Parenting Teens Who Struggle

shutterstock_146796953For parents of teens who struggle, every day can feel like a battle. It's exhausting and brings a load of guilt and second-guessing. I ran across a great article for parents caught in this situation, and I couldn't have written anything more fitting. Click on the photo above to go to the article. Then come back and get an eternal perspective on the issue.

No matter how well we parent, we live in a fallen world, our kids live in that world, and we all suffer from the effects of sin on our planet. A Christian parent's struggles are temporary, though, as Ephesians 1:3 showed me this morning. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ..." In heavenly places, and in Christ, we have every spiritual blessing. I take that word 'every' to mean in every realm, in every sense, and to the maximum extent. Every kind of blessing, every sense in which we can be blessed, and to the fullest extent. That would include our relationships with others. So, when we arrive in heaven, the struggles we have as parents will be over and the blessings we have will be beyond our imaginations. Our relationships with our children will change, of course, when we stand side by side worshipping Christ together, but I believe we will know our loved ones in heaven, and enjoy perfect fellowship with them in Christ. Hold onto that in your daily struggles as parents.

But salvation is not universal. Just because I want my children to go to heaven doesn't mean they will. The Bible tells us that only those who are born again go to heaven (John 3:16), and thus we pray and work toward that end for our children. But I can't lie. If salvation is not universal, I must face the possibility that some our children won't accept Christ's forgiveness. God is sovereign. He loves our children more than we do, and He hears our prayers to save them. I'm counting on that. So while I believe we have every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ, I don't presume my children will be there. I pray earnestly they will but I trust all to the loving Savior who rescued me from my own sin and stupidity. This is the tension of Christian parenting. It forces me to simply pray and trust the Lord.