For a parent, the ages from birth to twelve are physically exhausting years, however, the teen years bring emotional exhaustion. The teen years are when YOU get to grow up. How you handle the teen years will determine if you are going to remain friends with your kids as adults. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:4: "Father's do not exasperate your children." The way that you exasperate your children is by requiring higher standards of them, than you require of yourself. What I mean by that is that you are allowed to raise your voice and yell at your kid, but if your kid raises his voice and yells at you, he gets grounded or gets in trouble. No, that is not right. If you mess up you need to be held accountable and your kids should be allowed to correct you as well. Tim and I used to have to get on our knees (there's something very humbling about getting on your knees) and pray after we have lost our temper or used a wrong tone of voice with our teenagers.
During the teen years this prayer became part of our "Punishment Wall" and both teenager and/or parent would have to go to the wall, take it down and pray it. Even Dad.
Tell the Lord that you are turning today. From this day forward you have set my heart that I am an adult and there is no excuse when I have a smart mouth. It was because I HAD A BAD ATTITUDE. When I am irritated IT IS BECAUSE I HAVE A BAD ATTITUDE. I WILL LIVE THIS WAY OF HUMILITY.
“LORD JESUS I REPENT, I TURN, I CHOOSE THIS DAY TO GROW UP, TO BE AN ADULT, TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ATTITUDES AND I THANK YOU FOR YOUR GRACE TO REPENT. AND OUT OF THIS REPENTANCE I ASK YOUR FORGIVENESS BY THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS. I RECEIVE FORGIVENESS, I RECEIVE CLEANSING. BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS I FORGIVE MYSELF. I EMBRACE THE GRACE TO DELIGHT IN DRINKING THE FRUITS OF MY ATTITUDES. I WANT TO GROW UP AND I MAY SLIP AND FALL, BUT WHEN I DO I CHOOSE THIS DAY TO DRINK THE CUP AND TO GROW. SO I WORSHIP YOU, I DELIGHT IN YOU, I TRUST YOU. JESUS, YOU'RE MY STRENGTH,YOU’RE MY HOPE, YOU’RE MY LIFE, YOU’RE MY VICTORY AND I GIVE YOU ALL THE GLORY. IN JESUS' NAME AMEN.”
Other punishments the kids gave me:
1. I had to make TJ's bed for a week for him, due to loosing my temper with him.
2. I had to pay the kids money on several occasions for a bad tone of voice.
We have a policy that you can talk about anything and everything in our home as long as you do it calmly and humbly. We paid the price, but our home is a home of peace and it was so worth it.
A humble man WANTS TRUTH MORE THAN HE WANTS TO BE RIGHT.
I have quite a bit to say regarding the teen years, so we are going to park it right here for the next few days.