By Trace Embry
Why do teens struggle with the vices of today’s culture? It may be because they have no struggle in their life.
In today’s post, I’ll provide insight into how appropriate struggle can produce hope in your child.
Struggles Are Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
The same way we can kill a little chick struggling to peck his way out of an egg, we can do damage to our kids by not allowing them to experience struggle in their upbringing.
Nobody wants to see their kids struggle; however, pain isn’t always a bad thing. It’s an alarm in some cases, telling us something is wrong.
In other cases, like exercise, pain is compulsory to gain. Just watch the movies “Miracle” and “Remember the Titans.”
Many parents today do not want to trouble their teen with any struggles, and then complains when he ends up becoming a troubled teen.
Too often we bail our kids out of the natural consequences of sinful actions rather than allow them the natural painful consequences of their actions.
We enable them to live like hell expecting heaven as a reward. Of course, I’m speaking in terms of consequences that may hurt, but not harm.
If my troubled teen drives drunk, an evening in the slammer may be a wake-up call. Bailing him out right away may not give him the due consequence (pain) he deserves and needs. Paying his fine or attorney fees, in virtually every case, would be the wrong thing to do. He may need to struggle working to pay it on his own.
A Practical Example of Struggle
To sum up my point, let’s look at the number one reason troubled teenagers give for attempting suicide in the richest nation on the planet–“No hope.”
How can the richest nation on the planet offer kids no hope? It’s because kids today are not rightly putting value on something beyond the material.
Now, let’s look at Romans 5:3-4, which says this: “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Our American affluence can be a curse when mollycoddling and biblical principles for living life aren’t applied—especially for troubled teens and teens at-risk.
Now, let’s turn Romans 5:3-4 around. Troubled teens are killing themselves because they have no HOPE—right? They have no HOPE, because they have no CHARACTER. They have no CHARACTER, because they have no PERSEVERENCE. They have no PERSEVERENCE because they have no SUFFERING or STRUGGLES!
What are some areas in your teen’s life that you may be hindering appropriate struggle?