Dealing with teenagers can be a real challenge. A typical teenager is concerned with one thing in their lives: themselves. As a result, they tend to make their relationship with their parents very transactional. They expect to request and to receive, and nothing more. Give them the car keys, and they are happy. Give them money for gas, the movies, or for clothes, and they are fulfilled. Ask them to clean-up their room, or watch their baby brother, and it is as if you have asked them for a pint of blood. It’s all about them.
Many of us approach our relationship with God the same way. We expect to request and to receive, and nothing more. God has become our personal genie to fulfill our every request. Our relationship with God becomes largely a transactional one. We ask. He gives. Transaction completed. Sadly, this approach drastically limits the power of God to work in our lives. We limit our expectations to getting only what we ask for, and nothing more.
Instead, we should take a relational approach with God. Like a parent to their children, we must understand that God is always engaged in our lives seeking our greater good, whether we want it, or ask for it. If only teenagers understood how much more their parents are willing to give them. Yet, they tend to pull close to their parents when they want something, and push them away when they don’t. The relationship becomes like a yo-yo.
Don’t let that happen with God. Strive to keep Him ever-present in your mind and your life. Try to develop the habit of prayer throughout your day by sprinkling your day with heart-felt conversations with God, moments of quiet reflection, and an awareness for how God is working in your life. When you do, your relationship with God deepens. In turn, your awareness of His immense love and concern for you grows. He no longer is your genie. He becomes your closest friend, most trusted advisor, and greatest advocate.
I trust in you, Lord; I say “You are my God.” My destiny is in your hands. – Psalm 31:15-16