Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blessed To Be The Bad Guy

I turned into an old lady again this morning. Someone who my daughter just "doesnt get".

Just because the old blue jeans are too short now, doesnt mean they would make an excellent choice for cut off shorts, or so I thought. The fact that they are way too tight for any human to breathe in, should not determine whether or not they are feasible clothing options, or so I thought. Just because everybody looks like they rolled out of bed and ran off to school, doesnt mean that dirty sweatpants and t-shirts actually look nice. And just because a ribbed tank top is at least as wide as two fingers on the shoulders, doesnt mean it is an appropriate clothing item for a young lady to wear to school... according to this old lady, of course.

Nope, they just dont get me. So this morning, Im the bad guy (or girl) again. Unreasonable. Unrealistic. Not undertanding teens today. Not knowing that everybody else is wearing it. Then the infamous words, "whatever", were spoken, resulting in my being the temporary owner of a little black cell phone.

What they dont understand, is that I do understand. In fact, I vividly remember trying to back out of the house when I was in high school, so that my mother wouldnt see how snug my new black parachute pants (which she had told me not to buy) were fitting to my skinny teenage body. In my defense, that look was the trend in the mid-80's, and in defense of my daughters, the trend now is to sometimes dress older than your age, or just downright sloppy. But then and now, just because everyone else is doing it, doesnt make it right.

My mom didnt really have an issue with me dressing inappropriately when I was a teenager, partially because I didnt have any desire to really, but also because that really wasnt the trend then, as it is now. Todays teens are bombarded with images of sexy outfits, low cut shirts, lacy bras and thong underwear. In fact, the trend seems to be the more skin that shows, the better, and the sexier the look, the more attractive they believe they are.

So sad that our culture has bred a generation that thinks this provocative look is not only appropriate but required. I get so sad when I see beautiful, young girls dressing so immodestly, and thinking that they are pretty because of it, instead of being pretty because of who they are, and who God made them to be.

By the grace of God, both of my girls dress very modestly on any given basis, with a few unthought-out choices occasionally. They have been to several REVOLVE tours, and have learned about how important it is to stand up for your faith, live by your values, and recognize what impact your clothing choices have on the opposite sex. But nobody is perfect, and sometimes the pull of the world is stronger than the pull to make the right choice. And sometimes, its simply that it is the trend, and they just "dont get" why it matters, which in all honesty, is not really their fault, but instead the blame lies in the value-less culture of todays America.

So this morning, I am thanking and praising Jesus for winning the battle for my heart years ago, so that I could fight the battle for my childrens hearts, against the enemy who would love to get them in his grasp.

It would be so much easier to look the other way every time my children do or say something that is disrepectful, defiant, or downright ugly.

It would be so much easier to give a thumbs up to every outfit that is put on.

It would be so much easier to say yes to every request for weekend outings and sleepovers, even if I didnt know the details, the family, or whether or not there would be appropriate supervision.

It would be so much easier, to be an easy parent, that my kids could "get".

But God called me to be a mom. To be the best parent I can be, and to raise up my children to know and love Him and teach them His ways. And if that means being the bad guy every now and then, then I guess I can live with that.

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Joyful said...

Someday your children will thank you for being the "bad guy". We must be intentional and consistant. I'm with you on this one all the way!

Hang in there...and know God doesn't see you as the "bad guy", but as one who is faithfully training her children in the way they should go, so when they are old they will not depart from it. Hey..that means someday, if we do this thing right...they too will take on the role as "bad guy"! :o)


B His Girl said...

It is a tug of war. Satan is working in our culture big time. I am grieved by it. B

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to parent teenagers these days, but I am convinced that there are more "bad guy" parents out there than kids let on. I too am blessed with daughters who usually make the right choices about clothing and hanging out with friends, but as I tell them it doesn't mean that they won't occasionally be tempted to do the wrong thing. One of my jobs as a mom is to help continue to "make good choices" everyday.

Anonymous said...

Tracie, thank you so much for writing about your strugles with teen clothing and other issues. I saw your family picture first and thought, "Her daughters are nicely dressed. I'll bet that's not an issue in her home." It spurs me on to know other Christian moms are on a daily battle field helping their kids make good choices even tho it's a tiring war. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy S. said...

Bravo Mama! So worth not taking the easy road! God bless you!

Dana said...

Thank you for writing this you I am parenting teens and feel like the bad guy more often than's nice to know that others are right there with matter where we live!


Kia said...

Oh I so relate to the fallen way things are today! I dont like what I see on the streets and in the schools. I dont like how media and outside influence dictate to our young how they should look on the outside, ignoring and pushing away those teachings that grow them on the inside. Bring God back to the classrooms and our lives!