"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?
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