Monday, March 25, 2013

A Parent's Idols

"Teenagers will instinctively find and trash our idols. (Surely, this is God's doing rather than our teenager's intent.) Our sons and daughters will tend to find our 'hot buttons' and regularly press them.

If we have an inordinate love for things, the teenager will dent the car the first time he drives it alone. In his nervousness to explain what happened, he will inadvertently sit on-and break-the plastic cover to the new stereo, while spilling his soda on your new oriental rug! There is a great temptation to lash out and say, 'Why don't you just trash every valuable thing in the house? It seems to be the one thing you're good at!' This is but one example of a very important principle we need to keep in mind. Our communication problems with our teenager exist not simply because of our child's character, but also because of our idolatry.

When desire for things (possessions, position, love, respect, appreciation, peace and comfort) takes the functional rulership over our hearts that the Lord alone should have, the result will inevitably be conflict in our relationships." -Excerp taken from Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp.

Hmmm, some food for thought. What are my idols? What makes me so angry if it is invaded, displaced, or ruined?

I was faced with one of these idols today. My daughter called me up from school and said she needed basketball shorts for her basketball academy after school. I was furious! I was not very kind to Jessica as I was speaking with her on the phone and asking her why she didn't remember this herself. The truth be told, she had interfered with my plans. I didn't want to rush out to her school right after picking up the other two kids from the bus stop. When I was I my way to the school (20 minutes away), I realized that I hadn't told her she needed to bring shorts with her to the academy. I was the one that had not prepared her and let her know what she should bring. I needed to apologize. My own selfishness got in the way of what was truly important, my relationship with my daughter. Impatience leads to anger. I struggle with this as a mom. I want things NOW!

I had also noticed that my need for respect from my children had become an idol. Respect at all costs? Hmmm, at the sacrifice of relationship? Not good. For me, any kind of disrespect makes me furious. When I am angry, I generally sin. Although respect is important, it can't become my idol.

Now it's your turn. Can you recognize and confess an idol of yours?


Ma said...

I am selfish when it comes to "me time". If I'm reading or blogging or trying to do housework or anything that I don't want to be interrupted with,I tend to be quite short.


aimee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aimee said...

Wish you had been part of my world when my children were small...your words have much wisdom.
I am similar to you in the things you have mentioned and similar also to 'ma' above. I truly grieve over all the missed opportunities I had when my kids were still living in our home and try now to be 'there' (truly there) for them when they call or are here visiting(I still fail at times).
Have a blessed Holy Week and thank you for your honesty and humility.
Blessings to you + yours,

RaD said...

Yeah, the respect thing has gotten me all wound up more than once. God's been teaching me to give them grace. I usually ask me son to hang out in his room until he can talk nicely about whatever it is we're dealing with and that has helped a lot for both of us. I don't get as angry and he usually has a chance to see how he was acting and apologize. I also have a chance to apologize if I have been rude myself.

My daughter tries my patience at the things that she "forgets" which I know sometimes is an honest mistake and sometimes she just didn't want to do it. But I can't come down on her with full force anger for an accident when the last time she might have lied about it. I've got to breath and analyze the situation first. So trying... for both of us.

Grandma Becky said...

I know how you feel, Stacie. We want children to remember what they need on what day. For me, I get disgusted when I ask for something to be done and its not done when I get home from work. Goodness, you had all day. You can x amount of hours on facebook but you can't do what I asked you to do? Of course she has college work to do which takes a lot of time. Sigh, it usually gets done and I try not whine. Thanks for the thoughts.

Camille said...

What a wonderful post my friend. How blessed we are to belong to the gracious HE is with us! Don't you just *love* that book by Mr. Tripp? I found it to be such an encouragement to read. :)

Blessings to you!

Kristin Bridgman said...

I just read a book called "Idol Lies"...very convicting! You might like my next post I'm putting up tonight called 'Why I Gave 40 Things Away;)

Bless you for being honest and opeing the eyes of the rest of us. Have a blessed Easter!

Ellie Rae said...

My children are grown now, but when they were little, I worried too much about a clean house. It is important, yes, but not as important as time with the children and a good relationship with them (not yelling when they mess the floor you just cleaned). Before I had children, women would say to me, oh, you have no children, that is why your house is clean. After I had them, I was out to prove that even though I had children, I could have a clean house, and I did. But I may have gone overboard.

...they call me mommy... said...

Great post! My is just time...ack. I get so impatient when really what is more important that my family?! Certainly not the internet or cleaning or whatever...that will always be here...they will not.


Rachel and Family said...

Love those boys :))

Great post!

Jenn said...

I am reading that book right now and learning some really great things.

Camille said...

Dearest friend...I just visited Jackie's blog and learned about Marcus. I am praying for him and for you all at this trying time. So sorry you have been going through this.

Also...I learned that your birthday was last week...Happy Belated Birthday!

Much love,

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