I logged onto our family Amazon account and immediately my recent browsing history popped up. My heart sank as I saw the first thing that came up on my screen. I definitely had not browsed this particular item at all. Was one of my boys trying to buy this content? The product had women, on it with suggestive clothing and made my stomach twist in knots. I called my husband and we decided it was best for him to ask one of the boys for an explanation. Thankfully, it was clicked on by mistake. But all the same, it was enough for me to be reminded that different days would soon come, as my children get older.

It can seem like yesterday, your biggest challenges were chasing your toddler to come sit, eat or sleep. And now, puberty. While our kids are off being excited about becoming a “pre-teen” or teen, we may inwardly be cringing. We may not feel prepared for what is to come. But our kids need to know what it means to handle the different changes that will be coming in their mind, emotions, and bodies. And most importantly, they need to learn how to handle their natural process of maturing in a way that honors Christ.

Let’s face it, everything online or in stores that is geared toward puberty aged kids, is not based on a biblical lifestyle. So, it is imperative that we as parents seek God and bible-based tools to help our children navigate their adolescent years.

Don't Make it Weird

Get yourself together prior to engaging our children. You got this! Short and frequent conversations at the onset of puberty are a great starting point to see what is on your child’s mind and to set the foundation for more in-depth conversations later. Keep in mind although you may know other children the same age as your child, maturity levels vary. Don't ever feel obligated to approach your child like anyone else’s child. You will know how best to disseminate information and discuss details revolving around sex, relationships and the changes they will experience in their body.

Open the Word, Before Looking at the World

Always lay the groundwork that God’s way is the best way. He is the orchestrator of all things good and profitable in the long run. There are a lot of books, television shows, and other materials that will teach a young boy or girl how they should handle puberty, but their bible-based worldview is what they can always rely on. We aren’t expecting our kids to be perfect, but we are supposed to train them in the way they should go.

All this can feel overwhelming. Maybe you think somehow, they will figure it all out. But I implore you not to take that route. Let’s be willing to do the work! Pray over your child's purity of mind, body and spirit daily. Teach and explain why you set boundaries in your home. And, don’t let your own past mistakes or your current fears define how you handle your child’s pubescent years. Instead, celebrate your child as they walk into this new exciting season. Give your child the confidence and the tools they need to honor God; now and well into their future.

Updated: Feb 26

Waking up just knowing you are going to have to repeat yourself fifty times, can give you a pessimistic outlook on your day. All you want is for your kids to actually listen to what you tell them to do. Easy enough right? But we must flip the script, so we can thrive and not survive each passing day.

Change Your Self Talk

What do you rehearse in your head about your kids all day? Most of us realize that children are a blessing. But in this season you may be loathing, rather than loving being a parent in your private thoughts. Whatever you choose to rehearse the most, becomes the soundtrack to your day, sometimes week or even the whole month. Start each day with new grace for you and your children, so you can be the best you. Parenting effectively begins from the overflow of peace we receive daily from the Lord. When the kids are determined to do and say the craziest things, despite your instruction, God will ground you and direct you. Parenting effectively begins with training our responses to honor Christ. Don't focus too much on the setbacks, but rather thank God for all progress, big and small.

Change Your Dialogue with Your Child

Instead of preaching to your older children, include them in your train of thought. Explain to them the end goal. If they are younger, stay encouraged that what you train them to do will eventually take root.

Be Quiet

After you have said what needs to, be quiet. Often our extra talking isn't effective, rather it just exhausts us. Let your actions speak louder than your words. We can’t ignore negative behaviors, but we can invite them into a space where they can see that their lack of obedience won’t go without a fair consequence. God, who is a perfect parent models this for us. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11, NIV).

No one has it all together with their parenting, we are all perfectly imperfect parents. God has given each of us the children we have for a divine purpose. Each season and stage of development our kids go through, we are being made better and our reliance on God stronger. Will you allow God to do what He does best? God is working it all together for our good, even in the monotonous and mundane tasks that accompany parenting.

Remain hopeful and expect God to show up in special ways in your home. Pray that God will give you supernatural provisions this week in your parenting. There is beauty and joy in the journey, as we remain steadfast to train our children in the way they should go.

At the altar, we were in love and ready to commit. We started our union already having had our oldest son, in June of that same year. New Mom and Dad and now, embarking on a lifelong journey as husband and wife. What a ride we were in for! The first seven years were filled with ups and downs. When I look back I know it’s only God’s grace that pulled us through. Immaturity and selfishness amongst many other things fanned a terrible flame.

But by divine providence, God opened our eyes through painful failures. We went to counseling, sought help, and got accountable by those who cared and loved us. There were holidays my husband and I wanted nothing to do with each other. But we were equipped with “staying power.” What was that staying power you ask? God’s love! It was the glue that held us together.

We still loved each other, our kids, and the family life, but if it weren’t for God’s love ... He drew us back to each other and His will. If not, I truly believe we would have definitely gone our separate ways.

We had to endure the rain so that we could one day smile at each other again. And in time, God did do it!

We aren’t perfect, never will be, but we are stronger. Our bond is more authentic than it’s ever been.

When you rely on the One who never fails, He can do amazing things with our relationships. Especially marriage, because God created it and He loves it!

So, if this Valentine’s Day you are struggling to love your spouse, or someone close to you, have hope! God can work miracles when you love anyway!

Broken trust? Lack of support, love, affection, and acknowledgment? It can be any number of things that you may have already experienced... But love anyway! Allow God to direct your decisions and wait on His provision.

Everyone’s marriage and relationships aren’t restored, but every person can become healed and whole.

Don’t back down because the outcome looks bleak, God is in the business of giving hope to the hopeless. Let God’s spirit and His promises anchor you and carry you safely ashore.

Choose this Valentine’s Day and going forward to love others...anyway!

Remember, we have been relentlessly pursued by God’s love, and not one of us deserves it. Have faith that with God there is always, hope for your heart and home!

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