Helping Parents Embrace the Awkwardness of Spiritual Parenting
For the most part, we try to avoid awkwardness.
And yet, when parents try to create a faith-filled moment in their home, it can sometimes create awkwardness.
Therefore, parents often put off creating shared spiritual experiences in their family due to a fear of awkwardness.
As a youth minister, you know how important it is that parents are the main disciple-makers in their children’s lives. So what’s a really great youth minister, like you, to do to help these parents create meaningful, shared spiritual experiences in their homes?
Here are three inspirational messages you can put on repeat with the parents that you serve to encourage them to be spiritually strategic with their teenager...
1. It’s worth it to push through the awkward moments.
On the other side of awkwardness is intimacy. Just think back to your first kiss, first date, first dance, or pretty much your whole 7th grade year. When you push past awkward moments, you get to experience something amazing. Cheer parents on by telling them, “If you just survive the awkwardness you might get to enjoy an amazing moment of worship or spiritual growth with your teenager. I promise, that will be worth it.“
2. You don’t have to hit a home run every time.
When it comes to spiritually training their teenagers, parents don’t have to bat a thousand. In fact, they should expect there to be moments when their teenager’s reaction to their spiritual leadership doesn’t match their expectations. Help them understand they’re not trying to create a spiritual robot who says, “Thank you Mother and Father for your divine wisdom, and spiritual support.” It’s OK for teenagers to roll their eyes, watch the clock, or act uninterested every once in a while. They’re humans, and they won’t always respond the way parents hoped. BUT, if you encourage parents to keep trying, there just might be one of those beautiful moments where God shows up. Then they will get the privilege of watching Him turn their home into holy ground. Those sacred moments are the reward for persistent parents who endure the awkwardness.
3. Trying is cool.
One of my favorite Star Wars quotes is when Yoda says, “There is no try, there is only do.” Well, in this particular instance I’m going to have to disagree with old Yoda. When passing down faith in our homes, it’s awesome to try. Tell parents, ”You see, you can’t control whether or not your teenager responds to your spiritual leadership. At some point your teenager will have to go on his or her own journey with God. All you can do is make sure you spiritually lead your child. When the adolescent journey is over, you at least want to know that you tried to lead your teenager spiritually. Then pray like crazy that he or she will follow your leadership.“
Many of the parents in your ministry know they need to lead their teenager spiritually. That’s not the problem. But the thoughts of the awkward moments that will inevitably happen scare them.
It may be that your regular messages of encouragement help those parents move past their fear and into the beautiful intimacy of passing down faith in their home.
If you'd like some more help encouraging the parents in your ministry, check out the Parent Ministry resources in the ym360 store!