Home > Brian's Blogs, Parenting > Parenting Teenagers, Part 1

Parenting Teenagers, Part 1

For the past several weeks I have been leading a class at Grand Ledge Baptist Church on parenting teenagers. Because not everyone was able to attend this class, I thought it would be good to post some of our major topics of conversation. We begin with the purpose of parenting.

The Bible does not contain a specific “purpose statement” for parenting. However, the Bible does provide many important insights that relate to the family and the purpose of parenting.

Of utmost importance is the role of family in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the family unit comprises one of the most foundational and important communities on earth. While it is true that following Jesus is more important than following family (Matt. 10:34-37; Luke 14:26), Jesus in no way diminishes the role of the family. A wonderful survey on the importance of family throughout the Bible is Family in the Bible: Exploring Customs, Culture, and Context.

One of the reasons that family is so important is that family is a primary vehicle for revealing God to the next generation.  This is clear from a most important text (perhaps the most important for the Israelite community), Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (NIV).

This role of the family, or more specifically, the role of parents in teaching their children, is evident in Proverbs.  Read Proverbs 1:1-7; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 6:20; 7:1; etc. to see the role of a father in teaching his son God’s wisdom.

Let me skip a lot of the background but take these two texts and develop a purpose statement: the purpose of parenting is to create biblically wise adults.

I’ll tease out the implications of this over the next couple of posts, but let me give you this to start:

  • Biblical wisdom begins with “the fear of the Lord” (Prov. 1:7).  Therefore, our primary purpose in parenting is redemptive: introduce them to Jesus Christ so that they might fear the Lord.
  • Biblical wisdom is appropriately defined as “skillful living.”  For example, read Proverbs 26:4-5.  These two verses seem to contradict one another: do you answer the fool or don’t you?  Well, that takes wisdom! Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t.  Our purpose as parents is to help our children learn to live skillfully so that they can navigate this world in a Christlike manner.  In other words, our purpose is not to produce well-mannered children, our purpose is to produce God-fearing, Christlike adults.
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  1. March 18, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for posting this. I heard very good things about the class. I’m told there were several “things that make you go hmmm” moments that I look forward to reading about.

  2. Janelle Collins
    March 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I’m so glad that you are posting this. I, too, have heard good things and would love to get the information, even though I couldn’t be in the class.

  1. March 19, 2008 at 9:51 am
  2. March 21, 2008 at 11:47 am

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