Over the Thanksgiving break, our middle son went into building over-drive.
J was dead-set on creating a structure he could sleep in just outside of our treehouse. He worked on his project every day, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. He collected everything he could find that would be useful, enlisted all the help he could find, and created something fun.
Through the whole process, he was completely committed, overcame every obstacle, kept a positive attitude, and just got it done. He stayed humble and listened to other ideas but never wavered from what he wanted. The whole thing was really fun to watch.
Good Timing from the Good Book
The next morning, I read this in Matthew:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:1-3
So, does that mean we need to be young again to get into Heaven? Only Christians who eat apple sauce, play video games, and wrestle with each other get in?
No, of course not. Rather, I think Jesus was talking about what J was showing me.
Those qualities that children show when they are really going after something – complete immersion, whatever it takes attitude, happily and doggedly overcoming challenges, open to ideas but never wavering from the end result… that’s what Jesus is talking about. They aren't worried about what other people are thinking about them. They are single-focused and good natured at the same time.
A Kingdom Approach to Teens
We need to approach our teens the same way. They are going through the very normal pulling away from their parents. Challenging the norm becomes the new normal for them. And, they aren’t ready (yet) for the demands society throws at them – the information, the anxiety, the comparisons….
So, as we approach our personal relationships with Christ in these child-like ways, we need to approach in the same way – with industry, consistency, humility, perseverance, using every tool we can find, and confident in the fact that the destination is worth all the effort.
Pathway to Manhood Workbook
You can now order the Pathway to Manhood, our new workbook for teen young men and their Fossils, on Amazon in either the print or Kindle version. This eight lesson workbook combines a directed Bible study, discussion topics, and real world skill acquisition.
Photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash