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  • Crystal Aldridge

Mothering Teenagers In A Time of Transition - A Mother's Day Blog

By Crystal Aldridge

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; - Ecclesiastes 12:1

You will not find the word “teenager” in your Bible or see it in the tried and true Webster's Dictionary 1828 edition. This word refers to someone between thirteen to nineteen years old, transitioning from childhood to adulthood. It became more recognized and widely used in America in the 1940s and 50s when teens were a new targeted consumer group. An article published in The New York Times in 1945 titled “A Teen-Age Bill of Rights,” was a 10-point outline stating rights teens ought to have.

One example from the article is “The Right to Make Mistakes, To Find Out For Himself.” Movies and music began portraying teens rebelling against parents, teachers, and authority. America continues to have a teen-obsessed culture that says things like “live it up,” “make mistakes,” and “have a good time.”

Thankfully, we have God’s Word and His perspective, which is the only one that matters. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”

A few examples of those God used mightily in their youth are Mary, the mother of Jesus, David, Daniel, and Esther. They stood for the Lord during times of persecution, in the face of giants, and even when their life was at risk. We also have our perfect Example! Jesus was only twelve years old when He was found teaching in the temple. Teenage years are not to be wasted. That was never God’s plan.

Almost four years ago, my family went through a time of transition. My children's ages were seventeen, fifteen, and twelve. My husband pastored a church we loved for twelve years. We lived minutes away from family and many friends. They were involved in all sorts of activities and surrounded by people they loved and who loved them. The Lord led us to a new home and ministry during this time. They were heartbroken, but they had always been taught God’s way is always the best way, and they decided to trust Him. “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him,” Psalms 18:30.

I want to share some things the Lord helped me with.

1.) I had to fight the tendency to feel sorry for them.

When I was pitying them, my mindset was terrible, and I could not pray for them the way they needed. Life is often hard. We can’t shield our children from disappointment, but we can trust our Lord and Saviour to do right always! The Lord saved me when I was seventeen years old. The first verses I remember Him burning in my heart during a painful time shortly after He saved me was Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” He is working in the lives of our teens in ways we cannot see and for reasons we do not know. He didn’t fail me, and He will not fail them.

2.) Their heart was more important than their image.

As a ministry family, we are aware of the fact that people watch our lives. They watch how we react in different situations and how things affect us. It’s not a bad thing. It comes with the territory. I wanted my children to be happy, friendly, receptive, and ready to jump right in head first. One day, the Lord gently rebuked me. I had these expectations for the wrong reasons. Psalms 6:25, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Trying to force things before He was able to do the work that needed to be done in their hearts could have caused hardness to set in. God wanted their hearts, not their performance.

3.) Be intentional about spending time together.

I quickly realized how therapeutic this was for our family. So much had changed, but family was familiar. When one would start to pull away, I tried to pay attention and get creative with ways we could all be together. We became closer during these days, and I’m so grateful for the memories made. We took day trips, spent evenings on the porch talking, played games, and much more. It is easy to go about our daily routines, each doing their own thing. We made family time a priority.

4.) Remind them often that God’s Word has the answers to their questions.

They did not need to hear my reasoning. They did not need a good story. They needed Truth. Deuteronomy 11:19-20, “ And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” Their daddy and I realized a word from heaven could do more for them in seconds than we could do in a lifetime. We encouraged them to read their Bibles. We went to the scriptures to make life applications. I sent them verses and wrote scripture around the house. God’s Word is powerful! (Hebrews 4:12)

5.) If you can, share your struggles with them.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” James 5:16. I had been encouraging them to talk to me and their daddy about their struggles, but I remember so vividly the night the Lord told me to do this with them. Their dad was not at home. We were in the middle of a heavy conversation, and I was trying to help them look at things differently. Emotions were high. God spoke James 5:16 to my heart, and I began to tell them what I was battling. We prayed together and the atmosphere changed completely. I think I needed to talk to them as much as they needed to hear it. We serve a personal Saviour who knows exactly what we need! We just have to listen and obey. This was a monumental night for us.

My children have personal testimonies of how the Lord helped each of them during this time of transition. Recently, they were sharing how and when the Lord helped them in specific ways.

Nothing thrills my heart more than hearing their stories! God is always faithful!


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May 23, 2023

Great devotional! ❤️


May 04, 2023

What a great and needful devotion!! So thankful for the Word of God and for the Lord’s faithfulness!!

Amanda Rollins


May 04, 2023

“God wanted their heart, not their performance” - what an absolutely powerful reminder for anyone!

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