Trying to be your teen’s friend actually cheats them out of having these things in their lives.
Sometimes parents think that a strong relationship with their teen means having a strong friendship—but there’s a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed.
Treating them like “kids” will reinforce the former; treating them as emerging leaders will reinforce the latter.
Read Deuteronomy 6 for an overview of what God expects from parents as it relates to the spiritual nurture and development of their children.
(Hint: it’s doesn’t say, “Hand them off to the youth pastor and bring them to church on Sunday.”) 2. It’s sad that I have to write this one at all, but I’m convinced very few Christian parents actually express genuine love and “like” to their teen.
It can become easy for parents to only see how their teen is irresponsible, failing, immature, etc., and become a harping voice instead of an encouraging, empowering one.
Do you intentially set aside time to tell your teen how much you love and admire them? Do you have “date nights” where you spend time together and share with them the things you see in them that you are proud of?
It specifically looks at my commitment to be involved in “emerging church ministry” as opposed to “youth ministry,” and it you may find some principles within it helpful. I simply do not understand parents who expect and want their kids to have a dynamic, flourishing faith, and yet don’t move heaven and earth to get them connected to both a youth group and local church.
I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret: no teenager can thrive in their faith without these two support mechanisms.That doesn’t align itself to Jesus’ teaching as it relates to the healthy rhythms of prayer, Sabbath, and down-time, all of which are critical to the larger Christian task of “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew ). A lot of the time parents are well-intentioned in our spoiling, but our continual stream of money and stuff causes teens to never be satisfied and always wanting more. Maybe it’s because many parents feel so overwhelmed with their own issues, they can hardly think of pouring more energy into a (potentially) taxing struggle or point of contention.Your teen doesn’t need another piece of crap, what he needs is time and attention from you (that’s one expression of spoiling that actually benefits your teen! There are two things that can really set you back in life if we get them too early: a. Whatever the reason, permissive parenting is completely irreconcilable with a Christian worldview. Your teen doesn’t need another friend (they have plenty); they need a parent.Your teen won’t ask you for it, so don’t wait for an invitation.Everyday say something encouraging to your teen that builds them up (they get enough criticism as it is! Pray everyday for them and ask God to help you become one of the core people in your teen’s life that He uses to affirm them. Expecting your teen to have a devotion to God that you are not cultivating within yourself.I’m not saying a strong youth group and church community is saying that you can have everything else you think your teen needs, but without these two things, don’t expect to have a spiritually healthy and mature teen.