Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trusting Teens


“Love always trusts…” -1 Cor. 13

You already know I love the Andy Griffith Show. Many asked how long it would be before Andy Griffith themes entered my blog scene. Well, it begins today! How can there be any discussion about “trusting kids” without referring to Opie and Andy. But for those that don't care for the Andy Griffith Show (which makes me sad), I won't go there every day- I promise!

One of my favorite episodes is called “Mr. McBeevee.” While walking through the woods, Opie meets Mr. McBeevee, a telephone repairman. Opie, in describing his new friend to Andy and Barney, remarks McBeevee "lives in the trees" (climbs telephone poles to do his work) and "jingles when he walks" and "has 12 extra hands" (referring to the repairman's tools). Since Andy and Barney have not met McBeevee and are unable to track him down, they chalk Opie's enthusiastic description to childhood imagination. That is, until one day Opie comes home with a quarter McBeevee had given him. Andy immediately suspects Opie stole the quarter and takes him to the woods to return it. McBeevee, in the meantime, has been called away to assist fellow workers at another site and has left by the time Andy and Opie arrive. The sheriff takes Opie home to punish him, but backs off (to Barney's chagrin) when he believes his son. In an important scene, Barney questions Andy, “so you believe there is a Mr. McBeevee?” “No Barney, I don’t, but I do believe in Opie,” responds Andy. At the end of the episode, Andy goes to the forest and, having parked next to a telephone pole, fumes aloud, "Mr. McBeevee!" McBeevee immediately shows up, and the two become quick friends.

Trusting is defined as “having a confident expectation of something; hope.” Sometimes it’s not easy trusting in our kids. When they fall short of a goal or fail to reach an objective, it’s easy to lose sight of the hope. It’s been said that “love is willing to be naive and is willing to risk being hurt.” Sometimes the thing our kids need the most is for us as parents to trust in them when they struggle to believe in themselves. When our teen plays a poor game of basketball and wants to quit that night, he needs us to remind them of how good he is. When our teen brings home a poor grade on that test and says they’re “dumb,” he needs us to remind him of how smart he is. When that boyfriend breaks up with your daughter and she’s convinced no guy will ever be interested, she needs us to remind her of how lovable she is. And when they’re confused about life, they need us to remind them of how much God loves them.

By the way, if your teen willfully lies, deal with the dishonesty sternly. But also step back and realize that sometimes teens twist the truth because they’re afraid of how we’ll handle the truth.

Andy trusted his son and not the circumstance. As Andy said, ”I guess these are the times when you have to have faith.” Love charges us as parents to trust in our teens, even when they or someone else does not. Pray for a heart that loves, even when all logic says to doubt.

by Joseph Staples ©

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1 comment:

Pat said...

Even though my kids are no longer teenagers, I enjoy reading your blog! Anytime you can incorporate "Andy and Opie", please do! I think I have too many favorite episodes to mention :-)