From Rebel to Redeemed

“Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. His half-brothers grew up and chased him off the land. So Jephthah fled from his brothers and soon had a band of worthless rebels following him.” Judges 11: 1-3 (NLT)

Jephthah had a rough start in life; his mother was a prostitute, and his half-brothers rejected him. So as you read the remainder of the story, it’s no wonder he hung with a “band of worthless rebels.” Nevertheless, Jephthah had the makings of a leader, used by God as a mighty warrior, while Isreal was without a king, despite his family dynamics.

Are you anticipating the teen years to be a struggle? You may be in the midst of challenging days currently. Have you noticed any social awkwardness, low self-esteem, unkindness, or emotional instability in your teen? These can stem from family dynamics, abuse, or a personality bend. So here’s the mindset while coaching your teen through this season of life: “Do not parent out of fear.” Yep! It’s the best advice I have ever received!

There are no coincidences as a child of the king. He has you and your teen’s name written in the palm of his hand ( Is. 49.46). He uses every success and failure for His glory. As a parent, the job is to navigate these potentially turbulent years with His love and grace.

Mom, you set the tone in your home. Sustain dialog with your teen by listening. Be available and prepared for them to open up at the most inconvenient times! Ask yourself, “How am I modeling my confidence in the Lord, boldness for truth, and grace-filled kindness?

Here are a few suggestions:

-Pray and keep praying scripture over your teen. God’s word produces fruit and accomplishment (Is. 55:11, NLT). Stormie Omartian’s book, The Power of the Praying Parent, helped me pray specifics for our children.

-Be available and listen. Delay offering advice until the opportune time.

-Be transparent and truthful with your teen.

-Ask forgiveness from your teen when appropriate (not just “I’m sorry,” but “Will you forgive me?”)

God is so merciful. He desires to bless you and your teen no matter the circumstances of your current situation in life. This truth is incredibly encouraging if you come from a dysfunctional family (as sons of Adam, we ALL do). However, God can use anyone willing, despite our family tree or lineage.

So, fear not, precious mother. The teen years are the coaching phase, and it can be rewarding. Embrace it, remembering that love casts out fear. (I John 4:18)

“If young people fail to find security in their homes, they will find it by being “in” with their friends. How much better to have a secure place of acceptance and belonging in the home? By the time your children turn thirteen, their friends’ counsel will significantly influence them.” -Chuck Swindoll.

Love, Melissa Lain

Melissa Lain
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