Dear Parents,

Let me ask you a question. What would you do if you came home from work today and your teen had started the laundry or washed the dishes or even began mowing the lawn without you asking them to do it?

Would that just thrill your soul? It’s amazing that one small act of kindness and consideration from our teen can reduce us to blubbering adults with fluid streaming from every orifice in our face!

Our teenagers can appear to be selfish, self-absorbed individuals whose only concern is how many likes they got on their last picture on Instagram! Or at least that’s how we often see them through our tired, stressed out viewpoint.

But can I ask you to stop for just a moment and consider us from their viewpoint? We can appear demanding, selfish, and power hungry to them. Always harping on the same thing, never acknowledging what they did do right, only seeing what they didn’t do.

You are the main leader in their life and they are learning how to lead from you. Do you encourage them, do you manipulate them, do you nag them, or do you serve them. Yes, I said serve. That is the strongest and most effective trait of any Godly leader.

So, let me ask you one more question. What would your teen do if they came home from school and you had made their bed, or you showed up to school and took them out for lunch, or just simply texted them and told them how proud you are of them and how much you love them for no other reason than because God allowed you to be their parent?

Maybe they wouldn’t react at all. At least on the outside. But I can guarantee you that you have fanned a small ember in their soul that over time and with care will become much brighter!

Here’s a quick video with more thoughts:

You know, when I read about Salome, the mother of James and John, I realized I saw a lot of her in me. I saw some fear, some pride, and some determination on her part. But I also saw a mom who had decided it was up to her to make sure her kids would do well. She wanted seats of prominence and success. As parents, I think we all want that for our kids. But at what cost? At whose cost? Am I willing to do whatever it takes to make sure my teen shines the brightest? But what if that is not God’s plan?

Our society has defined success as something to be achieved over a period of time. But success in the eyes of God is something achieved with every decision we make to live in His way and in His time and in His will. Success is a life lived totally for His glory.

Matthew 20:26-28 says, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life- a ransom for many.”

Humbling ourselves to the idea of being another’s servant is not easy. Often we want to create a drive in our teen to be a leader so that we can be proud. Could it also be that we allow their success and leadership ability to define whether we are a good parent or not?

The best way to teach our teenager to lead through serving others is to emulate that ourselves. Serve them to show them that it is not a weakness but a strength. Serve them because you love them. Serve because He loves them.

Tweetable Thoughts

  • A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.- Max Lucado
  • Text your teen a favorite quote on leadership today.
  • Text your teen how proud you are of them.
  • Ask them 5 ways that you can serve them.
  • “Whoever wants to become great among you, must be your servant!” Matthew 20
  • “It is better to lead from behind and put others in front”#NelsonMandela#leader
  • Tell your teen 5 ways to serve their friends.
  • Be willing to have no expectations when you serve your teen. Just love them anyway.
  • When a true leader’s work is done, others will say they did it themselves.
  • Don’t quit serving, even when it isn’t noticed. Then you will be a great leader!

Feel free to forward this email to other parents of teenagers and have them email me if they would like to join our online parenting class.

 If you want to see previous issues you can view them here:

Tim Hamm – Threshold Jr (Grade 6-8) –
Mathew Povey – High School Ministry (Grade 9-12) –