New Search for Security in Relationship between Parent and Teenager – Knowing the Boundaries in Episode 18

New Search for Security in Relationship between Parent and Teenager - Knowing the Boundaries in Episode 18

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Wednesday 15th, March 2023 Content Count 2,220,902

Podcast link:–Teenager—Knowing-the-Boundaries-in-Episode-18-e20fum3

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New Search for Security in Relationship between Parent and Teenager - Knowing the Boundaries in Episode 18

Series – Perfect Relationship: 24 Tools for Building BRIDGES to Harmony and Taking Down WALLS of Conflict in our Relationships.

Episode 18: New Search for Security in Relationship between Parent and Teenager – Knowing the Boundaries in Episode 18 

A New Search for Security

Many wounded parents reason that if they do the best they can to rear their children in a Christian home and in the life of the church, and these children (or at least one of them) still go astray morally and spiritually, then family life in particular and life in general is insecure. Anything can happen to wipe out your hopes and dreams. Such reasoning produces a rather shaky feeling of uncertainty. Is God not always fully in control?

Of course God is in control. He has not abandoned His creation or deserted His people. However, we are not God’s robots. He gives each of us the freedom to make our own decisions, and He respects our freedom. We could not be persons in the fullest sense without freedom to choose. The prodigal son was free to go off into a far country and squander his inheritance in loose living (Luke 15:11-19). However, notice that he was not free to avoid suffering the consequences (go hungry, feed swine for a living, and regret his decisions). Freedom is not absolutely unlimited.

It is risky being a parent. It is risky being a son or daughter. Life is full of risks. Life with no risks would be not only a fantasy but also a dull existence. But does this imply that there can be no security? Of course not.

Parents can find security, but not outside of themselves; money, status, position, possessions, prestige, friends, health-anyone or anything can be taken away from you or lost. Security must come from within: who you are in a personal relationship with God. As a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, you have all the security you need to face whatever life brings. That kind of security contributes to a strong and positive self-image.

If, as a wounded parent, you will examine carefully who you are in a personal relationship with God, you will be on track in finding a sense of security that will strengthen your self-image. This in turn will improve your relationship with those in your family. Insecure people are usually not easy to get along with. Secure people tend to have the strength to love even the unlovable.

Loving Yourself into a New Self-image

If your children have not turned out as you had hoped they would, you may be blaming yourself to the point of self-depreciation, even self-hate. Punishing yourself for “all of those mistakes I made” simply adds to a poor self-image. But if you want to build a new self-image, then face reality and do something about it. If you honestly feel you made certain mistakes in rearing your children, then admit those mistakes to your children to your mate and to yourself Ask their forgiveness and God’s. Most likely your biggest problem will be yourself. Can you forgive yourself?

Being a good parent to yourself means loving yourself respecting yourself as a person made in God’s image, and accepting yourself as an imperfect human being. Jesus taught that the two great commandments in the Bible are love for God and love for one’s neighbor. Notice how the second command is stated: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” ( Matthew 22:39, cf Lev 19:18). Jesus assumed that a certain degree of self-love is normal, and I would add, healthy. This is not an inordinate and egotistical self-love, but a healthy care, respect, and acceptance of one’s self. If you cannot love yourself in that way, you probably will not be able to love others either.

There are no simple steps to follow in loving yourself into a new self-image. I suggest that you start with God’s love for you if at this time you don’t have the strength to love yourself. You can read some good books on this subject. You can get involved with a group of Christian people who can teach you how to love yourself. You can secure professional counseling to help you deal realistically with the specifics of your difficulty in loving yourself.

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The Tranquillity of a New Self-image

When you begin to feel good about yourself, you will be less tense, less irritable and more at peace with yourself and with others than you were before. The tranquillity that comes with a new self-image will bring about an atmosphere in the home that will facilitate better communication and understanding among family members. When mother and father each have a positive self-regard, relationships in the home are relaxed and enjoyable.

At first your children may not understand what is going on. They may think that you’ve been drinking! When the shouting diminishes, the tension goes away, the frowning switches to smiling, and judging turns to nurturing, the children will be confused initially. But, believe me, they will enjoy it.

