31 Ways to Raise ‘Em Right: Youth Group is Not an Option

In our house we dole out punishments that either help us, make my kids smarter or stronger, or that entertain us. Here are some examples:

Kid gets lippy or struggles with kind words- You, sir, may scrub the toilet

dobbyKid decides to lie about whereabouts- oh. Ok. Well. You are old enough to know better, to know you would get caught, and old enough to watch FRIENDS. You clearly need more time with me. You madame must watch FRIENDS with me, start to finish, the entire series any time I want.

Kid slacks on chores- here. You get these Qtips. I need these intricate antique frames dusted. Thank you for being here.

Some of these came in moments of complete brilliance. Others I stole from my dad. But this one has been a rule for as long as I remember- it applied to me as a kid, and we have applied it to our own children.

Youth group is not optional.

You get grounded? You betcha you’re going to do chores. You’ll go nowhere. You will have no phone privileges. HOWEVER. You may go to youth group. Go ahead. Go tell all of them how mean we are and how offended you are that we would stoop and do all the stooping and how dare we stoop at you. You will get three words in before someone hugs you, encourages you, and then points you back to Jesus.

You’ll be surrounded with light and your dark sad little attitude will be smothered with love.

You’ll get people who are willing to pray for you, right then and there.

You’ll get a couple hours out of the house which is really a win win for us all because when you are grounded I feel grounded and that makes me tired sometimes.

And even on those weeks where you are a shining star, and not grounded, you know which week each year I am talking about? Well in those moments, you’ll have all those people to hash through things and talk to about serious issues, and I can rest assured that those leaders are pointing you back to Jesus and speaking life over you.

I can be confident that you are being called out to try and strive and be a light to your friends. I love that you have this place, because it makes my village just a little bit bigger.

When my parents separated on repeat over the course of a couple years you can guess that I needed people. My youth group kept my head in the game. When my brother checked out and checked into depression, I grasped on-white knuckle-to my youth group leaders and friends. I allowed no space. They stood with me in prayer and rides and accountability. For the most part, I lived on my own since I was 16. In a high school that had the focus of keeping kids out of gangs and keeping girls from getting pregnant, the standards were low. Youth group helped me not to settle.

If you don’t have a youth group for your kids, find one. Find one where they think a lot more outwardly to serve and a lot less like our kids already think-selfishly, about number one, about the mall. Find a place where the adults support your kids at their sporting events and in prayer and in chasing after Jesus with all of their guts. And then let your kids that youth group is no longer an option.

Thanks for being here to celebrate my birthday month! #shes40 I am posting everyday of October for the 31 day blogging challenge and giving you all the presents! Share a post on Facebook, and your name gets entered in to the mix for a prize- you won’t want to miss these! Share one post, you get entered into the drawing once. Share each of the 31 days, and you have 31 chances to win one of many goodies. Be sure to tag me in the post, so your entry does’t get lost in the algorithm vortex.