Train a child up in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not turn from it.
I have only one child and he is my pride and joy. My life is so full with him in it and I am delighted that he is becoming his own man. He is 15, with 16 approaching quickly, and desiring to assert his independence more so now than ever before.
I have been divorced for over 13 years, and though I have a great relationship with his father and we keep our son as the central focus, I am still a single mom without a dad in the house! My son has been brought up in church with me and has just recently proclaimed that he does not want to go to church anymore. The reasons are varied, and I have been praying greatly about this as there is a delicate balance to encouraging him to go to church, thus continuing to build his foundation in Christ, and to making him go to church, which would cause bitterness and resentment about church and create fights weekly in our home. Yes, I am the mom, and yes, I can “make” him go, but that does not foster his faith and his journey; it merely sets the stage for warfare in our home. After much prayer, God has made it abundantly clear that my son is NOT mine, he is GOD’S! In that one resonating statement, God is asking me to let go, and let him lead my son, which I will admit is hard. This is not hard because of my lack of trust in God, but because I know the journey will be hard, painful, and difficult for me to watch. After all, who wants to see their only child, or any child suffer in order to find a deep and meaningful relationship with God?
With all that said, herein lies my struggle: how do I continue to build on the foundation that has been built thus far without appearing critical and nagging, but at the same time holding true to my convictions and Scripture?
For example, just today, I came home from church and he was watching a show called “The League” which I must say leaves little to be desired and leaves nothing to the imagination. I sat, watched with him and then began a discussion about pornography, as that was blatantly displayed in this episode both visibly and verbally. I reminded him that it was inappropriate to watch this show as it promotes porn. His response, “How is it promoting porn?” My statement back to him was that by showing pornography and making it a normal part of these people’s lives (both married and single), the show was promoting it, saying it is okay for men and women to watch and discuss pornography. He then stated that it was something normal guys do. My response was that in the real world, a normal guy, a gentleman and Godly man would not find pornography normal, but in the show it makes it appear thus, to which he responded that he was done discussing it and going to go work out. So here I sit, wondering how to walk the line of showing him God and reminding him of God’s expectations in scripture to becoming a nagging, hypocritical, holier than thou mom (not that I see myself that way, but that is quickly becoming my son’s perception!)
I am reaching out to you all as brothers and sisters in Christ to find out what has and has not worked for you and your family when it comes to raising a child up in the way he or she should go. I know every child encounters a battle within to find his or her own faith, and I know that battle is different for everyone and can occur at varied times in life for each person. My son is there now, and I want, no, I desire with a great passion for him to grow and blossom in his walk with God and to become the man God created him to be. With the world screaming that what was once wrong (morally and Biblically speaking) is now right, I am finding myself in the midst of his battle, in the middle of the battle for my son’s soul!
I am really curious and would like some thoughts from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Prayers are also welcomed as I know the power of prayer can availeth much! Encouraging personal testimonies, things that have and haven’t worked when reaching your teen. Anything will help!
Yours sincerely! With love and blessings from a God that I know can work ALL things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose!