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Courage For Teens

Parenting teenagers… not for the faint of heart.


I’ll never forget one particular prom night. It was around midnight; but we had given our son permission to stay out later, since it was such a special occasion. We had done our homework, and felt confident the plans were safe and parents would be around at the “after-party location.” So, just after midnight, in walks our son, completely deflated. We knew something was up, but, of course, boys don’t generally like to spill the details. I don’t mind spilling though, so here’s what happened…


Things began going downhill at the dance, due to the behavior of the people he was with — not his core group of friends, as they were in a different group this time. By the time the “after party” rolled around, he could see that he had a choice to make. Participate with everyone, or leave. He left.


Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom to know what’s right and the courage to do what’s right, no matter what people think.


This is a prayer that Andy and I started praying early with our kids. And, boy did we pray it often! It’s pretty intuitive to ask God to grant our children wisdom. But, how many of us have found ourselves in trouble because we did something we knew we shouldn’t do?


When everyone else is choosing the unwise path, it awfully hard to muster the courage to go in a different direction, especially when we’re 12-18 years old. The college students we’ve spent time with over the years would be quick to say that the same is true for the first couple years of college. If we’re completely honest, I think we’d have to admit that it’s really somewhat true as adults, too.


Starting when our kids were young, we took advantage of every opportunity we could to praise and make a huge deal out of our kids taking the high road when those around them did not. We were also able to point out missed opportunities for the same.


Think we were proud of our high school son? You bet we were. We were also astounded at his maturity in the following days as he circled back around and handled relationships in a way that we were not at all sure we would have at his age.


Wisdom to know what’s right and courage to do what’s right, no matter what people think. Now, that’s a prayer we ALL need.



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  1. Sandra. This is so helpful. And will be a great dinnertime conversation for my girls. Already at 4 and 7, I’m shocked how early – they are having to make choices that aren’t popular. This is a prayer I’ll be starting tonight. Grateful for your leadership and keep these coming! Hooray for your new blog!!

  2. What a wonderful prayer, and much needed inspiration! With a 12-year old daughter, these are the thoughts that keep me awake at night. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Talk about affirming your teaching, I’d say this more than did. I pray daily for our precious little Grans—for His hedge of protection around them and their wisdom to always make the right decision. And, most importantly, that their lives will always glorify HIM. Thanks for sharing!

  4. My husband and I heard Andy speak that prayer 10 years ago and have been uplifting those same words ever since. My sons will often utter those exact words as we tuck them into bed at night. Thank you!!!

  5. I will never forget the first time I heard Andy speak of the prayer that the two of you pray. It was almost 7 years ago, and I have been praying it ever since for myself, friends and family and the girls that I mentor. The Lord has answered the prayer time and time again. Thanks so much for sharing!

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