Killing My Teenager’s Vibe

They see me rollin
They see me rollin.

It was a happy occasion. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings – all excited to see each other, walking through the airport together. All walking, except me, seated comfortably in a Southwest Airlines wheelchair, my wife selflessly pushing from behind.

We paused at a restroom entrance. I noticed a white wire hanging from one of my teenager’s ears, and spoke up.

Me: “Hey – you’ve got to put that away”

Teenager: “What? Why?”

Me: “You can’t listen to music while you are walking and talking with your cousins.”

Teenager: “But I’ve only got one ear in!”

Me: “That doesn’t matter. it separates you from the rest of the group.”

Teenager: “You are killing my vibe.”

I can’t remember what I said; maybe a question asking if the vibe was more valuable than the cousins, but grudgingly, the earbuds came out.

One of the hardest things about parenting is, half the time we are making up the rules as we go.  However, making your personal “vibe” a priority seems counter to the the whole point of our new life in Christ.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4

Sure, “one earbud in” is not the worst thing in the world. And if I didn’t have a great relationship with my kid, I might not choose that battle. But I want my kids to learn that habitual self-focus is the devil’s snare. I know because it still trips me up all the time. And I know because I am most joyful when I forget about myself and focus on the needs of others. Of course, self-care is important. I can’t care for others effectively if I neglect personal hygiene, don’t get enough sleep, don’t get good rest, or never relax and have fun.

However, even in the midst of those things, the mind of Christ in me must be aware of people around me. It is the nature of Christ to sacrifice himself, and now that is our nature as well, as much as we claim to be his disciples, and submit to his loving authority.

…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Truthfully, the very hardest part isn’t parenting this stuff. It’s remembering it for myself. But when I do remember – I am free. Joy, kindness, and peace all come easier. Patience and compassion are within reach. Who wouldn’t want that for their kids?

 

Randall Goodgame is the founder of Slugs & Bugs Family Music. The newest Slugs & Bugs album, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, Volume 2 released on March 18, 2016. Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs Volume 1 was nominated for Children’s Album of the Year at the 2015 Dove Awards.

(visit the Slugs & Bugs website!)

Vol 2 Cover

Here’s what people are saying about Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, Volume 2:

Andrew Beem (Dad in Texas- facebook post) – Just want to say thanks. Not a whole lot is more beautiful than my seven year old singing scripture, and your CDs help make that happen

Allyssa Ramsey (North Carolina mom  – facebook post)
just wanted to tell you that I love Sing the Bible 2 so much that I hardly know how to say it. My kids ask for it every time we get in the van, and they often don’t want to get out because they’re not done listening. They’re asking questions like “what does humility mean?” and “Is that the REAL Frankenstein?” Everything about this record is so, so right. We love it. LOVE it. Love it. Thank you so much.

Jamie Showmaker (mom in North Carolina – facebook post)  Thanks for equipping our family with music that feeds the soul and stirs our affections for Christ.

Maggie Smith (mom of 3 in memphis – facebook) Listening to your sing the bible album was like going to church! Encouraging and convicting. Creative and funny. I am so thankful for your music.

Mom named Sara in Michigan (Instagram post):  I was working on a project today and overheard my six and eight-year-olds hunting verses in the Bible and comparing them to the lyrics of Sing the Bible Volume 2. What a wonderful inspiration your music is to their curious souls!

We really love the fact that while your songs are full of wholesome & hilarious fun, the focus is not on being silly but on meditating God’s word and being changed by it. – Ellen White, mom in London, England

Your music has created opportunities that never existed before, for my husband and I to discuss things with our kids, that always seemed too lofty, to difficult.
Heidi Herrick – mom in California

To listen to the music from Sing the Bible Volume 2 – click here.

To purchase Sing the Bible Volume 2 – click here.

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