Ah, to have a teenager! If you have one, then you'll be able to relate to this statement. (If you don't, pay attention!) Do you find that the majority of what you do is lecture, or point out the little things they did wrong and explain in a long, drawn out fashion the way they could have handled something better (to which they completely faze out in the first 10 seconds.) Isn't our real goal to train them in the way they should go so when they are older they will not depart from it? I know that's my goal, sprinkled with a little bit of wanting to help them avoid hardship from poor decisions. I always tend to forget that it's in the "little" mistakes that true learning is accomplished. Still ....
Yesterday Kyndal went home with a friend after school. I picked her up in the early evening and she told me a story. Her and her friend were going to walk up one of the busy streets in our town (on sidewalks, of course), to go get ice cream. While at her friend's she had put on a pair of her friend's shorts. Apparently they were pretty short. They got out to the main road and started walking and Kyndal said she just stopped. She told her friend that she wanted to go back and change back into her jeans. She told her friend that if I knew she was out walking around in short shorts that I would be really mad. Her friend was, like, "oh, your mom won't care." Kyndal told her I. would. care. All she could imagine was me driving by and seeing her. So, they went back so Kyndal could change. She said she even thought that if I saw her walking back to do the right thing, that I would jump to conclusions and think she had been wearing them for a long time, walking around the streets of our town for the world to see.
I was so proud of her. She was very proud of herself! She has apparently learned two very important lessons. 1. to listen to that "little voice inside". (By the way, that was the Holy Spirit, not her mama talkin' to her!) And, 2. that just because we know we are doing something that is not bad, someone "driving" by might not know. (For instance, I always tell her that when adults are at a restaurant it's not wise to have an alcoholic drink. Even if it's just one, the youth kid they mentor that walks in the door doesn't know that it's just one. They may wonder if it's number five or if they do that every night of the week). We have to be careful about what we do in public to protect our own reputations.
Those lectures have all been worth it!