Here is an excerpt from the last chapter of our new book (releasing Spring 2016) called Relentless Parenting: The Crucial Pursuit of Your Teen’s Heart.” The Chapter title is “Freedom to Parent Relentlessly.” Let us know if you need this chapter once you read this short excerpt.
When you and I come to family life we bring things with us that effect the family dynamic and the formation of each person in the home. These “things” can be positive or negative. Positively we may bring an easily demonstrated sense of compassion because our parents knew how to show us compassion. Or, maybe we bring health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, allowing us to properly invest in the health of our teenager. Maybe we know what it means to be obedient and walk with God, thus demonstrating this in authenticity. Maybe we know how to love and express it in a way that others can receive that love. You may bring many positive things to the family relationship.
It is the negative “things” that cause us to hesitate, though, as we seek to demonstrate love properly in the pursuit of our teenager’s heart.
Some of these things are obvious to everyone. Other issues are secret or hidden, yet the effects are potent. These “things” can be rooted in past or present sin or they can be rooted in ways that others have sinned against us. Often these issues manifest like anger, depression, shame, or detachment. Anger repels our teenagers. Depression or detachment distances us from our teenagers. Shame keeps us from dealing with our teenagers around issues we cannot master ourselves, giving birth to blame. In the crucial pursuit of our teenager’s heart, these strongholds keep us from parenting relentlessly and cause hesitation. From these “things”, we need healing and freedom for our own well being and for the journey of parenting teenagers.