Exodus 20:12 NIV “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
One of our regular teenage girls came through the door with a ring in her lip. I greeted her faithfully as if there was nothing different… and then she went on inside the youth building. Then I began to pray. I hate it when people seem to start turning away from God and toward destructive tendencies. This girl was and is very outgoing… an awesome person. All one can do is pray and ask God to help… maybe with a word to speak to them in the course of time.
This went on for two or three weeks. I just kept doing what Pastor Catherine told me to do… just love ‘em… shake their hand and make them feel welcome. Then we had another gym night. I usually sat out at the picnic tables and made sure everyone went inside for the service after their parents dropped them off. This young girl came walking by with a friend and said hello as she kept walking toward the gym.
I hollered at her and asked, “Hey, when are you gonna sit down and talk to me?’ She said something to her girlfriend and then turned to come join me. She sat right across from me on the other side of the picnic table.
“How about right now… what’s going on?”
“You tell me… I’m listening.”
After a few seconds she responded, “Oh, you mean the ring thing.”
I said, “Well, you did look a lot better without it.”
She was pretty comfortable in her conversation. “Well, I’m just rebelling against my parents.”
“So how are you and God getting along these days.”
She answered, “God and I are just fine… I don’t have a problem with God, I just have a problem with my parents.”
I said, “Thanks for talking to me… you can go on into the gym now. It’s really good to see you again. I was just checking you out.”
She smiled like I was a good friend and took off running to be with her friends. I have to wonder why it seems so hard to talk to your own kids and it seems so simple to talk to someone else’s kids. I have to think it has something to do with the relationship of me being at the front door to greet month after month. They must trust something about me. And Pastor Catherine encourages the teens to talk to us about their problems… so that certainly helps open the door for them. The adults are not a threat to the teens at the Dreams and Visions Center… we’re there to encourage them in their dreams and visions.
Another week or two went by and when she passed me this time I wasn’t smiling. She said, “Hey, can we talk… you look like you need some help.”
“Yea, you’re right,’ I answered. ‘I think I’ve been thinking too much.”
“Come on, talk to me,’ she said. ‘I talked to you, didn’t I?”
“Well… last week you came to mind… and then a scripture came to mind that kids are supposed to honor and obey their parents in the Lord. The Bible says it is the right thing to do. That is a command from God… which means that if you are not willing to obey your parents, then your relationship can’t be alright with God like you said it was.”
She answered, “Funny you should say that… I thought about that last week too.”
“In that case… I must be your confirmation of what the Lord is showing you.”
She didn’t smile. She just answered, “Maybe.”
“I’ve learned that maybe and maybe not mean about the same thing to me.”
She turned away… got up… and went inside the gym. The good news… the following week the ring was gone.