This week I dared to be different.
You see, I spoke at an all women’s christian leadership retreat and wore hot pink nails. Now I know that some of you are saying, “So what? I do that all the time.” Others are saying, “You are kidding, right?”
But let me explain further.
I tend to be a conformer. I don’t want to rock the boat and I don’t want to offend. I don’t want other people to see something about me and judge me, so I tend to dress conservatively, behave conservatively, and make sure I know my audience before I speak. After all, I want them to listen. Right?
But my daughter taught me something different–something that I think all parents could learn from.
Dare to be yourself.
It is okay to be unique.
So I wore my hot pink nails to the conference in memory of my daughter who loved everything hot pink. She challenged me to be bold in my thinking, to step out of my comfort zone, and that fun versus conservative can be a good thing.
The christian women attending the retreat were from different denominations of churches and they dressed in various outfits that may or may not have conformed to a given church’s style. Some wore shorts, others wore long dresses. I saw long pants and Capri while some wore head coverings. But regardless, of what we wore, we all had something in common on the inside — the love of Jesus.
We accepted our differences–without judgment or condemnation.
My question to you is are you trying to make your tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings conform to your idea of how they should dress or act based on possible negative perception by your friends or church? Are you pushing them to do things your way because you want them to walk, talk, and think like you?
Can we laugh at their hot pink nails, or bold blue hair, or live with the fact that they want to do something outlandish in a fun sort of way?
Or is our identity wrapped up in our kids’ looks or behavior? Are we trying to clone ourselves? Or are we wanting to duplicate the people with which we are associated?
A few years ago I picked up a book entitled Bringing Home The Prodigals by Rob Parsons. I expected the author to give me ways to connect with my challenging child who was making choices that put her in the ‘prodigal’ category. But as I read the book, I was challenged at all my “rules” as a parent. I’m challenged to look at “church” from my teen’s perspective. If church is boxing my child in to conform a certain way, is that what I really want as a parent? Will that push my kid to be a prodigal?
Yes, it is easier to parent a child who is a “rule follower”.
But I want to raise kids who are world changers!
I want my kids to follow their calling in life that God lays before them, not what I think the world should be.
I want kids who are dripping with the love of Jesus such that others can see Him. And sometimes wild and crazy will attract the non-believer and give opportunity to share Jesus in the midst of what we might consider someone else’s chaotic life.
Because of my “prodigal”, people have entered my home who I would never had opportunity to interact with because our lives would never have crossed. Because of my “prodigal”, drug users have attended my church. Because of my “prodigal”, people who would have never seen a different side of life have found that there is hope and a different way of living.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The bottom line is that God’s will might not be our will. He may be creating a world changer in your home.
Dare you to focus on the love of Jesus in your home rather than the rules of conformity. And if you do, maybe you’ll have kids wildly devoted to Him.
“Let go…and Let God”,
Interested in leading a parenting Bible study that will have women sharing on a deep level from the beginning? Want them to walk away with a WOW! experience? With All Due Respect will do just that and we promise to make it easy to lead. You don’t need to be a perfect parent; you don’t need to have perfect kids; and you don’t need to have ever led a group before.
A Small Group Leader’s Guide is also available with questions for group discussion.