Wisdom with Courage

MF_6393Parenting teenagers… not for the faint of heart.

I’ll never forget one particular prom night. It was around midnight; but we had given our son permission to stay out later, since it was such a special occasion. We had done our homework, and felt confident the plans were safe and parents would be around at the “after-party location.” So, just after midnight, in walks our son, completely deflated. We knew something was up, but, of course, boys don’t generally like to spill the details. I don’t mind spilling though, so here’s what happened…

Things began going downhill at the dance, due to the behavior of the people he was with — not his core group of friends, as they were in a different group this time. By the time the “after party” rolled around, he could see that he had a choice to make. Participate with everyone, or leave. He left.

“Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom to know what’s right and the courage to do what’s right, no matter what people think.”

This is a prayer that Andy and I started praying early with our kids. And, boy did we pray it often! It’s pretty intuitive to ask God to grant our children wisdom. But, how many of us have found ourselves in trouble because we did something we knew we shouldn’t do?

When everyone else is choosing the unwise path, it’s awfully hard to muster the courage to go in a different direction, especially when we’re 12-18 years old. The college students we’ve spent time with over the years would be quick to say that the same is true for the first few years of college. If we’re completely honest, I think we’d have to admit that it’s really somewhat true as adults too.

Starting when our kids were young, we took advantage of every opportunity we could to praise and make a huge deal out of our kids taking the high road when those around them did not. We were also able to point out missed opportunities for the same.

Think we were proud of our high school son? You bet we were. We were also astounded at his maturity in the following days as he circled back around and handled relationships in a way that we were not at all sure we would have at his age.

Wisdom to know what’s right and courage to do what’s right, no matter what people think. Now, that’s a prayer we ALL need.