Discipling at a Distance
The LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
You should always consider your children your primary “disciples”—the main ones you’re responsible in leading to faith in Christ and keeping infused with biblical truth and spiritual guidance. But this can become a very difficult task, especially through the teenage years, when simply keeping up a conversation can present a challenge. Many teenagers—boys especially—just don’t seem to want to talk.
Don’t give up. Continue to pursue them. Be prepared for that moment when the mood shifts and the words finally come out of their mouths, when the opportunity to make a connection opens up right in front of you. We’ll never forget the struggle we had when one of our teenage sons didn’t want to talk to us. It was a constant challenge to initiate a relationship with him. He felt he could do just fine without us. Over and over again, Barbara and I reminded ourselves that we were the adults and he was the child, that what he needed from us was mature, adult love—not immature rejection.
It’s easy in such situations to feel hurt and to withdraw, to quit caring what God wants them to learn. But that’s the exact opposite of what your teen needs. When we continued to pursue a relationship with our son, time revealed the benefit he received from having two parents who never stopped loving and believing in him. Believing in your child is one of your child’s greatest needs.
Our model in pursuing our children is Jesus Himself: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). He knows better than anyone the kind of work and patience it takes to make disciples.
What are the main causes of distance and separation between you and your children? Which are normal and need to be overlooked, and which ones are trouble spots that you need to pay attention to?
Pray for persistent, active patience in developing a relationship with your kids.