Written by Gordon Mcdonald : Sponsored by Good Book Company
I’ve been in youth ministry for nearly 7 years, and I’ve ministered to droves of parents and students. I could tell you all kinds of stories – good, bad, redemptive, hilarious, and heart-breaking. As I’ve surveyed these interactions, however, a single summarizing word comes to mind: “shocked”.
“MY kid is looking at porn? NO!”
“My girl would NEVER do that to someone else. She’s such a sweetheart!”
“My boy using drugs? I don’t think so…”
And then I show them the website. I give them tangible evidence of what she did. I pull out the bag of weed. And then I watch the world melt before the parent’s eyes. “I just never thought my _______ was capable of something like that.”
I’m left shocked as well – not because parents are foolish, or because students are sinful. I’m shocked that parents are shocked. “How could they have missed that? Wasn’t it obvious? How many context clues does it take? How many comments and raised eyebrows from others? How many obvious lies?”
It’s a frustrating and disheartening experience for all involved. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The #1 Difference Maker
Over the years, I’ve also been blessed to see students who are real with their parents. Despite the pull of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to create multiple well-crafted identities, these students are real. They confess their flaws and grow closer to God and their families through them.
What’s the difference?
The #1 difference is this: ”real” students come from safe homes. Put simply, a safe home is a place where it’s okay to fail. In fact, it’s expected, and embraced. Rather than excusing their children’s sin or “fixing” it, these parents resolve to love their children through imperfection. And that’s the #1 way to keep our children real.
Are You a Safe Parent? Read more…