Parenting teens in this generation is NOT for the weak! Can I get an amen? Raising a teen daughter is fun, rewarding, and exciting, but it can also be exhausting and leave you wondering if you’re doing this whole parenting thing right. Or maybe it’s just me? There’s soooo much to navigate – boys, drama, dating, friendships, breakups, and makeups! Often, we can feel inadequate and unheard when offering advice to or discipling our girls. When that happens, we often try to pass off our responsibility to the church.
The Church (note the capital C) is here to come alongside you as the parent. We are partners in caring for, loving and guiding your daughter. The key word there is “partners.” The truth is you are the main influence in your daughter’s life. She is watching you and learning from you in ways you don’t realize.
As a church staff member, I’ve had many moms reach out to me about issues with their teen daughter; some come in sheer frustration and say, “Can’t you just FIX her?” Oh momma! I wish it was that easy!! Unfortunately, sending your daughter to church or even meeting with a church leader in a church building doesn’t simply “fix” the issues.
As parents, you spend more time with your daughter than her youth pastor or small group leader ever will. Therefore, you should view that time with her as an investment toward discipling her to know and love Christ. The time you spend with her doesn’t have to feel like it’s spent aimlessly running to get groceries, being a taxi driver, and trying to make every school/sport function. I want to share some practical ways you can disciple your daughter at home, while allowing the church to compliment the habits and conversations you are already having in your home.
- Invite your daughter to see what God is teaching you during your time spent in His Word. As moms, we tend to wear an invisible super mom cape, feeling like we must always have the answer to life’s problems. I think it’s invaluable for your daughter to see you be vulnerable, teachable, and surrendered to what God is teaching you.
- Pray with your daughter. It sounds simple and it actually really is! Many times, our default is to pray with our family at meals only. Let your daughter see you pray for things that are going on in your life, for other people, and for both the big and small things to teach her how to shape her personal prayer life.
- Make time to read Scripture together. This is a great way to teach her the Word of God, as well as how to make Scripture a priority in her life. Just like I’m sure you’re not sitting around on the couch all day with nothing to do, your daughter understands the busyness of life. Making time to read together shows that you value God’s Word.
- This assignment of discipling your children isn’t another thing to add to your to-do list. It’s actually something that can happen naturally as you live your daily life. After reading a passage in Deuteronomy, I had that lightbulb moment- this isn’t an “extra” thing to do, it’s something to simply incorporate into what I’m already doing.
Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. —Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NLT)
The last two things I am going to encourage you to do right now are to take a deep breath and smile!! As moms, we can easily get wrapped up in mom guilt because our daughter doesn’t seem as spiritually mature as other kids. If this applies to you, kick that guilt to the curb! Just by you reading this post this far, it is clear that you have an interest in your daughter’s spiritual growth. Give yourself some grace and smile, because you are doing amazing!!
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved.
Nikki Tigg is an MTSU grad and currently lives in Murfreesboro, TN with her husband and son. She felt called to serve in High School Ministry in 2012 and led co-ed and girls groups. She has been Student Ministry Associate at New Vision Baptist Church since July 2017. Nikki has a passion for helping girls understand their identity in Christ and loves connecting with students, parents and leaders. She loves spending time with her family, decorating and enjoys an active lifestyle. Connect with Nikki: Instagram