Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.
Your eyes narrow and your stomach churns as you hear your teen daughter describe three girls in her class. She is enamored with them, but red flags wave in your mind. “And they’re talking about having a slumber party on Friday!” your daughter exclaims.
You bite back your first response and opt for an alternative. “Too bad you’ll miss the family skating trip,” you say. “But you could invite the girls to come along.”
Your daughter pauses, surprised – but clearly tempted.
Call it strategic thinking, resourcefulness, or unconventionality: your creative approach to navigating risks may be a strength God has given you to use as you parent your child.
Here’s an Insight
Strategic thinking can be a parenting strength.
As a parent you are called to protect your children, whether the risk threatens their life and limb or heart and mind. Such may be the case when your teenager is tempted to seek out company of those who can distract her from good choices. Your child may not recognize the minefields that lay before her, but you can. She faces risk. As a parent, you stand in the gap to guide her though it.
Your knee-jerk response might be to shut down her fascination immediately by pointing out the girls’ character flaws or by simply saying “No” when your daughter wants to spend time with them. All good options at the right time, to be sure (say, in elementary school.)
But when you know the outcome would be rebellion (whether in words, a slammed door, or even a stealthy escape to the slumber party), God may be calling you to think and act outside the normal parenting box. That’s why He gifted you with the ability to face risk unconventionally and invite your child’s questionable acquaintances to spend time with you and your family.
One Parent’s Approach to Risk
Jochebed faced a big risk. Her infant son, Moses, was sentenced to die by order of the Pharaoh, as were all other Jewish baby boys.
In a classic example of original, high-risk thinking, Jochebed placed her son in a basket and hid him strategically along the Nile River where she knew the Egyptian princess would discover him. In a further stroke of ingenuity, Jochedbed’s daughter Miriam was poised on the riverbank to suggest a Hebrew nurse – Jochebed herself, of course – for the baby.
The scenario was fraught with risks. Moses could have drowned. The princess could have overlooked the basket. The Egyptians could have had the baby killed. Jochebed’s approach was unconventional, to be sure.
Hebrew slaves simply did not launch their newborn baby boys into the river. Yet God used this parent’s strategic thinking to save her son’s life and raise up a Hebrew leader to guide his people out of slavery.
Strategic thinking is a God-given strength.
When you call upon that strength, your parenting scenario may be fraught with risks. Things can go wrong. You may even be saddled with a carful of mean girls for an entire Friday night.
But often the high-risk, unconventional option is a great opportunity you have to give your child the chance to make good choices. When you parent outside the box, you can feel confident taking a creative approach in using the strengths God has given you.
Just don’t be surprised if your daughter takes you up on the skating trip.
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