Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. ~an English and Chinese Proverb
It is so simple when they are little. "Because Mom said so," is an easy enough answer to young minds. They need to learn obedience and develop a teachable spirit. But then they grow and ask to understand beyond the, "because Mom said so," and seek for understanding to the "said so's." As I have looked into my own thoughts and reasons behind what I believe in, it has prompted me into a journey of more serious prayer, Bible understanding, and looking at the fruit of the lives who have walked this way before me. This includes the fruit in my own life as a young person raised in the Lord, who grew into the person I am now, by fellowshiping with the Lord through my growing up.
And while I am enthusiastic about my discoveries, I do seem to find my teens are not open buckets into which I can pour my discoveries and opinions into whenever I get fired up about something. They are their own personalities, and the Lord is walking them through their own journeys, and the needed information is to be watered upon their lives when they are ready. If I am pushing and smushing them into a certain mask, I see they either aren't ready to apply their hearts to the discussion, or it is causing them to feel stifled. I don't like the fruit from that approach. It rears its head as judgementalism, rebellion, or even legalism. They do so much better when Jeremy and I take the time to talk and walk along the way with us. Whether they are in public school or homeschooled, heart to heart discussions and TIME together, seem to be so important in the growing up of these young people. Hannah and I have had the most open hearted talks when we go for our neighborhood walks. I am learning to let go of those things which aren't labeled as a "have to" in the scriptures, and just discussing God's heart towards the many issues they face and see in their generation. The subjects range from politics, careers/ministry, relationships, family, character, books, movies, and music.
I guess, what I am saying is that if Jeremy and I can help them have relationship with their SOURCE, the "said so's" will mean less, and they will learn to sort things out as they understand God's heart towards all these things. There are movies, books, and music that they have read/watched/listened to, that I wouldn't have thought we would have allowed. They aren't on their own with all this, it's just Jeremy and I don't want to create something as being a sin, when God hasn't called it so. It seems to be a matter of teaching them to look at things in the light of, "How will this affect my heart and relationship with God?" Teaching them how to "fish" or how to talk to God for themselves through prayer, Bible reading, and relationships that help them grow in this area is what they need. Of course, their enthusiastic mom isn't going anywhere either...