Friday, July 17, 2009

Parents can fuel or put out the fire like no one else

Just listened to a voice mail of a dad who gets it. It was a thanks to all those leaders involved at Summer Camp who pushed his daughter to go all out for Christ. He was overjoyed with the zeal and passion he saw in his daughter. The thank you meant a lot, but what really got me excited hearing from a dad had just thrown gasoline on the fire that was started in his daughter.

Many times (more than I want to count) a student will come home to share with a parent what has happened, and immediately be met by "the voice of reason." Although I believe there are good intentions in this, I cringe when I hear students are initially met with statements like,
"You're on a spiritual high."
"Let's not get too carried away."
"I better see some changes in you at home."
"Let's take it slow and see what happens."

These statements an be potentially dangerous... especially when they are the first words out. Those can all be correct and valuable phrases to be shared. A parent will have to play the voice of reason in his/her kids' lives, but they also have the opportunity to fuel a faith in children that can produce a ridiculous dreamer and radical follower of Jesus Christ.

I would hope the first phrases from parents who see kids return from camp with a fire in them be,
"Go for it!"
"I love what I'm hearing."
"How can we best help and encourage you as you put this into action?"
"I/We believe in you and your potential."
"Anything I can do to see you grasp all God has for you, I'm in!"
Or maybe it's no words, just a huge smile, a laugh, and a gigantic hug!

Parents, there are far too many fires that have to be put out when raising teens. Don't let the fire of God that get's built up from a perspective gaining experience like camp be one of them. Fan that fire into a flame that will equal out to spiritual growth at home!


Anonymous said...

Well versed. Thanks for the reminder to wisely encourage newly-on-fire-for-God people in a way that will produce positive & maximum growth.

Anonymous said...

My parents prefer to put the fire out on me. They tell me I am going to hell, have no idea when I became a Christian, they hate it when I try to practice faith, and there I sit stuck losing my faith minute by minute. I wish more parents could fan the flame, cause I am sick of being put out and pushed away.

Carter Bob said...

Derry, this is so true! if only some of us could have this! i fell with the anonymous comment... its hard but thats when we have to turn to God and mentors... Thanks for always being there for me Derry!

God Bless!