Tonight in a parenting moment of desperation, I texted my sister to tell her that I am a failure as a parent to teen girls. The highlights of this coversation included:
- This gig is too hard sometimes.
- They just think everything I say and do is stupid.
- They hang up on me and disrespect me when I tell them that no, they can NOT house sit unsupervised overnight with their friend.
- It’s hard to let them learn to fly when it feels like I’ve inadequately prepared them to do so!
And while I don’t think God enjoys generational payback, those famous words that we all heard from our own parents are ringing in my ears:
“Just wait until you have kids, you’ll see!”
Your kids is a teen and you find yourself shaking your head thinking “Oh no…THIS is what they were talking about!”
It’s really hard when you love your kids so much that want to give them the best of everything. And that same love also forces you to be the one person they despise the most when you have to say no to the things you know will hurt them.
Tonight I was told by daughter…my baby…that I’m “ridiculous” and that “I don’t understand” and that “I don’t trust her” because I wouldn’t let her go on that unsupervised sleepover.
But what she doesn’t know is that many years ago, long before she was born, I, too was a teenager. I know what can and usually does happen in these situations.
And it isn’t anything good!
And through these challenges with raising teen girls,
I'm now, more clearly than ever, seeing a new view of God's unending love for us.
I love my girls in a way I never knew I could love another person. And as much as I love those girls, God loves us even more!
There are many times in our lives when we long for something so bad that it consumes us. We pray for it, we wait for it, but for reasons that only God knows, He gives us a very gentle “No”.
Often when God says no to something we want this bad, it feels unfair! But just like we parent our kids with the knowledge we gained through our own experiences, God loves and parents us with wisdom over our lives that we can’t understand like He can. He always knows what is best for us, even when His best is contrary to what we had hoped for.
Just like a wide-eyed teen who is learning how to be a young adult, we often think that we know better than our Father God. We question Him, we even get angry with Him at times. But He is still our Father, and His love for us doesn’t fade when we pout.
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken not my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you."
So for now, I roll with the punches with my girls. After all, one day they’ll have kids of their own and they’ll understand!
But in all seriousness, next time you feel like God’s answers in your life don’t make sense remember who He is. Spend time in His Word, pray and talk to Him. Understand that He loves you so much that if His answer is no, you can rest in the fact that while possibly unpleasant, His no is a good no. And just like our rebellious teens, one day we will see God’s big picture for our lives unfold and we’ll see the brilliance and love in his answer.
Bible Journaling Prompts
Apply what you’ve learned
♡ Whether you are parenting or you are struggling to understand how God fathers you, look up the following verses and write in your journal what they say.
- Lamentations 3:22-23
- Proverbs 29:15
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Romans 5:8
- Zephaniah 3:17
- How many times in this passage did the Israelites rebel against God?
- How many times did he have to discipline them?
- Name a few of the blessings God poured out on them: (Vs 17, 19-25)
- Read verses 28-31. Was God’s discipline on His people irrational or angry or justified? Do you think He punished them to get even, or to remind them where they are going wrong?
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I'd love to hear your thoughts about today's post!! ♡ Share your comments below ♡
Like what someone else says? Respond to her comment and keep the conversation going.
Wow.. thank you! I’ve been so frustrated with my daughters.. especially my oldest.. I get the disrespectful tones and accusations. I do the same with God a lot.
You get it!!! I’m so glad I’m not alone in this ♥️
I’m in my 60’s with grown step-daughters and a 33 year old son. We waljed many rocky roads with teens, and now they are walking those roads with yheir own teens. Remember how hard it was growing up? One day you wanted to drive a car, and the next day you wanted to hang out in your room and be a 10 year old with no responsibility! These push backs and arguments are part of the breaking away process that is necessary for both parent and child. It’s a necessity so boths sides prepare to one day let go. After all, we don’t raise them to keep them! Thank goodness! Haha! Hopefully everyone can take a breath and know this chapter won’t last. Trust me, they will always need you and love you, but they will not always live with you….God willing.?
This is so wonderful Mary, I really appreciate your perspective! I feel like it’s only yesterday that Laura and I were these teens, now we are the parents. It’s crazy!
As always, perfect timing. No girls but my teenage boys are giving me grief. One, a senior, decided in late Fall, he doesn’t want to go to school he has prepared for the past 4 yrs. He hasn’t visited or applied at any school. I know he is scared, so are we. Son #2 won’t fulfill his volunteer hours needed for Confirmation. I know it will all work out and sometimes I just need a reminder to pray for them. Sorry, it’s long.
No sorry, that’s what this place is for. To lift each other up and encourage one another through this life God gave each of us! I know that many kids get cold feet in their senior year. Before then, everything is just “talk” and “someday” but all of a sudden, they are staring reality in the face and every decision they have to make feels so big! But the truth is, I’ve had 3 careers in my life so far. Each time, God led me to something new in a seamless way. I no longer use the education I had, but I still appreciate it. God has a path for your son, just pray that he is able to feel God’s prompting and that he finds peace with the direction he chooses. Hopefully he’ll come back to his old dream before this year is over! Hang in there, mama!
Angie, I happen to know for a fact that your parents were “never” lame. ;o)
My 3 are grown & on their own. I still worry about them.
Debbie, I’m sure that never stops!!! ♥️
That may be true…I can only hope that I’m as “cool” as my parents were ? You set the bar pretty high apparently!!!
Angie this hits home so much! My girls are now 37 and 34 with children of their own, but I still remember when my younger daughter asked to go to an overnight party at her friend’s house–boys and girls together in tents by the lake. What could go wrong???? I still don’t remember how I answered the inevitable, “Don’t you trust me?”–wish I did. But when I finally said no (hurting inside the whole time because I want my kids to love me!)–she just said, “Oh, ok.”
I’m new to your wonderful blog. I am a mom to 3 sons and 2 daughters. I hear you loud and clear in the highs and lows of parenting. When I reflect on my own Father- child relationship with my heavenly Father, I so often see parallels in how we must “frustrate” Him and at the same time, know His love for me is unfaltering as is mine for my precious children. I welcome their company, love when they just want to hang out and talk and tell me their troubles as well as their joys. I love that they come to me for comfort and that they truly know how much I love and care for them no matter how much they sometimes get impatient or upset with me. I know God must feel the same about us, His children. Mine are almost all grown with my youngest now 16. The road is much less bumpy. It’s all worth it! Praise God!
Linda, I appreciate this so much!! And how fun that you stumbled on my blog. I love hearing that!! This week brought new challenges, but also new breakthroughs. With everything we do raising our kids, we just take it day by day, grateful for each we have <3 Thank you for your perspective, it's very encouraging!!