by Joey and Carla Link
In case you’re wondering, it is normal for kids (especially when they hit the early teen years), to put on rose-colored glasses and do things that just don’t make sense. Your boys take off on a bike ride with their friends without asking permission. You gave them permission to go to their friend’s house, but not to ride two miles away to another friend’s house. When you question them about it, they don’t see what they did wrong. They are home safe and sound, aren’t they? So what’s the big deal?
Let’s say your son gets a crush on a nice girl. You have him put on his “God glasses” so he can see the pitfalls of being involved in a dating relationship when he is just starting high school. He agrees that he needs to break it off with this girl. So he says. But the truth is he doesn’t. Thinking he knows just as much as you do, he decides to contact her behind your back and leads you to believe nothing is going on. Now your trust is broken and you power up and unload the lecture of all lectures, landing a direct hit, only he disagrees with you and the ensuing argument leaves you tired and tense and puts a wall up between you and your son.
Kids grow up wanting what they want and while they are getting it, they take their eyes off of Jesus and put them on friends, a girl, the newest electronic gadget, or something else that takes their eyes off truth, honesty and reality. The worst part is they are willing to sacrifice their relationship with you, but they know you will be there when they need you because that’s your job as their parent. The reason they are doing these things is because they got the idea they know what is best, yet in reality they don’t begin to have all the answers. How can you bring them back to the truth of God’s Word?
Bake some cookies with this child. Yes, even with your boys! After all, they will love eating them! 🙂 But the one thing you need to do is replace the sugar with salt. To them, it will look the same; just don’t let them taste it. Mix it all up as you talk about your concerns with some of the decisions he has been making. It’s not that you don’t trust him, you just don’t think he has the information or experience he needs to make the wisest decision. Explain to him that sometimes you can make mistakes that can be very costly and be hard, if not impossible to overturn. Let him know that even at your advanced age (according to him) you still seek advice from others when you need to make important decisions. Make sure your talking is a conversation, and not a lecture.
As soon as the cookies are done baking, take them out and give your son /daughter the first one. As he bites into it, he will be sure to spit it out as there is no way it will taste good.
Ask him what is wrong. He will most likely blame you for doing something to the cookies. Before you start baking, have sugar in a bowl and salt in a different bowl set aside where your child can’t see them. Bring them out and ask your child if he can tell the difference by looking at the two bowls. Didn’t the cookies look good before he tasted them? The moral of this story is this: you have to have the right ingredients to get the desired results. How something looks at first glance (salt instead of sugar) is not sufficient to ensure the best results.
It is the same when making decisions. At first glance not having enough information because he didn’t know what questions to ask, or not having the experience that would let him know if what he wants to do is the right choice.
Having someone wiser to help him think through and work through decisions he makes is what God gave him parents for – to help him learn and see what is right from wrong and to stop him from making a big mistake.
Let him know you may not be perfect parents, but you certainly can see a little further down the road from the life experience God has given you and you really don’t want him to make mistakes that you can foresee will hurt him. Therefore, you would like to ask him to give you the benefit of the doubt. Ask him to trust you, and to give you an opportunity to help him learn how to tell the difference between the sugar and salt.