It’s noon. I get a distress call from a sweet friend asking for prayer and counsel about some things her daughter is going through. And now, just a few hours later I find myself sharing her distress as the floors seems to drop out and all of a sudden I am in my own “teen” struggle.
As moms we just have that special gift, or nudge from the Holy Spirit when one of our kids is in a battle. We seem to know when the enemy has upped the ante and set his sights on one of our own. I had that sense today. That sense that the enemy wasn’t going to fight fair but was going after a weaker member in my home. My questions were met with answers. Satisfactory answers. At one point I asked if my child’s relationship with God were where they wanted it to be. “No, probably not” was the answer I received. So of course my next question was “what can you do to change that relationship?” and that is when one of my greatest fears was confirmed. And my teen began “the script.”
Do you know the script I am writing of? The script that can be recited by most teenagers in a Christian home as well as many that have just learned it from hearing it soooo many times. A kind of mantra that lists.….I can read my bible more, pray more, and go to church.” I wanted to scream. Yes, that is the script. That is the formula, the check off list, the requirements that most of us equate to our right standing with God….. so should it be any surprise that my own teen could say it from memory?
I was in tears as I explained that our relationship with God is not about a check list. It is not about a performance, an accomplishment or a set of requirements that we check off while gaining momentum and a surge of undetected pride. It is about us and Him. About our heart and His heart. About our desires and His desires.
After exploring more I discovered that my child failed to truly understand forgiveness and this was severely affecting their walk. So for the next hour we opened the scriptures together. We covered basics, that I know they had probably heard before, but needed to hear again. (ever need to hear truth again…..?) The need for confession. A point where we come into agreement with God that our actions or attitudes have been sinful. The understanding that God and God alone can forgive and take sin away. There is no amount of trying to do right that negates the price of sin. There is nothing in our own power that we have to “make things right” but that we need forgiveness.
But as we worked through the scriptures, as we went phrase by phrase ensuring that they understood God’s heart expressed in His word a light went on. A light that reminded me that nothing is more valuable than opening His word with my kids. Nothing is more powerful than truth to break the lie of the enemy that says you have made too many mistakes for God to use you, blown it too many times to be one of His own. A light that reminds me that any of us can resort to reciting some sort of script when the true condition of our heart lay far beneath the surface of our words.
So today I am thankful. Thankful that God’s word is a light unto my feet and lamp unto my path as I wade through the teenage waters that will be mine for many years to come. Thankful for the reminder that being a parent can be one of the greatest tools that God can use to teach us His heart. And thankful that I discovered later my teen heeding the counsel of God’s word….. to confess sin so that the faithful and just God will forgive and cleanse their heart from all unrighteousness. I am glad that my teen is learning to follow Christ while ensuring their mom gets well acquainted with prayers of intercession. And I am thankful that God reminded me that He really is enough for any situation we face as moms…..not that “we” are enough, but that He is more than enough! Oh how I love Him!