“And Then I Had Teenagers” by S. Yates
Chapter 1: The Fearful Parent
A Quick Look at Ten Common Challenges
(These are the topics we will discuss week by week this fall)
- What’s Normal, What’s Not?
- Walking on Eggshells?
- You Just Don’t Understand!
- Why Can’t You Just Trust Me?
- Help! How Should I Handle . . . ?
- But All My Friends Get To . . .
- I’m Not Sure I Believe . . .
- I Never Thought “It” Would Happen to Me
- How Am I Supposed to Know Which College or Job Is Right?
- Leaving—Is My Child Ready? Am I?
Meditate on Psalm 34.
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.
1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Footnote (cause I thought this was interesting) Psalm 34:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
What are my fears as I parent teens?
fears for myself?
fears for my child?
(So worth doing…as we shared in class, this can bring up a lot of emotions. And we can call on God’s truth to calm our hearts and direct our thoughts.)
What do each of these passages say to you personally?
(In class, we did this together and it was very enlightening to do as a group.)
Psalm 86:15-16 (NIV)
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
(this is the verse that spoke most personally to my fears for my teens spiritual path. God reminded me that I do not need to control it and as a mother, I can influence my children by my example of service. Later that evening I was reminded of this truth as my teen volunteered along side me at the Hope market … and she was more gifted at the job than I was … her young eyes could read the small print on the vendor roster and maps).
Romans 8:34 (NIV)
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Insert your teen’s name for each blank, making Psalm 139 your personal prayer!
1 You have searched ________________________, Lord,
and you know ________________________.
2 You know when ________________________ sits and when ________________________ rises;
you perceive ________________________ thoughts from afar.
3 You discern ________________________ going outs and ________________________ lying downs;
you are familiar with all ________________________ ways.
4 Before a word is on ________________________ tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem ________________________ in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon ________________________.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for ________________________,
too lofty for ________________________ to attain.
7 Where can ________________________ go from your Spirit?
Where can ________________________ flee from your presence?
8 If ________________________ goes up to the heavens, you are there;
if ________________________ makes ________________________ bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If ________________________ rises on the wings of the dawn,
if ________________________ settles on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide ________________________,
your right hand will hold ________________________ fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide ________________________
and the light become night around ________________________”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created ________________________ inmost being;
you knit ________________________ together in ________________________ mother’s womb.
14 ________________________ praises you because ________________________ is fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
________________________ know that full well.
15 ________________________ frame was not hidden from you
when ________________________ was made in the secret place,
when ________________________ was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw ________________________ unformed body;
all the days ordained for ________________________ were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to ________________________ are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were ________________________ to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when ________________________ awakes, ________________________ is still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from ________________________, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Does ________________________ not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 ________________________ has nothing but hatred for them;
________________________ counts them my enemies.
23 Search ________________________, God, and know ________________________ heart;
test ________________________ and know ________________________ anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in ________________________,
and lead ________________________ in the way everlasting.