Last night during our church service my husband reminded me of something I had declared years ago. Back when our children were younger the teens in our church sat in a particular section of the sanctuary. There were times that because they were unsupervised they got a little out of hand, particularly with the talking and I could recall a couple of incidences where our pastor actually stopped preaching and scolded the teens.
Back then I had declared that when our children became teenagers they would never be allowed to sit with their friends. They would have to sit with us.
So last night we were enjoying a wonderful message being preached by our youth pastor. His message was about craving God and craving His Word. It was one of those messages where you think everyone would have to be impacted by it.
At the end of the message we stood up for praise and worship. I looked across the sanctuary to see my two oldest children who were sitting with their friends. Both of them were not only still sitting down during praise and worship but they were chatting with their friends. I poked my husband in the ribs and pointed to them. It was later on when he would remind me of what I had said when they were younger, that they would never be allowed to sit with their friends.
My initial thought was to stop allowing them to sit with their friends for our Sunday evening service. Yet a reality hit me. Whether they sat with us or their friends, it wouldn’t change their hearts. A relationship with God begins in the heart and if their hearts are closed off to hear something from Him, where they sit really won’t make a difference.
It only showed me that I need to step up my prayers for my teenagers. They have this pull between the world, which includes their friends, and allowing themselves to really hear the Lord’s message. But where they are physically stationed isn’t what matters. It is where they are spiritually stationed.
Our teens are in a real battle. Most of them don’t even recognize that. So it is up to us parents to stand in the gap until they are at that point where they know to do the fighting themselves.
Meanwhile don’t give up on your prayers for your teens. We are raising them in an age where the pull of the world and all of its distractions are very strong. Yet we are not alone. We have One who not only created our children but cares for them more than we ever could. Stand in the gap for your teens.