The appreciating factor of youth

Today our son Elijah turns 15. Is that even possible?

It seems it was just not at all that long ago I was sliding through icy intersections getting Renee to the hospital so we could meet little Elijah Moses.  How quickly the years have gone.

I suppose a father is allowed to wax a bit nostalgic (and maybe even proud) as he considers his son getting closer and closer to adulthood.

Elijah is intelligent, great with little kids, ministry-minded, and has an entertaining sense of humor.  I just like being around him.  And he still tells us that he loves us a few times a day.

I’m happy to be his dad.

As I reflect on this, I simply want to encourage you in this post to appreciate a young person in your life.

  • Appreciate who they are, their character as it is forming and expressing itself.
  • Appreciate their perspective, their innocent and often useful ignorance of conventional wisdom (an oxymoron if there ever was one).
  • Appreciate their challenges, because their stage of life has its own set of trials and stresses.
  • Appreciate the moment, fleeting as it is, and relish this season of their lives while you can.
  • Appreciate the privilege.  I learned as a youth pastor what an honor it is to be invited as a welcome voice in the lives of young people.  There’s nothing quite like it.

We all need encouragement and guidance, caring and friendship.  For no one is this probably more true than for teenagers and young adults.  I know it was true for me in that stage of my life.  I know it’s still true.

I also know we need to laugh and dream and, in a very real sense, to stay young–if staying young means staying flexible, fun-loving, and forward-thinking.

Do you know a young person in whose life you can be an appreciating factor?  I assure you they can be such a factor in your life too.

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