With Jubilate out of town for UVA’s fall break – the youth resorted to our finest foraging skills and made our way down the corner to Christian’s Pizza (see picture). It’s difficult to feed 14 people for $6/person and fresh hot pizza is always hard to turn down. Aside from the pizza promotion – I would like to take moment to address the catchy headline that I’m sure brought you to this post.
Tonight’s Youth Real Life topic was: “Yo’ Mama… and probably Yo’ Daddy”
Yes, tonight we talked about our parents. We talked about the things we liked and loved about our wonderful providers and about the things that occasionally seem to creep under our skin… Needless to say, it was very engaging and lively discussion, all of which I have promised not to reveal too much of – but, I would like to highlight a bit of what was covered.
Indeed there are many positive aspects being kids that were offered forth – food, housing, a protective environment, an ever-present source of financial support, and LIFE ITSELF were all major points of agreement. Likewise, we were able to concur on some of the common not-so-pleasant aspects of being an offspring – feeling ignored, unheard, over-protected, embarrassed, and bossed around. These themes, of course, run rampant in every generation as parents do their best to provide guidance and training for their children while, as we all know, children know everything they need to after the age of five! All joking aside, the youth had an excellent moment of camaraderie and story telling, (which generally turns out to be the best part of my job – these kids are hilarious) each of them drawing closer to the others in the sharing of mutual struggles that are associated with being a child.
After our sharing time we addressed the different ways that we might navigate this relationship. It’s not often that we think about our parental relationships – for some of us they are as natural as breathing and something that just happens, while for others – they can be difficult and painful, fraught with fear or disappointment. We discussed our interactions with adults that we interpreted to be poor parental figures, our interactions with the children of these types of parents, and how the relationship between the parent and child is often crucial to the well-being and success of the child.
We then took some time to seek God’s word on the subject. After reading through a few choice verses from Proverbs and Deuteronomy (we decided we didn’t want to be stoned, or have our eyes pecked out by vultures for being bad kids) we settled in with Ephesians 6:1-3
- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Through discussing this verse, we were able to tie back to our earlier conversation about the kids who didn’t listen to their parents and some of the youth were able to share stories of drug abuse, and social/emotional problems that they saw in their classmates or friends. God clearly has a plan for our familial relationships and any deviance from this plan can be disastrous.
Finally, we brainstormed ways to engage in God’s word and shared ideas for how we can honor our fathers and mothers. I think it’s safe to share this full list:
Way’s We Honor our Parents:
- By what we wear
- How we act (publicly)
- Using our manners
- Respecting their decisions
- Being Truthful
- Self Controlled
- Open minded
- Write a letter or email instead of continuing an argument
- Being the Adult
- We acknowledge that our parents are only human and may not always behave in the same manner that they expect from us…
All in all, we had a very productive evening of fellowship and discipleship. I continue to be impressed by the level of maturity and engagement of all youth and feel blessed to be a part of this ministry. They are fine example of – and tribute to – the many wonderful families and parents we have at UBC.