For quite some time, I have worked with teenagers inside and outside the church. Last year, I was invited to share a presentation on “Parenting Teenagers” at a public school; I found that even though I don’t have teenagers of my own, so much time spent with them has taught me a lot. One of the most wonderful things about teenagers is their brains. They are full of new and very useful knowledge—and a fair amount of skepticism.
I believe God’s relationship with us often resembles the relationship of a parent with their teen (except in God’s case He is actually always right). I often forget my Heavenly Father’s teachings. I try to improve my life based on what I know of the world and forget God has been here longer and knows better. But I really don’t think I’m better than God; I just want
to do things on my own.
Then, when the Holy Spirit or the Scriptures remind me of the presence of God the Father, I decide to trust and obey. This is one of the major themes in Proverbs 3, and why I love this passage: it reminds me that I have a Father I can trust.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:1-6)
I want to embrace my teenage/father relationship with God. I want to enjoy it and I know my Father in Heaven enjoys it too. With its ups and downs, with my immaturity and lack of perfection, I can feel His love when I listen to Him, and I can accept His correction when I need my paths straightened. I know I don’t understand and know everything that my
Father does; therefore, trying to be a good son, I will trust in Him.
Questions for reflection and discussion: How does your relationship with God seem similar to your relationship with your parents or children? What are things you can do to improve your trust in God?