So Much to Lose

Photo by Ben Duchac

Last weekend I spoke to a group of parents of teenagers, and as usual, I learned a lot from them.  In a conversation afterward, one parent shared something with me in response to a point I had made about increasing the number of connections between kids and adults.  She said that she decided she was going to contact the parents of the other members of her son’s new high school small group and invite them to get together for a barbecue to get to know each other and begin to pray together for their sons over the next few years.  She was hoping this would be a first step toward inviting parents to invest in each other’s kids.

When I said “What a great idea!  I’m actually surprised that I haven’t heard of parents doing that before,” she responded, “Well, we have so much to lose.”  That part caught me off guard…with its truth.  What she meant was that getting to know each other and beginning to share in each other’s lives is a huge risk, because we’re giving others access to who we really are outside the church, to the ways we parent, and inevitably to what’s going on in our own spiritual lives.  In other words, we have our well-kept images to lose!

In the midst of all the things we teach our kids as parents and as youth workers, I pray we can teach our kids that it’s so worth it to lose the facades that keep us from developing real relationships.  It may be painful at times, but it’s worth it.  And unless we’re willing to go for it and model it like this parent, the chances they’ll pick it up on their own are slim.