’m 12. What should I do?
4. I’m bitter with my parents, and I want to make it better… I just don’t know how to.
5. How do I live for God with the ungodly ways of my parents who are not Christians?
6. If our parents have trouble in a certain area in life, are we likely to fail in this area as well? How do we stop from doing the stuff our parents do if their example is always before us and effects how we turn out?
7. How do you deal with a dad/parents who want you to be just like them? How do you live up to their high expectations?
8. Is a family problem partly your fault?
9. How do I deal with the fact that my parents always make an assumption and believe their assumption, which is a lie, and don’t let me tell them the truth. When I do tell the truth, they don’t believe me.
10. My parents have conflicting standards, and I’m a little confused as to where to put my standards. Should I find a median? (one is high, one is low.. not too low, but definitely not strict)
11. My mother is in an abusive relationship, what should I do?
Think about that list. It’s convicting if your a parent. It’s challenging if you serve in family ministry. In addition to this, we’ve recently dealt with many situations of abuse, grief, rejection, and desertion in the lives of young people. The pain of such trials is immense, but God’s grace is greater!
There are a thousand responses one could have to this list, so I’m not quite sure how to end this post. Let the Holy Spirit take it and do what He desires in your life and family.