One Thing Christian Parents Often Forget About Teens

by | Jan 17, 2018 | Parenting

Today’s teens. They’re well-educated, tech savvy, and know how to make their parents worry. They argue, push, and sass. You never know what mood you’re going to get. They can work incredibly hard one day, and the next day demonstrate a lethargy you never thought possible. Sometimes they tell you more details than you want to know, and other times you can’t get anything out of them.

It’s so tempting to believe they have an attitude problem, need to show you more respect, and should get out of their self-absorbed world. And you make sure they know it.

But don’t forget: They’re not just teenagers; they’re people too.

Teens love 1 Timothy 4:12, especially the first part: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.” Parents also love the first part of this verse because of course they want others to treat their kids right. (Parents like to pray the second part of the verse too, so their teens will become strong “examples in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.”)

But here’s a fresh angle: Let the first part of 1 Timothy 4:12 help you evaluate whether your responses to your teens is a form of “looking down” on them. Let it remind you to validate your teen’s feelings, really listen to their perspective, and give them grace in the messiness of being young and still needing to grow. You’ll be amazed at how this approach actually improves their attitude, makes them more respectful, and inspires them to be more selfless. Their journey towards godly adulthood is not just about your approval of their behavior; it’s a season of maturing that’s also private between them and the Lord.

So, the next time you catch yourself shaking your head at your teen, stop and remember 1 Timothy 4:12, and then ask the Lord to show you ways to think most highly of your teen.

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I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).

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