Parenting teens through prayer
By: Hollie Kowalski
Parenting a teenager is no small feat. We have four children, currently three teenagers. Nothing will send me to my knees in prayer quicker than my kids! Through the chaos, the conflict, the blessings, and the battles, I must keep reminding myself: God is in control.
My husband Joe is a logical, levelheaded parent with much patience. I, on the other hand… well, I like to say I’m a very “passionate,” person, especially when it comes to my kids. Joe would interpret this as emotional and easily excitable, but also a “pro” when it comes to loving on, caring for, and guiding our children. Together, we make a pretty great team, but even the very best parents don’t always have the answers. So when we’ve been consistent, loving, patient, supportive, good role models (most of the time…) and we’ve “chosen our battles carefully,” where do we turn when one of our children comes to us with anger and insecurity that won’t subside, or when one of them just wants to give up due to the fear of imperfection, or there is an undeniable ache from a loss or a badly broken heart from “the one they thought they’d marry?”
We go to God in prayer.
When I was a young mother, I used to worry that I was praying for the “wrong things” for my children or that I would leave some important part out of a specific prayer that I prayed for one of them- this would usually occur at the end of a long day when my eyelids were heavier than my heart. Which is why, I was thrilled to be introduced to this verse during a prayer study at our church: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 When I can’t find the words, it’s OK! He already knows!!
As much as God knows our hearts and minds, He still loves hearing from us. In addition, there may be nothing more beneficial that we can do for our children than pray! So get to it! Here are several ideas from Melanie Redd on what we can be praying for when it comes to our kids:
Moms and Dads, during those times of exasperation and exhaustion remember… Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
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Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.