Is your child going to church camp this summer? Make sure you think about your role to ensure that experience serves him or her well for a long time.
As your child leaves home for camp, you don’t have to unplug from involvement in his or her spiritual condition. Pray for a life-changing week, but prepare for a life-changing home when your child returns in a few days.
Your child is officially at camp, but that does not mean that you have one less responsibility. Even when a child is out of sight does not mean he or she is out of mind. While there is plenty to oversee when children are in your presence, there is, even more, to imagine when they are not.
When children are gone, parents often revert to one of four tendencies:
- Relax – Parenting is an all-encompassing responsibility. You rightfully deserve time to recharge, and you might feel a need to embrace an overdue opportunity to relax for a week.
- Divert – Instead of relaxing, you might divert all your focus typically reserved for your teenager to another family member or a postponed project. Your personality will ensure that you have plenty to do!
- Worry – Without having constant supervision of your child, you may feel overrun with worry regarding activity, diet, sleep, companions, etc. If you are anxious about your child’s well-being, it can be challenging to anticipate the spiritual growth that can happen due to your constant concerns.
- Rearrange – While you might have some furniture repositioning you want to do, you might need to reflect on rearranging the home more than rearranging the house. What’s the difference? Instead of spending all your time working on the physical environment of your house, could you take some time to reflect on the spiritual environment of your home?
Which one are you more prone to do while your child is gone?
Regardless of what your natural tendencies is, you need to make sure that you pray and prepare for their return. Do you have concerns? Pray about them. Are you hoping for some type of particular breakthrough? Pray about it. Are you hoping some healthy relationships are established? Pray for them.
Each day, spend some time preparing your heart and your home for when your teenager returns from camp. Your child’s camp experience is designed to encourage drastic change, but your home is designed to facilitate gradual change that is just as important. Let the preparations begin!
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.