MAY 22

Be clear minded and self-controlled. 1 PETER 4:7 NIV

Teenagers can test your sanity. They’re neither adult nor child, and can become either without notice. Flooding hormones and exploding neurons spark biochemical reactions in their heads and bodies. Words like, “What in the world were you thinking?” form involuntarily on your lips. In response come sullen teenage shrugs, followed by the incomprehensible, “I don’t know.” And they don’t! What can you do? “Lock them up?” Sorry, that’s illegal. But here are two things that will help. (1) Back off and slow down. “Be clear minded and self-controlled.” One of the biggest mistakes parents make is over-reacting, which triggers an escalating battle of wills you’re unlikely to win. Decibel levels rise, wisdom fails, your teen concludes you’re the crazy one, and suddenly there’s no adult present and nobody’s “minding the store.” You’ve become part of the problem, leaving your child angry and insecure, without a rational role model. Pray, breathe deeply and count to ten!

For your child’s sake, it’s time for the clear minded and self-controlled parent to prevail. (2) Remember, anger begets anger. “An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin” (Pr 29:22 NLT). No one can infuriate you like a teenager trying to grow up. A look, a word, an attitude, and

you’re “hooked;” you’re in a shouting match with your own child. How crazy is that? Emotionally charged exchanges hard wire your teenager’s brain for automatic, long-term anger reactions. What’s the answer? Use the carrot and stick approach of Scripture: “Provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture [love and encouragement] and admonition [character building discipline] of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).




A wife comes home late at night and quietly opens the door to her bedroom.

From under the blanket she sees four legs instead of two.

She reaches for a baseball bat and starts hitting the blanket as hard as she can.

Once she’s done, she goes to the kitchen to have a drink.

As she enters, she sees her husband there, reading a magazine.

​Her husband says: “Hi Darling, Your parents have come to visit us, so I let them stay in our bedroom. Hope you said Hello to them.” .