Happy Valentine’s Day, Teens Too!

So my son Jesse comes home from school yesterday with condoms. They were passed out in Life class. I passed out when I saw them. He was laughing. I wasn’t. He said, “Just on time for Valentine’s Day!” I said, “Ya, right!” He said he was going to go to the sex shop in town and get some toys. I said, “Ya, right!” I remember when this 6’3″ dude was being given his birds and the bees talk years ago. All three of our kids were in the room. After we told him all he needed to know at the time, he said, “Eewwwww! You mean you guys did that three times?” Yes, son, at least!
This is the same son who doesn’t come to church with us anymore. I’m telling you, I learn more about being a pastor, about being a person, from raising teenagers than all of seminary taught me. I’ve come to conclude that if I can be gracious and patient and understanding and compassionate with this guy, then I can be with anyone! I can’t control him. I can’t make him believe. I can’t prevent him from sinning. I can suggest, invite, love, listen… all those good things. But applying techniques that guarantee my desired results have long wasted away. I watch and I love. He is in better hands anyway.

So to all this I say, Happy Valentine’s day!

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  • ttm

    Parenting, more than almost anything else in my adult life, has revolutionized my thinking about God!

    So, Jesse won’t go to church with you? Feeling confident (in my case: “usually mostly confident, I think”) that he is in better hands is half the battle. I think the other half is keeping the lines of communication open. Here’s a crazy thought…maybe you should visit the sex shop with him.

    Watch. Converse. Listen. Suggest.

    And (You’re so right.) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

    That’s what our Father does. We have yet to see if that works… 😉

    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks ttm

  • Chris

    No suggestions, (they never work anyway.) Just some sympathy and solidarity. I had the exact same day two years ago with my son during his senior year. Now I have a beautiful granddaughter. Despite all our fears and fruitless efforts, it seems the Lord knows what He is doing after all.
    That said, I am still going to come unglued when my daughter comes to this point.(very soon,it would seem) Dare I say it? Boys are easier.

  • http://www.armensblog.com Armen

    Hmmm…as someone who is reading this without children at this point, it would make me consider home-schooling.

    And you’re right about giving your children into the hands of God. Although I don’t have children, I have a younger sister, and I watched my mum learn the same thing.

  • http://barbara007.typepad.com/prodigal_daughter/ Barbara

    I don’t know how I’d react if my son came home with those – so far his school hasn’t done anything quite that blatant.

    I like what you said about parenting teens. I only have one teen, but that’s good cause he only has one parent. Its a wild ride!

  • http://www.lilibethsgarden.etsy.com Heidi

    Well, as a parent who does homeschool, I wouldn’t do so because they hand out condoms in school. The most important thing you can do is foster open communication 24/7. How many poor kids didn’t have the freedom to come home and say “hey look what I’ve got dad!”