This past weekend I spent 10 hours in the car with our oldest daughter who happens to be 13 years old. We went on a small road trip to surprise her best friend. It started off with my Contemporary Christian music blaring loudly on the radio and me ROCKING out while my teenager rolled her eyes and acted like I was the biggest nerd on the planet. I quickly tuned into her disgust and asked her what music she wanted to listen to. I had barely finished my question and she was quick to turn the dial to today’s HITS and our roles reversed. She was jamming and I was rolling my eyes. As she tuned into my disgust she stated, “Mom, don’t act like you didn’t like this music when you were my age. Mimi told me how you used to listen to terrible music.” BOOM! Just like that she had me without any rebuttal.
I loosened up and we started jamming out together but slowly some of the words started really getting to me. It caused me to ask her if she knew what the songs were saying. She of course stated that she just liked the beat and didn’t pay attention to the words, but I wasn’t buying it. How can you hear repeat words over and over and them not penetrate into your soul? Desensitization is affecting our teenagers and we as parents have to be alert and ready to fight for our babies!
Wikipedia defines desensitization as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or averse stimulus after repeated exposure to it! PARENTS…this is a BIG DEAL!
Our babies are trying to find their way in this world and if we are not going to help them find it then the world will be happy to lead them. In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches about the way to Heaven.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
I don’t know about you but that statement is bold and loud and it wakes me up. Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to DESTRUCTION! I don’t want my children to live in destruction. I’m pretty sure none of us sit around the table with our friends and talk about destruction being our desire for our children, but that is exactly where they are headed if we aren’t teaching them the truth and the way that leads to LIFE!
The narrow gate is small and narrow! It’s pretty WEIRD and different than the world. Many of us are afraid to rock the boat with our children. We think that by being their friend and acting like everything is permissive will make the teenage years smoother and easier for all of us. To some extent that’s true. We can ignore their behavior and they can move along without rolling their eyes at us but in reality destruction is lurking. They are headed down the wide road and soon it will be hard to steer them back to the narrow. We have to be willing to have the tough conversations with them even if it means they roll their eyes and have a poor attitude with us.
Music is not the only thing they are becoming desensitized to. Filthy language is prevalent, disrespecting adults is on the rise and sex is cheap – thrown around on prime time television and in PG rated films like it’s not a sacred gift given to us from above. This is not going to change! This is our world we live in! This is the wide road Jesus was talking about over 2,000 years ago. So what do we do with this world we live in? We teach our children how to swim upstream against the current of the flow. It’s a fine line of being IN the world yet not OF the world. Jesus of course was the perfect example. He knew when to escape to the mountain tops to pray and then he would get back out and join the masses in the valley’s.
If we teach them right from wrong, they know it. If we don’t, they won’t. I have a dear friend that had a parent that allowed everything to be permissive. She would have parties and hope to get in trouble. She never would. She would go over to a friend’s house and see the structure and the discipline that her parents’ friend enforced and be envious. When there is structure and discipline there is LOVE! They feel safe and secure and know that they are valued. I want my babies to feel deeply LOVED, how about you?
Friends, our time to shape and mold our children is short. We truly only have a limited time to pour into their lives and influence them. Whether you have an infant, toddler, tween, teen or young adult your time with them is short. We have to make the most of our time with them and make every moment count. I recently learned about an app that I downloaded called the “Legacy Marble Countdown.” You can add a life event or a child’s event and it literally counts down your weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds left until that event takes place. It’s the theory of removing a marble a day from a jar until the jar is empty which comes from Psalm 90:12 that reads:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Here’s a look at the time I have left with each of my girl’s:
To some of you that might be too depressing, but to me it is my reality of the precious time I have to pour into them. It’s important to me to number my days and make them count. This is not just for my children, but for my grandchildren and great grandchildren and a thousand generations to come! I want each and everyone of them to be in His eternal Kingdom with me as we sing His praises forever and ever.
The last five hours of our trip were even sweeter than the first. Instead of jamming to the tunes we had it turned down low and we were talking…just the two of us. We talked about her friends, old and new. We talked about her dreams, her plans and her fears too. By the time we got home she said, “Hey mom, did you realize that on the way to Mansfield we mainly listened to the music but on the way home we talked.” So sweet of her to notice! I will never forget it.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Mimi was right, I used to listen to that terrible music but she never stopped training me. Now I am teaching my children how to walk in the light. Such a beautiful picture of God’s grace and love for His children.
Father, thank you for being our HEAVENLY FATHER that always LOVES us! Help us to be the kind of parents that trains our children in the way they should go. Help our children to obey. Help us on our hard days when they roll their eyes at us to keep pursuing righteousness. Help us to never give up on some of the greatest gifts that you have ever given us. Help us to number our days Lord and to make them count. We love you and only want to bring GLORY to your Holy name! Amen!!!