A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to post a book review on Jen Hatmaker’s newest book, Out of the Spin Cycle. Jen has such an honest and humorous style, giving moms a voice of encouragement and empathy in issues we face when it comes to the care and keeping of our kids’ hearts.
It was great to be able to e-interview Jen about her new book and delve a bit deeper into her wisdom and insight. I was particularly interested in how Jen sees her role as a serving mom and on her thoughts when it comes to the spiritual walk of older kids:
–about seeing your role as a mother/servant–in that concept, how do you instill in your kiddos that you are modeling servanthood and not just ‘being’ the servant who picks up, cleans up, deals with everyone’s stuff? It seems a challenge for moms to serve without becoming servile, if you will…
What do you have to saw to moms who are not seeing spiritual fruit in their late-teens/early adult children? Since I’m mothering a passel of kids ages 19 years to 3 years old, some of my friends with older kids are struggling as their older kids are not presently walking with the Lord. What words of encouragement do you have for them when evidence of fruit is missing?
As you know, we have the strongest spiritual voice to our kids when they are under 14. (About 85% of all Christians become a believer before that age.) After that, it’s much harder to affect their trajectory. This, of course, is why discipling our kids while they are young and preteen is so crucial. However, the teenage years are also the years kids are trying to decide if their parents faith is also theirs. We should expect some push back, some skepticism, even some spiritual disappointment during that phase. That is not necessarily indicative of how they will enter young adulthood.
So our best bet is to consistently model a transformed life to our teenagers – not just church attendance and tithing. I mean living a transformed Christian life in front of them that includes sacrifice, justice, mission…the things that inspire the young generation. Most church youth groups (and parents) expect to see wonderful fruit in their kids lives, but all they’ve ever inspired them with are putt-putt outings and youth pizza parties. It isn’t enough. Teens need something monstrous, something larger than themselves, something grand and exciting to believe it, or they’ll leave. They can get putt-putt and pizza parties anywhere. Parents need to live a fearless, adventurous spiritual life in front of their children. The gospel is inspiring and marvelous; it is enough. Live on mission with your kids and leave the work of the Holy Spirit up to him. At that point, you’ve done everything you were asked to do as a mom.
Jen, many, many thanks for your transparency, humor and heart. Best wishes on the new book! And fearless Octamom Readers, be sure and pick up Jen’s latest tome, Out of the Spin Cycle, for a spiritual boost in the mothering glute!