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Welcomed by God

Welcomed by God

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” 

Romans 15:7; ESV

She turned to look at me, an automatic response to an uncomfortable statement. Soft-expletive language, the kind we didn’t allow, shocked our home’s airwaves. They stood together in our kitchen, two blonde-bunned-heads with damp tendrils escaping, one straight and one curly. Tweens full of laughter, long legs, and fingernail polish. My daughter’s friend’s word hung in the air.

“Yes, I heard that,” my expression answered.

She turned away quickly, but not before I saw her eyes begging mine not to embarrass her.

Without another word I heard, “Don’t say anything, Mom,” as if it had been spoken. She hustled her friend toward their bedroom with giggles and whispers.

I had an uncomfortable feeling of disapproval simmering under my skin and murmuring underneath pursed lips. As my daughter stretched her umbilical cord thinner and thinner, I felt it more and more. She was amazing, so much sweetness, sauce, and smarts. Yet, so many new pieces of her life reached out of my control. Little things, not of my choosing or my preference, invaded where once I commanded.

Living under disapproval is a hard yoke to bear.

Children feel disapproval, even if we try to hide it. As my children entered double digit years, I sometimes felt uneasy about new independences. Situations I’d never faced came through their friends and expanding activities. At times, a thin veneer covered my own uncertainties and insecurities about how to handle their new stage in life, and it bled through to them as disapproval.

Parents should not fear calling out actions that are wrong. Whatever makes my child happy is not the right response to sin because ultimately it is not only bad for them, it also goes against the heart of God. On the other hand, a cloak of heavy-not-measuring-up makes everyone miserable.

I discovered in our children’s tween years, I needed to be aware of my own heart’s attitude toward them. Intentional questions when troubled feelings stirred, sometimes helped my inner unsettledness regain peace.

  • What is driving my feelings right now?
  • Is this an issue of right and wrong?
  • Does my child need correction or direction?
  • Am I reacting from fear?
  • Does my discomfort come from my insecurity or uncertainty?
  • Am I jealous of my child’s independence?
  • Is my reaction selfish?

How often I disappoint my Savior. Even though He responds with grace He loves me far too much to ignore my wanderings. He does not want me to develop sinful patterns of behavior. I don’t want my children to either.

“Therefore welcome one another…”

Tween years are important years to build that foundation into their souls. They should feel the welcome and love of Christ, woven throughout their upbringing. As parents, we are the conduit. We also want them to desire passionately to please Him through obedience. It is not always an easy paradox for a parent to accomplish well.

“…as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Rom. 15:7; ESV).

It is an anchor for every age and gives hope in each season to know His arms are always open wide.

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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