James 1 and Teenagers

James 1 and Teenagers

My teenagers are a gift from God.  I know that.  I love that.  I love my teenagers to the moon and back.  It is also a gift that I have the challenge of communicating well with my teenagers.   This challenge includes using the right tone of voice at the right time, listening before assuming, and keeping them talking even when it is hard, even when I want to retreat and give up.   Before this morning I would have never considered this challenge a gift.  To me, it was more like a season I must endure or another area of my life that broadcasts my weaknesses to those I love the most.  So this morning I smiled as I read James 1 in the message.  It was just like God was speaking directly to me in this season.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so that you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4)

I must admit that my faith-life is daily forced into the open.  We are homeschooling this year so I not only have the opportunity to communicate with my teens as a mom but also as their teacher.   My teens and I are pretty much together 24-7 giving us lots of opportunities to communicate well but also communicate not so well.   It is a season of talking through how to write papers, future plans after high school, and through issues that arise within our family.   Some days we are on the same page, and other days our personalities clash.  Every day is a day we can either give grace or withhold it. Which means that everyday, I need to put in to practice James 1:5-6a
“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father.  He loves to help.  You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.”
God gives me an opportunity daily to show my faith’s true colours but the great news is that I don’t do it alone.  I have help.  All I have to do is ask.  So you bet, I am asking daily and taking this challenge one day at a time.
What gift or challenge do you have right now that is showing your faith-life’s true colours?
Dear God, Thank you for all things even the hard things.  Thank you for the chance to school and be with my children this year everyday all day.  Help me to not give up on working on my communication with them and others around me.  Give me listening ears and soft words.  May my conversation filled with grace so that I may know how to answer those around me.  In Jesus name, Amen