Home > Brian's Blogs, Parenting > Parenting Teenagers, Part 7

Parenting Teenagers, Part 7

So far in this series of posts I’ve laid the big picture of parenting teenagers. Over the next several posts, I want to get very practical. Today’s topic: how do you share Christ with your teenager?

This is an extremely important question because the purpose of parenting is creating biblically wise adults and the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Therefore, faith in Christ is the most important place to begin. The following points are taken from John MacArthur’s Successful Christian Parenting, a wonderful book on the theology of parenting:

  1. Live and model a life of faith and repentance. In other words, creating a biblically wise adult begins with you!! Remember, parents have the greatest influence on their children. Furthermore, the number one way that parents influence their children is through lifestyle/example. Are you modeling the faith and obedience that you want your children to possess? See this previous post.
  2. Think of parenting – including leading your children to Christ, as a long-term, full-time assignment. Do not be discouraged over a lack of faith and do not stop parenting when your children express faith in Christ. We must continue to model, teach, love and discipline our children as long as they are in our homes to help them become biblically wise adults.
  3. Do not assume your child’s first positive response is full-fledged saving faith. I am currently experiencing this with my six-year-old daughter. She says she loves God. She admits sin. She wants to be baptized and take communion. Is she a Christian? Ultimately that is up to God’s gracious call in her life, but we keep sharing Christ with her and challenging her in her faith.
  4. Teach your children the whole counsel of God.
  5. Don’t merely force external conformance to God’s Word, but address the inward conformance of the heart. External conformance is behaviorism and does not create a biblically wise adult. See this previous post.
  6. Allow your children to question God and Christianity. Questioning things is a part of growing up. In fact, questioning things is a part of being grown up. As adults, we still question things about God and Christianity sometimes, don’t we? We must allow our children the freedom to explore while always pointing them to the truth. Here is a fact: your children WILL question…will they question you or will they question their peers? Strive to create an open and trusting environment where they will trust you with their questions.
  7. Do not isolate your children from the world. This is a tough one for parents, because we want to protect our children. However, we can go overboard in this area. Certainly there are things we don’t want our children to see or experience (i.e. pornography). However, we must expose them to the reality of sin and temptation in the world. Read Proverbs 1-9. Solomon does an amazing job of introducing his son to the reality of sin and temptation in the world. But Solomon doesn’t stop there, he instills wisdom in his son so that his son can successfully navigate a world of sin and temptation. This is biblical parenting.
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  1. April 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    You know you have the outline of a book here. Why not write up a proposal and float the idea . . . one never knows. It’s good stuff.

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