Recently my almost 14-year-old granddaughter spent a Saturday with us when she came for her cousin’s fifth birthday. After the noon party, we hung out for a while as her dad power-washed our deck. She had finished a book on the way over and was very interested in buying the next in the series. We called around to different bookstores (much fewer options than there used to be, sorry to say!) and finally found one that had the book in stock.
I drove her there and she bought the book. When we returned on that warm and beautiful day, I dug out thistles and dandelions from the yard while she read her new book in the shade. I was not surprised that she relaxed while I worked. Typical teenager. I knew she would help me if I asked, but I was satisfied to let her read her book.
We’d bought tickets for a play before we knew they were coming. Before I left for the show, I put out my supplies so I’d be ready to make a dessert for the next day’s Life Group. I figured I’d bake the cake quickly when we got home and frost it the next morning. Josh was still busy cleaning the deck and the back of the house.
When we arrived home around 10:15, the kitchen was as clean as when I’d left it, but my supplies were rearranged. The cake had been baked and left to cool. All the utensils had been washed and put away, and even another container that had been in the sink was clean.
Who says teenagers these days are thoughtless and inconsiderate! Not always, for sure. Many other teens I know are equally thoughtful of their friends and grandparents (if not always their parents.)
Recently that granddaughter and teens from our church fasted for 30 hours as they fed the homeless, ministered to the less fortunate, and learned about hunger around the world. Our teens are kind and respectful to us older folks. And usually there’s a good reason, as Solomon described. I learned “Train up a child…,” but I like the newer version equally well.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6, NIV)