I’m a book junkie. Christmas is coming up, and my gut instinct is to buy everyone a theology book, because that’s what I would want for Christmas from each of them. It’s Monday morning, and I’m convinced it’s going to be a good day because when I walked into my office, I had a commentary on James by Douglas Moo sitting on my desk. I love books. One of my mentors, Brandon Barnard, instilled in my a passion for reading. I saw him read, knew he read regularly, and wanted (and want) to teach as effectively as he does. “Leaders are readers and readers are leaders.”
That comes with a fault. Any time an issue comes up, particularly in the lives of other people, my instinct is to say, “Read this. That’ll fix it.” This isn’t necessarily bad, but just like curriculums, it’s only as good as the person is willing to own it. Resources like books and studies are exactly that…resources. They’re not fixes, 1-stop-shops, solutions, or the be all and end all of a problem. But, used well, they can lead to resolution.
During our D-Group last night, a couple of the parents in my ministry were talking about how their oldest is nearing 13. With it comes drama, frustration, testosterone, puberty, etc. Up until this point, they felt confident, but now they’re starting to feel the tension of parenting a teenager. Luckily, I’m 23 (almost 24) years old, no kids, and have all the parenting answers! Right? No? No.
So I talked with the couple about having a tendency to throw books at problems, hoping they’ll fix it. We came to a point where they said they’ll read anything I can throw at them, digest it, and use what’s profitable. Wednesday night, I’ll loan them a copy of Reggie Joiner’s Parenting Beyond Your Capacity and see how they like it. I’ve watched the videos with Chap Clark, but never read the book.
ALL OF THAT TO SAY, this weekend, I’ve exposed a huge gap in my family ministry capabilities. I’ve always felt the tension of not having students, but I also don’t have an adequate resource bank to work from when it comes from raising students, particularly ones coming into their teenage years. So here’s what I desperately need…what are your top 3 resources you would recommend parents of teenagers and why? Particularly parents of students entering into their teenage years!