I’ve had a thought.
When we grow up we get taller. It’s an intrinsic part of growing up, and it’s pretty much unstoppable!
Another part of growing up is finding one’s independence, and it’s just as crucial and unstoppable as growing physically taller. In fact, if a child didn’t eventually grow into independence from his or her parents they’d always seem childish no matter how old they became.
Another name for suppressed independence is rebellion.
I’m grateful that my parents always stuck to their word as I grew up, instilling good discipline early on. I’m also grateful that they took the ‘risk’ of giving me more and more freedom throughout my teenage years, letting me manage my budget, decide what time I had to be home by, who my friends were etc. I guess they wanted me to learn responsibility for myself regardless of the mistakes I’d make in the process.
On Wednesday nights I co-lead a Christian group for teenage lads. I’m so glad to be able to join these lads every week, whether that’s haystack-tag, a BBQ, sharing communion in an old church with candles, making dens or mucking about with cushions! Sometimes it goes really deep, it’s often hectic and it’s always worth it!
Quite a few of the lads are part of the group because their mum or dad asked us if we could take them on. We’re part of their growing up. It’s a positive independence.