How I became a better mom to my teens

How I became a better mom to my teens

I had to put a magnifying glass on my own life to learn how to be a better mom.

I had a very troubled teen that was totally out of control. This was despite all of our efforts to shield our children from bad influences. I had done all I knew to do. I had prayed a lot, taught God’s Word and tried to be a good example for my children.

I kept asking myself: “What did I do wrong?” I blamed myself, thinking that somehow I was responsible.

An eye-opening verse

But then I read a verse that had a really eye-opening effect for me. It was this verse in 1 Timothy 2:15: “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control.”

This took my eyes off my teen and put the magnifying glass on me.

Right away I started to measure myself to this word: was I continuing in faith for my teen and myself, even though the situation looked bleak? Was I showing love, even when they didn’t “deserve”  or want it? Were my actions guided by holiness and self-control? I noticed some temptations in my thoughts, that weren’t in line with God’s Word. Thoughts of doubt regarding the situation, for example. I also struggled with fear and picturing the worst-case scenario. So I really fought against these thoughts using Hebrews 4:12 as a weapon: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

It was so easy to get sidetracked by the “offenses” of my teen. I wondered why, after everything I did for them, couldn’t they see or understand? These thoughts had to be cleansed out of my mind. After a lot of prayer and reading God’s Word to encourage myself, I saw so much work that needed to be done in me. I thought, “How can I point fingers at my teen, when I have so much to work on myself?” That’s when I saw how much mercy God had on me, even when I didn’t see my own need and was so determined to change my teen. I didn’t realize I was trying to control my situation and needed to give everything into God’s hands.

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Eyes of mercy

More and more I started seeing my teen with eyes of mercy. God had loved me even while I was still a sinner. I began to take a different approach; I accepted that I couldn’t do the work, only God could, so my prayer life vastly expanded. Now my needs were handed over to Him. I knew now that God couldn’t accomplish what He wanted to in my trials, if I was still holding on to my own strength. These are such high thoughts to think that somehow I could accomplish anything good of myself!

So I entrusted my teen totally into God’s hands. And yes, God did do an awesome work, even though it took years. I was growing in blind faith. No matter what happened from that point on, or how the situation looked, I knew my children were in God’s hands. He would not allow anything to happen that I couldn’t bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:3)

Such peace filled my heart, like I had never known! I didn’t look at the storm, but only into Jesus’ eyes. Just like Peter when he was walking on the water. God could save my teen and me.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.