Friday, May 31, 2013

Raise the Bar!

     Another action packed week has past with the 8th grade graduation of our youngest.  This graduation was our first, although we have two older children there weren’t ceremonies for them.  I feel the events of kindergarten, 5th and 8th grade are all in the shadow of the Hallmark greeting card corporation.
     Yes, we had to go dress shopping for yet another dress.  I felt the pressure to send out invitations, have a party and buy big gifts.  Fortunately I didn’t give into the pressure and simply gave lots of hugs and opted for a favorite meal after the graduation ceremony.
     All that said, we were more than a little impressed, encouraged and inspired with the message to the graduating 8th grade class.  Pastor Doug Sauder explained to us that the term “teenager” is a relatively new term, appearing in the 1940’s.  He told us the “passage to adulthood” in the American culture is much different from other cultures. 
     Pastor Doug explained that our culture allows for the bar to be set low for “teenagers.”  In fact the overall culture excuses a teenager’s laziness, their wasting of time and the acceptable behavior of rudeness and disrespect.
     He went on to challenge the students to raise the bar Pastor Doug did and amazing job of weaving into his message the example of  young teenagers who chose to work hard, set goals and not to be intimidated.
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and to “Do Hard Things.”
     This message intended for my daughter and her class struck me between the eyes.  In parenting it is easy to drop the bar.  Every since we began parenting teenagers ten years ago, there has been pressure to loosen up on my involvement.  The temptation in parenting teenagers is to let them “figure it out,” or to parent like an ATM machine.  There is an expectation that their teachers and youth pastors would give them the guidance they needed.
     I am grateful I had a pastor who told me just because other parents stopped parenting their teenagers it didn’t give me permission to stop.  I am grateful I went to a conference, which taught a parents responsibility extends to adult children.

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My challenge today is don’t lower the bar of your parenting.  In fact, raise it!  What would the next generation look like if we stayed engaged with our children’s behavior?  What if we raised the bar with the relational aspect of parenting? Throughout the next few days, lets ask ourselves, “Did I raise the bar today?”  Why is it important to raise the bar?  Colossians 3: 17 “…and whatever you do…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”  As unto the Lord, lets raise the bar of parenting!


  1. I love this!! Thank you for posting it!!

  2. I love this Joannie! Thanks for your wisdom having already gone through all these stages.