Love to me means hope ~ Lucas, age 6

When our children are small it is easy to have big hopes and dreams for them.   Sometimes though, as they grow up, our dreams are dashed in teen years with their fight for independence.  Even if they are attempting to find who they are and possibly rebel against our system, we must never loose hope.  More importantly we must never communicate that we have lost hope in them.  Because often the big dreams we had in the beginning were our dreams and not God’s plans for their lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Proverbs 22:6 reads “train up a child in the way HE should go.”  Translated better it reads “the way he is bent.”  This means we need to be students of our children, learning who they were made to be. When we do this, not only do we not loose hope but we communicate hope.

How do I study my child?  The biggest way to learn who your children are is by listening to them.  Giving them your time.  With a teen it may be a slow and gradual process.  Make sure that you are making time to listen TO them rather than lecturing AT them.  That may mean you “date” your child or it may simply mean you go and sit on their floor and spend time with them. When a parent gives of their time, especially when teens are trying to buck their authority, it communicates love.  It communicates hope and belief that they are worth it!