There’s a meme that I’ve been seeing on Facebook since Christmas. It says, “Now that Christmas is over, I’m ready for summer!”

Ready for the next thing… Wanting what we don’t have… I know I’m guilty of this.

As parents, we often find ourselves impatient with the stage of life our child is in. I remember when kids were little, I wished that one weekend a month they were grown and gone. And that when they were grown and gone, that one weekend a month they would be little and in our homes and arms again.

Life doesn’t work that way, does it?

Many times parenting teenagers can be challenging. They’re stretching their wings and showing the independence that will serve them well when they’re in their twenties and it’s time for them to leave home.

In this new year, a new way of looking at life with teens could be helpful. “Be glad for what you have.” This is the final sprint. These are our last days and months to prepare them before launching them into the world.

What do we want to instill in them yet? Here are some things we can do.

  • Model an active spiritual life of prayer, reading God’s Word and attending church, and pray that God keeps them strong in the faith.
  • Discuss important things like dating only Christians, what to look for in a mate, career choices, purity, finances, etc.
  • Teach them life skills such as cooking, car care, hygiene, time management and wisdom in using technology, etc.

The years fly by and we have fewer than 7,000 days from the time a child is born until he or she turns eighteen. That’s not many days! Each day that number becomes smaller. Each day we have less time to love on our kids and influence them, to prepare them and help them to love God and love others.

This year, let’s make our kids a priority. Let’s see the good in them and remember that God is shaping them into the person He wants them to be. Remember that this independence we see in them is a healthy thing. Soon they will be on their own. Our relationship will change. And the love we invest in them now will yield rich rewards. But for now, we’ll enjoy the stage of life we’re all in right now and ask God to make us all into the people He wants us to be.

This New Year, let’s be glad for what we have! Enjoy your kids!

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3