A Brick in the Valley


Parenting Teens
November 29, 2007, 1:15 pm
Filed under: Chris Brauns Radio Spots, Parenting

I am a former youth pastor and now I am the father of a teenager.  In the next three years I will be the father of three teenagers.  So, I find myself reflecting on my years of pastoral ministry, seeking to identify profound insights about interacting with teens.This may seem a bit obvious to you, but here is my sage insight for the day.  Raising teenagers is hard work.  It is a real challenge.

Because teens are growing up not only physically, but also mentally, their critical thinking skills improve dramatically.  A naïve trusting child has been replaced by one who evaluates and has a lot of opinions that he or she is willing to share.  The worst part is that too many times they are right.

At the same time, all teenagers need to grow in maturity.  So, they don’t always know the best times or most appropriate ways to share their new insights on life.

The combination of critical thinking skills and adolescent immaturity is often very fatiguing for parents.  I can also tell you from personal experience that it can wear youth pastors out as well.

Having said that, parents and youth pastors, we must not give up with teenagers.  We cannot let fatigue give in to frustration and anger.  Instead, our prayer for our young people should echo the words of Ecclesiastes 12:1, “God we pray that our young people would remember their creator in the days of their youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when they will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.'” 

Parents of teens; youth pastors: don’t give up.  Keep prayerfully and patiently pouring into the lives of young people.  They may be a bit argumentative in the short run, but our prayer is that by God’s grace, their love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, that they may be able to discern what is pure and best (Philippians 1:9-11).  Persevere.  You are not alone.

BTW,  Age of Opportunity, by Paul Tripp is a great resource for parents of teens.

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