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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Chupp

The Answer Never Changes

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

Life is filled with blessings and challenges. Sometimes more of one than the other, but somehow while on the journey we consistently encounter both. Another interesting fact is, that at every challenge, there’s always a blessing attached. Yes, always. Maybe not visible at the time, but because of a loving Heavenly Father, the blessing is sure to show up.

I remember approximately 8 years ago, I faced a mountain. I was sure I wouldn’t overcome that thing! It looked huge! Hopeless and overwhelming were some of the feelings I experienced as the mountain came into view, and I began to stare at it. That mountain by the way was raising teenagers. At that time we’d just come out of the elementary ages, thinking we’d learned a lot and finally ready to do some coasting as parents. We were wrong. God had other plans. I needed to learn much more! Today we have 4 wonderful teens and a ten year old that travel the journey with my dear wife and I. I guess someday I should write a book.

I shudder at all the mistakes I made. Anger, determination, frustration, dominance, control, desperation, perfectionism, high expectations, fear and pressure are the things I recognize today that our young teens were damaged with. As a new father to teens, I thought I had it all figured out. In confidence I stood on my agenda. And I stood strong. At the first signs of disobedience, disrespect and self-will I began to react. My reactions included the aforementioned. Obviously my reactions fed the fire, and we started a downhill slide according to my plans.

I sought advice. Some encouraged me, saying you’ll see change as maturity happens. I didn’t believe it. Some said raising teens is a fun time. No way could I believe that, they must be completely off the rocker!! I hadn’t tasted an ounce of fun! Some would say it’s just a stage they’re going through. I wrote that one off as a myth! I would do everything possible to achieve respect and obedience. Everything from drawing hard lines, to building fences, to punishment, silent treatments to grounding, pressuring and guilt trips. It simply didn’t work for me. It only got worse. Choices that were made just blew my mind.

Then one day by the grace of God I found the answer to bring change. Guess where I found it. It stood in front of me, looking back at me, straight out of the mirror. It was me that needed changing. It was my heart that needed healing and peace. It was my attitude that wasn’t right. It was my life that needed some brushing up. God blessed me that day with strength and courage, and we began to turn things around. With gentle loving nudges from my wife and the honesty of our children’s hearts I began to do something different. Listen. That’s it, just listening.

This took lots of time, but man, did things start to change. This is what I discovered. Listening makes another person feel valued. Listening makes another person feel cared about. It builds and develops trust. It strengthens and grows relationships in an astounding way. It draws others to us. It allows others to believe in us. Others feel loved. They feel cherished and understood. Convictions are formed. Obedience now comes from the convictions within the heart.

Today I am so blessed to say, we are having a fantastic time raising our teenagers! They’re involvement in our church outreach program just boggles my mind! Taking part in communion, desiring baptism, joining bible studies, and digging into the Word are just some of the fruits we see. The other evening our 17 year old daughter approached us wanting biblical guidance on purity within a dating relationship. It was a conversation that most of us parents pray for!!! I told my wife later that evening, “I am so blessed. Our teen’s today stand with two feet on a very solid foundation. They know what’s right, want what’s right and are willing to do what’s right. And they want it all backed up by a relationship with the Father and His Word!” They want it because they believe in their hearts it’s what’s right! They truly understand eternal destiny! It brings a lump to my throat! Thank you Jesus! Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for listening to Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, the prostitute, to Adam and Eve and to all of us that have made mistakes. Thank you for drawing us back to you by listening. So much that you died for us. Thank you!

I want to bless every parent today! Thank you for listening to me. If you’re in a challenge there is hope. There are answers. There will be a blessing. Just listen. Look in the mirror. Then just listen. To Jesus. To the Word. To your spouse. And your children. To others. Keep going brothers and sisters! It’s worth it. I promise. I’ve listened to people from all walks of life, rich, poor, sad, happy, and broken. Divorced couples, to prisoners, to widows and orphans. From death row in penitentiaries to the poverty stricken mountain slopes of Dominican Republic. From the homeless in the city streets to the executive behind the desk. The answer has always been the same. Just listen. Sometimes the ones closest to us are the ones we don’t listen too. I am guilty.

Listening again,

Jeremy



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