Hello Parents of the Student Ministry.
Thanks for stopping by my website to learn about our upcoming Series called TEN. Below you will find some helpful information about the new series that will start on Wednesday Night – January 8th.
1. We’re Teaching this.
Thirty-five hundred years ago Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with a short list of rules that has shaped the values of people and nations for centuries. We know them as the Ten Commandments, but do we really know them? Many people believe that the rules are a condition for a relationship with God, things we must do to get in His good graces. That is the opposite of the truth! The relationship came before the rules. And the commandments were meant to not only reveal God’s heart, but to keep His people free.
2. Think About This
From Losing Your Marbles / Playing for Keeps by Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivy, Elizabeth Hansen
Most of you aren’t planning to pack up a duffle bag, walk out the door, and never turn around. But there are times, for many of us, when we (unintentionally) disengage emotionally.
There will come a time in every kid’s life when things get messy. Maybe they get sick. Maybe they become sad or hurt emotionally. Maybe they suffer a natural consequence to a decision they made. These aren’t the kind of circumstances you create, and you certainly can’t change them—even though you might want to. But how you respond in these critical moments will forever impact your relationship. And it will affect the way they respond to and interpret their situations.
It’s interesting when you read the Bible and watch how God interacted with the Israelites in the Old Testament. He showed up. He gave them rules. And then they broke the rules, over and over and over again.
Maybe rules were made knowing they would be broken. It’s not that rules weren’t made to be followed. I’m sure if we all followed every rule, there would be less anger, pain, and violence. When a rule is broken, it creates a unique opportunity to prove love.
In other words, you have an opportunity as a parent or as a leader to show up in the life of a kid or teenager to give them rules that will help keep them safe physically and emotionally. But when they break a rule (and at some point they will), and you show up anyway, you communicate unconditional love.
That’s what God did. He gave the rules.
We broke them.
He showed up anyway.
It doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences. It doesn’t mean that there’s no place for correction or instruction. Of course, we want to help kids and teenagers learn from their experiences and make wise choices in the future. But it does mean that you should never punish them relationally. Regardless of what they’ve done, you still have the opportunity to show up to prove…
- You aren’t going anywhere.
- They still matter.
- You will see them through the mess.
3. Try This
Mistakes are both healthy and inevitable. So how do we respond in a way that reinforces boundaries without risking the relationship?
- Decide in advance how you will respond. In tough moments, with emotions running high, it is so tempting to respond with words or actions that you may later regret. Have a family plan for what happens when rules are broken.
- Keep the relationship first. If we model permanent, life-long, nothing-you-can-do-will-keep-me-from-loving-you relationships, they will learn to do the same.
- Stick to the consequences. Consequences are healthy. One of the best things you can do for your student is plan, implement, and stick with consequences. When they apologize or we sense remorse, it is so tempting to say, “Oh alright, no consequences this time”, but remember that they are learning a principle that they will apply to more than one situation.
Communicate the plan. An easy way to confirm that students understand expectations is have them repeat them back to you in the form of an “if/then” statement. For example: “If I get all A’s, then I will be allowed to have a sleepover.” “If I text after 10pm, then I will lose my phone for 1 week.”