Recently the student ministry that I’m involved in hosted a family luncheon, specifically to maintain the parents sanity. That being said, I’m sure they were a little hesitant to receive my insight as an unmarried, college, parent of none. Seams funny right? Well the fact of the matter is not the merit or credibility I have by experience, but the insight I’ve been given by the Father.
I love seeing parents glorify God by the Christ centered parenting that they exhibit in raising their children. With that in mind I have come across a great resource to parents raising teens and would like to adapt it to the parents of my students. It is located on churchleaders.com by a man named Brady Boyd and you can read it here.
I’ve cut it in half and would like to address 5 things.
- Get to know your students. Don’t be disengaged in their life, rather engage in their likes, dislikes, friends. Without knowing them it will be increasingly hard to better connect with them.
- Model a passionate lifestyle for Jesus. Youth more than any other age group can see right through facades, meaning, you aren’t fooling anybody if you’re faking it. Be authentic in your walk with the Lord.
- Go on “dates” with your daughters and adventures with your sons. This one on one time will be cherished both by you and your student and will certainly be a memorable moments. Doing this shows their importance to you. Not doing this will do the exact opposite,whether true or not, it will show them that they are unimportant to you. Remember time is better than money.
- Give them responsibilities and expect for them to be done. Give them rewards (these don’t have to be monetary) and show them the consequences for them not being met. It may surprise you how much your student can accomplish when you lay out clearly what you desire for them.
- Remember that it’s not too late. You may feel as though the battle is an insurmountable one and that no progress can be made, but remember that a person is never outside of the reach of Grace and that the same is true about mending and cultivating a great relationship with your student.
As I went to lunch on Sunday I saw a bumper sticker that read, “mean people make little mean people” which goes right with what I believe is the key to raising youth, they watch you and become more like you than you may know, so make an effort to imitate Christ because they imitate you.
Grace and Peace,