How To Spoil Do Hard Things
At the Dallas Conference this past weekend our father made the following challenge to the parents in attendance. We think it’s so good that we want to share it with everyone here on the blog as well. Read it together as a family if you can and let us know what you think. It’s an encouragement from our parents to your parents.
Parents, the first thing I want to tell you this evening is what not to do — and that is to hijack The Rebelution or the phrase Do Hard Things and use it as a way to nag, or ridicule your young adult as they are living and working with you. I share this because I know how easily this can be done.
As a pastor, I often have to deal in marriage counseling with a couple where the wife or the husband will say things like: “Yeah, love and honor till death do us part. Oh yeah, tell me about it!” And what are we doing? We’re taking sacred wedding vows and using them as a way of slapping our spouse in the face. That doesn’t do a very good job of enhancing the marriage.
In the same way, as parents you are going to be severely tempted, when you walk into your son or daughters bedroom and you see the ordinary chaos that ensues in that place, to say “Oh yeah, do hard things.” And what you’ve just done is you have, in a way, taken the wind out of the sails of that phrase.
So I encourage you to protect it. Use it in a way that does not use it in vain, or in a way that demeans it or makes others despise it. With that understanding, pray for your young people. Ask God to bless them, don’t just pray about them; pray for them. Ask God to work in their hearts and in their minds what is pleasing to Him.
And if you realize that you have already been using the phrase in a negative way, I want you to “do hard things” and apologize to your children. Let them know that Do Hard Things is more than just cleaning their room or taking out the trash. It is a mindset that prepares them to expect big things from God as they attempt great things for God.
Tell your children that you are here to support and advise them as they set big goals and strive to attain them. Then, sit down together and brainstorm some “hard things” that they can do, things that will stretch them and cause them to grow, things that will turn our culture’s expectations of teenagers upside down, for the glory of God.
Let them know that you’re the manager and they’re the artist, you’re the coach and they’re the athlete. You help provide the contacts, the finances, and the know-how to get their dreams off the ground—they provide the passion and the energy. If they fail you’ll be right there to pick them up, dust them off, and get them going again. This is the opportunity and the responsibility that comes with being the parent of a rebelutionary.
What do you think? How has the phrase Do Hard Things been used in your home? Has it become merely another reason to bring down the laundry every day? Though Do Hard Things certainly includes everyday small things, is it wise to limit it to that? What kind of big hard things should teens be doing?
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