I am not trying to portray a utopia in suggesting that a new self-image on the part of parents will change everything. There will still be problems to solve and conflicts to resolve, but parents who have a strong, positive self-image, who like themselves, who have a warm, accepting self-regard, and who feel secure within will obviously create an atmosphere in the home where the members of the family will feel encouraged to act in a cooperative way toward each other.

There will still be rules to keep, responsibilities to perform, and moral expectations to support by parental example. Parents will still need to back up their word with firmness and consistency. Broken rules will bring certain consequences. But parents with positive self-images project an optimism that things are going to get better in the family, that the future is bright, and that a new day will bring new and better relationships. This kind of confidence is truly contagious.

Christ, the Best Model

Jesus Christ is our best model of a person with a strong, positive self-image. He knew who He was, why He was here, what His mission and purpose in life were, where He was going, and what life was all about. We find no evidence in the New Testament of Jesus depreciating Himself or despising Himself.

Jesus obviously liked Himself, enjoyed Himself, and had a positive and warm self-regard. He expressed a deep sense of inner security, knowing that His life was in the hands of His heavenly Father.

Although Jesus experienced disappointment in others, He never let that sink Him into depression. He stayed in control of His discouraging moments, turning them into opportunities for personal growth and for blessing other people.

Wounded parents can do no better than to get to know this Person revealed in the Gospels of the New Testament and let Him build, develop, or transplant this new self-image into their hearts and minds. You can know who you are, why you are here, where you are going, what your mission and purpose in life are, and what the purpose of life is. You can learn to like yourself, enjoy being you, and have a positive, warm self-regard. You can have a deep sense of inner
security, knowing that your life is in the hands of God, your heavenly Father.

By the Power of God

All of this is possible by the power of God. He is able to bring this to pass. He who made you can remake you. A new you is possible by the power of God. You can’t remake yourself, but God can.
If you are a wounded parent, you have experienced deep disappointment. You are in pain. You are hurting. Some of this may be self-inflicted by the kind of parenting you have done. But that is all past. You cannot go back and change that. You may be the victim of forces outside your home, and those forces are outside of your control. You are trying to get your emotions under control. You are trying to build a new relationship with your wayward son or daughter. You
may now have begun to do something about yourself, to build a new self-image. But remember-any lasting change in you and in your child or children will have to be the work of God. It will be by His resources, intervention, and guidance that the relationship in your family will change for the better. So keep in close touch with Him and trust Him. He may not do things according to your plan, but He has more at stake in your family than you do, and He knows what He is doing.

See also  The Theology of Wounded Parent in parent and teenager relationship - God's, Jesus's and Paul's Fatherhood Experience - Identifying Behavior Patterns in Episode 21

Questions for Discussion
1. How would you describe your present self-image?
2. Can you identify some creative possibilities of disappointment in your family situation?
3. Can you see evidences of God making a new person
out of you? Describe these evidences.
4. What are your reactions to the idea of self-love?
5. How can Jesus Christ be our model for a positive self-image?

Knowing the Boundaries

If I don’t know me, it is impossible for me to know you.

The concept of boundaries is somewhat foreign to the religious mind-set. Boundaries establish limits over which no one should venture. Some boundaries are established by the Bible to provide basic and essential guidelines for healthy relationships. Failing to observe those boundaries always results in pain and dysfunctional relationships. Sometimes people invite us to step over a boundary, but there are some boundaries we should never cross, even when invited. Judgment is one of these.
Trying to fix another person is stepping over a line we should never cross.

Even the simple desire to help a person could cause us to cross boundaries uninvited. Someone once said, “The difference between a pest and a welcome guest is an invitation.” If a relationship does not promote the kind of trust that inspires a person to invite us into his or her life, we have no real ministry opportunity.

Let me give you an example. In the early years of my marriage, I used my behavior as a standard to judge my wife’s behavior. Naturally, my judgment left me as being the more “spiritual” one. I am also more verbal than my wife is. So when we had problems, I always wanted to talk them out. I cannot tell you
how many times I created a family war because I crossed those boundaries uninvited. I didn’t listen when she said, “I don’t want to talk.” Instead, I forced my way into an area that she was not ready to open to me. In the process, I pushed us farther apart.

