Home > Brian's Blogs, Parenting > Parenting Teenagers, Part 5

Parenting Teenagers, Part 5

Recently we have concluded that parents remain the number one influence in a teenager’s life. We also concluded that parents primarily influence their teenagers by modeling a biblically wise lifestyle (Deut. 6:4-9). Over the next couple of posts I want to get a little more specific in answering the question how. How do we influence our children by our lifestyle?

To begin, let’s consider the character of God. Since the Bible is a book about God, there are many fabulous descriptions of God throughout. However, consider one of the most enduring descriptions of God in Exodus 34:6-7:

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (NIV)

At the risk of oversimplification, this passage highlights two aspects of the character of God: love and discipline. God is a God of abundant love, but certain situations require God’s severe discipline.  As Terence Fretheim notes, “This comparison shows that the fundamentally new emphasis in 34:6-7 is on the divine mercy and forgiveness and patience…Wrath is not a continuous aspect of the nature of God but a particular response to a historical situation.”

We’ve already seen that our purpose in parenting is to create biblically wise adults which includes instilling within them the fear of the Lord. We’ve also seen that we influence our children by modeling a biblically wise lifestyle. But how do we do all this? By modeling the character of God.

Parents must parent according to the character of God. That is, parents must be parents who provide their children with abundant love but also appropriate discipline. I believe that parents must parent with this slogan in mind: “As God is to me, so must I be to my children!” Is there any other way to introduce them to the Lord that they might grow to love and fear Him?

I believe this to be a biblical answer to the question “how?” But what I really enjoy is when secular psychology unintentionally affirms what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years. That is coming up next…

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  1. March 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    What a great reminder. Its something that I have to remind myself every day when I wake up. I pray and ask the Lord for help because without his help I can do nothing on my own strength.

  1. March 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm

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