July 17, 2022
“Command and teach these things. No one should despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers...”
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“Command and teach these things. No one should despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:11-12
One evening, I got a phone call from my then 12-year-old son, Wyatt. He had just hit the age of attending “night” parties. You know the ones. “Day” parties include a birthday cake and a clown who bends balloons. “Night” parties consist of pizza, loud music, and all your friends trying to look cool. It’s a rite of passage.
Anyhow, we got this call.
Son: “Hey, uh, am I allowed to play the Halo video game?
Parent: “What’s it rated?
Son: “Uh…M for mature.”
Parent: “Are you 18 years old?”
Parent: “Then, no. You shouldn’t play it.”
Son: “Uh, can you come pick me up?”
Son: “Uh, ’cause everyone’s playing it, and I’m alone and bored.”
Parent: “We’ll be there in 10 minutes.”
10 minutes later, my wife and I showed up. We expected to see my son moping by the curb, but all the kids were outside, playing basketball. Wyatt ran up to the car, “I told them I wasn’t allowed to play that game…so they said they would play basketball instead.”
I would never have made that phone call when I was a kid! I just would have played the game and never said anything to Mom and Dad. If asked, I would have simply lied. No remorse. That’s just how I figured kids got by. It wasn’t the right attitude to have, but I never considered my parents to be on my side. Parents were the barrier that stood between me and fun. So, whenever I went to someone else’s house and their parents let them do stuff mine wouldn’t, I just did what I wanted. The whole scene kind of ate at my soul because I could never be at peace. Deep down, I knew I was a liar.
Let me be the first to say that I am proud of my son. He’s not a saint; he’s human. But episodes like I described (above) still happen. I am pleased to know we aren’t his enemies. And I’m proud that he stands up for what is right and doesn’t let other people control him.
Leadership is not just about age. It’s about being confident, competent, and convicted. I will never tire of telling you, “God has great plans for you.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Stay the course, endure and receive what He has prepared for those who live faithfully.
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