Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When our expectations as parents are too low

Our firstborn son turned 12 this summer.  When I tell people I have a twelve year old there's this inevitable look and tone that says how sorry they are for me.  Those teen years are looming ahead!  Sometimes I'm not quick enough on my feet and fail to get across just what a blessing our son is to us and the kind of young man we fully expect him to continue growing into.  And what makes us think our son will continue growing into a godly man and not into a rebellious teenager over the next few years?

Timothy- "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."  1 Timothy 4:12

Daniel-  "...young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve..." Daniel 1:4  "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself..."  Daniel 1:8

Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael- "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."  Daniel 3:17-18

Josiah-  "Josiah was eight years old when he became king....  For in the eight year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images."  2 Chronicles 34:1, 3

David-  "And Saul said to David, 'You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.'"  "Moreover David said, 'The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'"  1 Samuel 17:33, 37

Samuel-  "And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men." 1 Samuel 2:26  "So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground."  1 Samuel 3:19

These young men were no different from our son.  They were all human, like our son.  They all had faith in God, like our son.  We have absolutely no reason to think that God will not continue working in our son, like He did in the biblical examples above. 

Sometimes our expectations as parents are too high.  Sometimes they're too low.  This is one of those times. 


  1. Oh I quite agree! I may just ban the word teenager from our house b/c it has such a negative connotation. We have a young lady, OK? Who is growing into a young woman.

  2. Celee,
    I so agree! I have two teenagers (14 in a few days and 16), and they are absolutely delightful. And I mean that. People often tell me to "get ready". For what? The older my children get, the more I love them. I have enjoyed every stage of parenting. Not that it is physically or even emotionally easyt at times, but my children are my delight. My 3rd child is 12, and he is precious too. They are helpful and appreciative and fun to be around.
    God has blessed me with these children......but I have worked hard! I give God all the glory for how they are turning out so far, but it just "doesn't happen". We sow many, many seeds when they are younger....seeds of Bible instruction, living our faith for them to see, discipline, love, kindness, service, unselfishness, patience, diligence, etc. We train them from birth, pray a lot, and trust in the Lord.

    I don't know what the future holds for my children, but I will strive every single day to do my part to raise them the way God intends for me to. And I appreciate every single day that I have the privilege to be their mother.

    I will be working on my Sonlight binders soon!

    "your crazy friend"

  3. I found your blog today by way of your comment on Raising Arrows. I've really enjoy what I've read so far! May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family :-)



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.