DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I guess I behaved the same way when I was a teenager, but my daughter (who’s 16) goes around with a sullen attitude all the time. No matter what I tell her, she just rolls her eyes as if I’m the dumbest person on earth. Will she ever grow up?
DEAR E.MCF.: Yes, she probably will, just as you did, once you matured and realized that life wasn’t going to be handed to you on a platter. Instead, you discovered that life involves responsibilities, which often force us to become mature.
I often think of a young man in the Bible named John Mark. He wanted to go with the Apostle Paul on his first missionary journey, which would have been an exciting adventure for someone his age. But once the excitement wore off and the journey became hard, Mark abandoned Paul and went home. He was obviously immature and irresponsible, and Paul refused to take him on another journey (see Acts 15:36-40). But over time, Mark changed, and God even used him to write the Gospel of Mark.
Young people your daughter’s age often feel tugged in different directions (although they may not even realize it). On one hand, they need the wisdom and guidance that only parents and other adults can give them. On the other, they yearn to be free and independent, which they will be someday. Part of our responsibility is to help them make that transition.
Pray for your daughter, and urge her to put her life into Christ’s hand. Don’t expect her to grow up all at once, but ask God to give you wisdom, gentleness and patience. Above all, assure her constantly of your love and concern, now and in the future.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
Style, Pages 30 on 08/27/2013
Print Headline: ON CHRISTIANITY