Tonight was a good night for me. It was just one of those nights when I could feel the presence of God and when I felt like I was really just letting him speak through me. We are in a series on the family and because I am trying to focus more on the parent side of youth ministry I thought it would be cool to have the parents come to this meeting.
As parents and students walked in I had them answer what is one thing you wish parents (or teens) understood about being a teenager today (or about being a parent). When they were finished I took them up to save them for later in the lesson. I used Ephesians 6:1-4 and lead a discussion about what it means to honor your parents and what it means to exasperate your child.
The lesson really centered around 3 words: respect, understanding, and love. I asked teenagers how parents could show respect to their teens and then asked the parents how teens could show respect. You could tell some of the answers people gave came from their own family struggles, but it was still a positive thing. My contention was that respect isn’t earned, but rather given. I give you respect not because of what you have done, but because you deserve it as a creation of God. My respect of you has to do with me and my decision to treat you right, not your decision to act inappropriately. I can’t think of a problem that is cannot be made worse by not having respect for the other people involved. But most families treat each other (both parents and teens) without any respect at all.
Then I talked about the 30 minute clause. I think all familes should have a 30 minute clause. Anyone at any time can ask for a 30 minute delay of a conversation so that they can regain their composure. This deep breath should help families treat each other with respect.
The next thing was understanding. That was where the cards came in. I read each card and added a few little comments. I tried to let the cards speak for themselves.
I closed by talking about love. Our families sometimes get so crazy that love gets pushed to the side. I said that when you have respect and understanding you remember that you love each other.
All in all it was a fun night, and I thought the lesson worked, but that wasn’t what made it great for me. It just seemed like God was “around” tonight. It was cool that there were unchurched parents there and it was cool that many of the students and adults seemed to “get it” but it was the presence of God that I really loved.
Tonight really reminded me why I love this job. Tonight I got a chance to do what God has created me to do. All of the other jobs that I have and all of the other responsibilities faded into the background as I was able to be who He made me to be and nothing else if only for an hour. It was an amazing night.