Life-Changing Camps & Nit-Picking Parents

Parents – so you’ve sent your children off to church camp, have you? What is your expectation once they return?

They are going to be tired. There will be a transition back into reality, but if you aren’t careful, you could discourage the good that happened over the last few days.

When your child comes home, you still have the right to expect honor, but consider how you interact with him or her in the coming hours. If your child has learned to be like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, the last thing you want to do is to transform him or her into Martha and criticize how he or she isn’t initially meeting your expectations. Hopefully, your child is pondering spiritual matters at a new level, so don’t greet them with trivial frustrations.

Many students feel stifled when their life-changing week is stifled by a nit-picking parent.

No, it doesn’t mean that you give them a free pass to be a slob. I’m not asking for neglecting attitude issues. I’m just wanting you to keep reentry into perspective and not to stifle the good that happened.

Your child will need to help unpack and assist in chores, but can you make the main thing the main thing? Discover what Jesus did in your child’s life before focusing on temporal issues. In their excitement of what God did, you want to fan that flame (2 Tim. 1:6) and encourage that growth. 

For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

2 Timothy 1:6
  • Celebrate – What are some ways you can be intentional to celebrate what God did at camp? What open-ended questions will you ask that can get beneath the surface?
  • Contribute – What are some ways that you can contribute to the continual work in your child’s life? How do you think you can show that you prioritize the most important thing?

Hopefully, Jesus changed your child’s life at camp this week. The good thing is that He comes back with your child on the van ride home. You want to encourage His work as your child comes home. Maybe he or she doesn’t need to fear reentry because you have created such a warm, inviting atmosphere to talk about the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

As you pray for physical safety for the journey home, also pray for spiritual stability once reunited in the home.

Ask God to show you how to avoid stirring up anger in your child. Pray that He would show you how you could continue the growth at camp once your child comes home.

Hopefully, your child has learned how to dwell closer to Jesus this week. Maybe you have too. Let’s be diligent in creating a home environment that continually fosters that connection.