Wow, mothering can be tough! Can I get an “Amen”?! It’s a fine line we walk between allowing our teenagers to grow and mature and intervening in order to make things easier for them. It hurts to see our kids left out, overlooked, hurt, or treated unfairly. Whether it’s sports, academics or navigating friendships and dating, every teen sometimes gets the short end of the stick. Life is not always fair, in fact, it very rarely is. So, yes, there is something to be said for allowing them to learn that lesson early. But, our mama’s heart breaks when our children are emotionally bruised and battered.
We sit on the sidelines and watch as our kids learn how to speak up for themselves with teachers, coaches and peers. We want them to learn to handle their own issues but, it’s so hard not to jump in—to come to the rescue. As our kids were navigating the teen years, they each experienced disappointment and unfair treatment; if not from friends, then from coaches, teachers or even parents of friends—who may not have realized the impact they had on our teen’s heart.
I believe there are times when a parent’s assistance is necessary but, only as a last resort. Instead, we can listen, pray with our teens over issues, give advice when asked, and point them to God’s Word for help and consolation.
And it’s usually not just our teens who need consoling! We, as mothers, carry the burden of our child’s broken heart, loneliness and disappointment like a soggy, woolen blanket over our drooping shoulders. When we are crushed over our teens heartache, we need only go to God with our sadness and frustration and lay it at the foot of the cross. He is there to offer hope, help, and peace.
God knows our teen’s predicament and he knows how it will all turn out. He loves them with an everlasting, unimaginable love. He has a plan—a long-range one—to shape our teenagers into strong, compassionate, humble and effective warriors for the kingdom. Everything he allows to happen to them—disappointment, heartache, loneliness, frustration— is another piece of the puzzle, designed to fit into his beautiful plan for their life.
So, what’s a mama to do? Pray. Be a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. Give advice when asked. Point your teen to the truth and comfort of God’s Word. Bite your tongue. Go to God with your own heartache. And be patient. After all, God is creating a masterpiece.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4