As the years went by, I learned to respect her boundaries. I have found that when I am a welcome guest across those lines, I have been able to talk about anything. As an annoying, uninvited pest, I simply create pain and conflict for both of us.

Communicate Effectively-Love People

We Christians have an important message. In fact, it is the most important thing a person could ever hear. Unfortunately, it seems we often let the importance of our message justify our violating every scriptural principle of communication. God’s Word is full of teaching about how to communicate effectively.

But because we do not respect people and are not motivated by love, we disregard those Scriptures. If we trusted God’s wisdom, we would present our message in a manner that utilized every positive communication skill possible.

When Saul first began his ministry, as related in the book of Acts, his communication skills were still those of a legalistic Pharisee. He caused so much trouble in Jerusalem that persecution broke out against him and the church. The brothers eventually took him, put him on a boat, and sent him away. Then, the Bible says, the churches in that area finally had peace. (See Acts 9:27-31.) This is a far cry from the man who changed his name to the Gentile “Paul,” shaved his beard, and ate with the unclean pagans in order to become an invited

guest. Paul’s respect for the message and the people eventually provoked him to walk in love and wisdom for the greatest benefit of the people.

We must realize that every time we violate any principle of communication, we reduce the effectiveness of our message.

Ignoring those principles sends a message to the person with whom we wish to communicate that says, “You are of no value.”

Our message may be the Gospel, or it may be a deep relational need. Regardless of the content, if we want it to be received, it must be communicated in a meaningful way. Rarely do people reject real communication. It is our rude, ill-equipped, condemning, or negative approach to communication that people reject.

When we value people, we put forth the effort necessary to communicate in a way that will be acceptable and effective.

It Is None of My Business

Proverbs 26:17 says, “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears” (NKJV). A problem is not ours just because it affects us. Judgment causes us to fail to recognize boundaries. When another’s behavior affects us, we consider that fact alone to be enough justification to reject biblical wisdom. We tend to follow a logic that says, “If it affects me, it is my business.” That is not true. It is only our judgment that causes us to take ownership of another person’s actions. “That was about me.” “He did that to hurt me.” “If she really loved me, she would never do that.” All of these are judgments that cause the actions of others to become ours. This, then, gives us an imaginary license to invade their boundaries.

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Our justification is that “so-and-so offended me,” but what we think is an offense may not be a real offense. An offense is something that causes you to stumble. People offend you only when they deliberately attempt to make you stumble. Getting your feelings hurt is not an offense. Feeling ignorant around someone is not an offense. Being made angry is not an offense.

Most of those experiences come as a by-product of our judgment. They may not have been the intention of the other person.

It Is Your Choice

I must know where I stop and you start. I must always seek to work on my issues and attitudes with God in my heart. I can never make you responsible for my actions or reactions. Likewise, I can never allow you to drag me into your stuff. I must never allow you to make me responsible for your choices. The cry of every abuser is, “Look what you made me do!” No one makes you do anything. You make choices.

Let me expand on this a little bit. The abuser is a touchy, angry person who judges that the people around him do what they do as an act of personal aggression. The perceived aggression has power over the abuser because of his judgments. He feels that his boundaries have been invaded. His dignity has been assaulted. Thus, his reaction is the righteous vindication of his judgment.

If you are in a hostile environment, make a choice. Choose to stay or choose to leave. But let that choice be your choice. Make it based on what you want in life. If you leave, do so in peace and with as much love as possible. If you stay, do so in peace and love.
Above all, free yourself from the control of others by making your own choices and recognizing your own boundaries.

Whatever you do, however, do not cross boundaries-regardless of the sincerity of your intention. Good intentions do not make foolishness valid. When something affects you, make your choices about how you want to relate to it without succumbing to the need to cross the boundaries uninvited. When people want you to cross, they will invite you. When they invite you to a place into which the Word of God forbids entry, don’t go!


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