Teenagers, Table Talk & A Mission
Teenagers need table talk whether they want it or not. Because the thing about teenagers? You never know. You never know what they’re thinking, what they’re doing or who they’re talking to. Yes, there are many products, apps and ways to keep an eye on ’em. Sure, we can follow them around, or keep them on a short leash and pretend we can protect them from pain and problems. We can’t. The only solution is to gather them to the table and talk.
Talk a lot. Talk until your tongue is tired and their ears hurt. Then do it all again the next day and the next. The more table talk, the better equipped teenagers will be to face a hilarious and heartwarming, hypocritical and hellish world. But maybe we don’t have to say a word. Maybe the only thing they need is a safe place to talk to each other.
If you’re a regular reader, you probably know we home school our kids. Once a week we go to a local homeschool co-op for classes and camaraderie. One of the classes offered to teenagers is called “Guarding Your Heart.” It teaches the importance of protecting thoughts, remembering convictions, and living with integrity. It’s not a guarantee this particular group of teenagers will travel from present time to adulthood unscathed, but it’s a start. It provides a few tools they can use to guide their moral compass. Things to think on, always.
… whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8
As adults, we have unique gifts and talents. They are best used to benefit of others. Our audience changes during the seasons of life, and at present my world is filled with children and young adults. What talents can I use to help them? Speech is not one of my gifts. Writing is my gift, but I’m doubtful they’ll start reading this blog. I’m not the adult known for counseling kids — talking and sharing deep thoughts and constant comment. But I can provide shelter from the storm. Hospitality is one of my gifts. I can make a meal, or provide a quiet space to talk with lots of snacks, and chocolate as needed! I can transport groups of kids from point A to point B, and pray for them at every stop, during every event, for every occasion they encounter.
Teenagers need our gifts.
You don’t have to pull up a chair at their table and talk at length about this, that and the other. Maybe your talent is to simply listen and be supportive. Maybe your talent is to set the table or prepare the meal or wash the dishes. Maybe your talent is to wash the jerseys and knee pads and dirty socks, so those young people are clean and fresh and confident when they wander into the world. Maybe your talent is the warm, comforting, loving hug that keeps them warm during cold and trying times.
Mission work begins in the midst of daily duties.
“Think on these things” and figure out what you have to offer. These smiles? They’re worth every effort. These dear hearts? They’re worth every sacrifice. These precious souls are worth more than rubies. It’s our responsibility to bring them to the table, to show them how to feed a starving world. Because some day, in the not so distant future, they must become missionaries in the world we leave behind.
I am a writer, blogger, wife and homeschooling mother of three. I love wide open spaces, cooking, gardening, decorating, travel, vintage treasures, sunshine on my shoulders, and bare feet.