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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: Teenage Hunger Pangs
By Corinne Smelker


Hunger and Teenager — the words go together like bees and honey, love and marriage, mortgage and debt. I have one teenager in the house right now, with another four right on his heels. I’m a little worried, as fast as I can fill fridge and pantry, he empties them — by himself moreover! What will happen when the others hit the magic ‘een’ years?

Recently though, I have noticed another kind of hunger from this man-child. He has a close band of friends, with whom he shares everything — the good, the bad and the ugly. He is a natural leader, and his friends gladly follow him; he has more self-control than most adults I know (including me). He seldom loses his cool, and has a kind word for everyone, and a soft spot for people in trouble.

Like so many of your children, my son has been in church his whole life — one of the ones “born in the pew”. His foundation is good, and solid, but his future is now up to him. We guide him and pray for and with him, but he is old enough now to choose his own path.

Our move to Texas was hard on this the oldest of our children. He’d been with the same friends for 12 of his 14 years, and although he understood the move, there was an underlying ripple of resentment.

Our previous church was established, our new one less than one year old. The youth was building slowly, too slowly for his liking and he abandoned it during wrestling season, even though we encouraged him to attend. But this summer our church hired a full-time Youth Pastor, a man so on fire for God, the heat radiates off him. The youth got energized and my son, my just-turned-fifteen-year-old was tapped to be a leader.

I’m not sure whether it was the added responsibility that was handed to him, or whether it was an encounter with God I was privileged enough to witness, but my son now has an insatiable appetite for the things of God.

“I have to read five chapters of the Bible each day,” he announced two weeks ago. OK, this is a boy who took all summer to read “The Pearl”!
I thought up a proposition. “I will read those chapters every day too, and then we can talk about them.” I brightly said.
I received the withering stare that is birthright of all teens. “Mom. I can do it on my own.” And by gum – he has and he is!

In the last month he has led two of his three best friends to the Lord, and last week wrote one of his friends a three-page letter filled with love and concern for some wrong actions this boy had taken. (He went to Michigan for 6 weeks during the summer — all I got was a “Hi Mom” email from him!) He has spent more time in prayer than in video games, more time reading the Word than in watching TV, and more time talking with quiet intensity to his friends about God than in discussing the latest football games.

I can’t always keep the fridge and pantry as well-stocked as he would like, but in this house there will always be an endless supply of God’s love ministered through His Word and through our prayers. As long as there are hungry hearts, we are willing to provide.

Now that kind of hunger I can get used to!

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 11/15/04
How blessed you are to have every mother's dream (no, not that the fridge is continually emptied out by her teenagers - that's a reality! LOL) The fact that you can witness your son hungering for the Word of God and walking out his destiny is an inspiration to mom's everywhere! You must be so proud! I hope & pray I can watch my own kids do the same.
Thanks for sharing!
Love, Lynda
Kathy Cartee11/15/04
What a great gift God has given to you !

I enjoyed reading your article.
You have the gift every parent longs to receive.
If we give to our children the whole world and fail to lead to to Christ, then what have we really given to them that is of any value?
Lucian Thompson11/15/04
My Cori, I am blessed to have read this article. Your son is our son; the one we would all love to have. He proves that God is working in our teens and bringing them into leadership for His cause. David was just a year or two older than your son when he was tapped as King. Looking forward to even greater things from your hungry son. May it be so.
Cori, your son sounds alot like mine. I feel just as blessed. I don't know if you had the chance to read the story i wrote for "Sisters.." But it is about the outside verses the inside. There are so many good teens out there that are being great witnesses to others because of their hearts and their clothes sometimes help them (although we might not like them). I hope my son continues on the same path yours is. Thanks for sharing.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/15/04
With teenage boys of my own who hunger for Jesus, I am always encouraged to hear how many others their age are like-minded. God is raising up an awesome army for Himself in these days, and what a privilege to be the ones feeding it. May God bless you and your family!
DeAnna Brooks11/15/04
May your son never outgrow those hunger pangs. May they always drive him to his Father's heart for the sustainence he needs in every situation of life.
Lisa Beaman11/15/04
The description of your son sounds a whole lot like my son, whose only 10. I hope that he will choose the same path as yours in the next few years. Great story. I liked the comparison with the fridge.

BTW, congratulations on winning both Readers Choice & Editors Choice from last week's contest!
Melanie Kerr 11/15/04
It must be challenging to stay abreast with him! I am glad that he has so obviously caught what you yourself have - a passion for jesus!
Kelly Klepfer11/15/04
Convicting isn't it? There is nothing like a teenager who loves the Lord. What a blessing!
Praise the Lord every day for the blessing you have. My son didn't have the opportunity to be raised in a Chrisitan and remains unsaved to this day. But I know a few boys raised in Christian homes who have turned from the Lord. Congratulations on you blessing and on the writing. Both are wonderful gifts.
John Hunt11/15/04
Wonderful, wonderful article. You son sounds like a terrific young man, and kudos to you for being a godly parent.
Great job - on the article and in life!
Karri Compton11/15/04
So many teenagers go astray. You are very blessed to have such a godly son. Nice writing. God bless, Karri
Verlie Ruhl11/15/04
Cori, what an encouraging and uplifting article! We hear so little of teens who are faithful--thanks so much for posting this.
Deborah Anderson11/15/04
"I can’t always keep the fridge and pantry as well-stocked as he would like, but in this house there will always be an endless supply of God’s love ministered through His Word and through our prayers. As long as there are hungry hearts, we are willing to provide."--You said a mouthful sister, and then some. What a blessing. God bless you.
Marcell Billinghurst11/16/04
What a lovely story and privilege to have a son who is so hungry for the Word of God. A Prayer I am sure many of us would like to see fulfilled. God bless you in your writing and your family in your walk with God.
Jean Boulmay11/16/04
A wonderful article. You certainly are blessed!
Barbara Ann Smith11/16/04
It is wonderful to read a story that shows the love of Christian Parents. I'm so proud of your son and I'm sure you both beam with happiness as you watch him grow in the Lord. A Great Story!
Debbie OConnor11/16/04
Great story. I particularly liked the opening hook. Swept me right in. What a blessing to have your son so hungry for God. May all our children be like him in that regard.
Phyllis Inniss11/17/04
I know how blessed you feel for God has blessed you with a wonderful son. Thanks for sharing.
Tesiri Moweta11/18/04
The beauty about teenagers on fire for the Lord is that they put in all they've got- something adults need to learn. Indeed, the glory of the teenager is in his strength.
My prayer is the same with yours- his hunger will grow as he grows.
Beautiful piece you've written. You're always a great blessing when you write. You know that, don't you?
Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/18/04
You're a great mom!
Linda Germain 11/19/04
Oh Cori,
Everything you write makes me cry. What a precious witness this is. You are very blessed to have such a fine young man, but he is doubly blessed to have the two incredible parents he has! Whatever you are doing, don't stop! ~LG~
Pam Williams11/21/04
You are indeed blessed to have such a teenager. I enjoyed reading your work.