Bring it Home (January)

Be Present

I am still a fairly new parent, my daughter is only 2. Yet, at the same time I cannot believe she is 2 already! Where has the time gone?  It feels like only yesterday that the doctors were placing her in my arms to hold her for the first time. I am sure you can relate, although, your children are teenagers now.

As the poem above illustrates, time is a fickle mistress. It seems like each year just moves by faster and faster. James discusses the brevity of life in James 4:14; "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away."

Our time on earth is short, which means our time to parent and disciple our children is also very short. We want to make sure that our children are growing to be adults that are going to contribute to society, We also need to make sure that they also have a strong relationship with Jesus.

How is this done? We must be present in their lives. I cannot tell you how often I have gone to restaurants and seen families are staring at their phones. I'm guilty of doing this too. This is not being present though. Even though we are there with them, we are absent. As I have spent my time studying teens, and how to reach them, a major theme comes back.

They want us to be present in their lives. They want to know we care. I had a close friend in high school who wanted nothing more then to have his parents present in his life. We both ran on the cross country team together. While my father and mother rarely missed a meet, his parents rarely attended one. Although he never said it out loud, it was evident in his actions. My friend had everything a teen could want, except parents who were present. He told me once that he wished his parents would come to our cross country meets like mine did.

 I am trying to get us to consider is, what are we missing when we're not present? Are we missing our teens games? Are we missing important moments? What are we missing when we're not present, either by playing with our cell phones or other things?

If we are to disciple our families, we need to be present. This means that we have to make it priority to be there when they need us. This year as you disciple your family, take time to be there for them. Go to their events, set aside time for you to eat meals as a family, ask them questions about their day(not just yes or no questions), really take time to be present. Be present because your teens need it, and it is a great way to show them God's love, as God is always present as well.

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