Anonymous post by a concerned parent.
I’ve learned a lot about grace since being married – mainly in receiving it. But I’ve never learned so much about grace as I have in parenting teenagers – mainly in giving it.
- The grace to love them when they don’t want to be loved.
- The grace to love when they are not very loveable.
- The grace to keep giving when it seems I can never give enough.
- The grace to keep giving when there’s no giving in return.
- The grace to forgive when I know the sin will be repeated again…and again.
- The grace to ask forgiveness even when most of the sin was on the other side.
- The grace to say “Sorry” even if I will not be forgiven.
- The grace to communicate when there’s no communication in return.
- The grace to offer help when help is not welcomed.
- The grace to give advice, when the advice will be rejected.
- The grace to say “Yes” when they deserve a “No.”
- The grace to be resented for my love.
- The grace to be viewed as uncool rather than über trendy.
- The grace to not let the sun go down upon my anger.
- The grace to explain when I could simply demand.
- The grace to never be told, “Dad you were right and I was wrong.”
- The grace to be thought of as an enemy for trying to be a faithful friend.
- The grace to rejoice in their successes even when there are serious failings elsewhere.
- The grace to pursue reconciliation when I’m the wronged party.
- The grace to accept that I’ll never be the super-parent I wanted to be and others seem to be.
This is the hardest university I’ve ever been in, and I’m not sure if I’m ever going to graduate. If I do, it certainly won’t be with honors. However, I’m learning so much about God’s lifelong grace towards me (and about my parents’ grace towards me over 30 years ago), that I’d be willing to repeat the course.
What have you learned about grace in parenting teenagers?