By Erika Rizkallah
It’s one o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting in my living room surrounded by very loud teenage boys. We started telling ghost stories a half an hour ago and now everyone’s afraid to go to bed.
Except me. I’d love to go to bed, but I can’t until I know everyone’s safely “tucked in” for the night.
Things have changed a lot for me over the past couple of years. When my oldest daughter was that age I came to the realization that our best conversations happen at night.
I’m not sure what it is. Maybe they’re a little more open and vulnerable – or I’m more approachable somehow. Maybe it’s because their circadian rhythm is the exact opposite of mine. At any rate, I learned that if I made myself available and sat quietly doing my own thing, they’d mosey on over and start telling me stories.
I bet Jesus was that kind of guy. We know people were drawn to him. Great crowds would follow him and he would sit down on some mountainside or take a walk at the water’s edge. We know that he taught, preached and spoke in parables.
But I bet he was a great listener and a compassionate friend.
As a parent I strive to be like him. I wish I knew what was in my children’s hearts (most of the time). I wish I could get my message across in a way they’d be more open to hearing – in the daytime as well as the night.
If you’re a parent of teens and young adults, never underestimate how important your availability is to them. Always remember that they need you now just as much as they did in the early years. Make it a point to stay up late with them, tell them ghost stories and God stories and occasionally have cookies and milk at midnight.
The payoff is well worth the next day’s tiredness.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9