We just finished raising our kids. We dropped off our baby at college this week, and he went with his own car keys, bank account, and student loans.
A few weeks ago, that boy of mine was re-stringing his electric guitar all over the kitchen counter (which he promised me he would clean up when he was done.) I was scrubbing dishes and loading the dishwasher, but I turned off the water and looked at him.
“Son, I’m not sure I’ve ever told you this, but I am so pleased with you,” I said. “You are the kind of man I always hoped you would be.”
Caleb loves Jesus, spends his energy serving the Lord, has integrity and a good work ethic, and he’s kind.
So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how this happened. How did my child turn out well? Certainly not my perfect parenting. But one thing I know for sure –Caleb is a great guy in large part because of the kind of people he has spent time with all his life.
I have a suggestion for you, because I know you long to have the kind of teenager you can be proud of: Reading books is one way for your teen to “hang out” with people who are a good influence.
The three books below highlight people who have loved Jesus with all their hearts. They have done hard things in service to the Lord, and their lives are worth emulating. Their stories are unforgettable and will lodge themselves in your teen's mind.
Three Books Your Teenager Should Read
Bruchko is about a young guy who followed God’s call and took off for the jungles of South America. It’s a story of crazy obedience to God and of perseverance under difficult circumstances. It will leave your teen asking, "Am I willing to follow God wherever he asks me to go?"
Under The OverPass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America
Under The Overpass is about two young guys who purposefully spend months in different cities living homeless. Their perspective on helping people in need is life-changing. Your teen will become acutely aware of the luxuries in his own life, like having food to eat and the ability to bathe. He will be left asking the question, "Do I really care about people who are in great need?"
God's Smuggler is a thrilling story about a young man who was far from God but who was converted and then risked everything to smuggle Bibles behind the iron curtain. Your teen will find himself asking, "Am I ready to follow Jesus?" and, "What is so valuable about the Bible that people would risk their lives to get one?"
I hope you will read one or all three of these books along with your teen and then talk about them. Tell your son or daughter what is valuable to you in these stories, and you will be letting them know what kind of person you hope they will become.
Blessings to you,