I share a pretty great relationship with my pre-teen daughter. We regularly have heart-to-heart conversations, usually initiated by her I’m glad to say. One such conversation took place last night after our youth program at church, while I was putting away the sound equipment.
I won’t share the specific details, but I can tell you that the conversation sprang from an observation she had made earlier that night, while hanging out with her friends. A comment was made about her (not by one of her friends) that was not true, and therefore hurtful. When she told me who had made the comment, I wasn’t surprised. I told her that I was sorry that comment was made and that she was hurt by it. We quickly moved on from there into a wonderful conversation on relationships, discernment, judgment, and healthiness.
All kids her age at her station in life are primarily seeking 2 things:
1. Identity that separates them from their parents. (Most parents hate this and can’t get past it.)
2. Who’s going to show them the most attention, welcome, and sense of being known and understood. (Whoever does that wins them.)
I’m not writing this to embarass my daughter, but just to point out that after nearly 15 years of ministry to students, I refuse to miss my God-given #1 priority: ministry to MY student. I love our relationship and I hope we’re always this close.