I have had some friends over the years who had parents who wanted them to be pure, to go through courtship and to be completely sinless and unlike the world in their relationships. Great view to have for your children! But…. you have to spend time instilling these values in your children. You cannot wait till they are 13 and say “Oh, here are your rules. Follow them, ask as many questions as you want and by the way you are going to follow them whether or not you agree with us.” And getting all up in our faces telling us what to do without teaching us. (Teens this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still respect them…I am just stating that I know how some families are and that it can be difficult to show respect in some homes… but that does not change the fact that we should respect them. That is what we have been told by God and we should follow it whether or not its easy to do.)
There is a BIG difference between “telling” and “teaching” and we want to be taught! We should be pursuing purity because we want to please our Saviour and glorify His death on the cross and not just be doing it because “hell is hot”. This sends many Christian teens into rebellion. Why you ask? Because we are young, inexperienced, and immature. We want to find pleasure and benefits in everything we do… we want to be like everyone else. We want to fit in. We need to see that this is good for us and understand the consequences if we do not strive for purity.
“In short they know Christianity only as a system of restraints. It is robbed of every liberal and generous principle. It is rendered almost unfit for the social relationships of life, and only suited to the gloomy walls of a cloister, in which they would confine it. But true Christians consider themselves as not satisfying some rigorous creditor, but as discharging a debt of gratitude. Accordingly, theirs is not the stinted return of a constrained obedience, but the large and liberal measure fo voluntary service. “- Elisabeth Elliot.
We are not chained to Christianity!! We are to be serving Him with our lives out of love, not just out of fear of hell. Many, many parents do this to their children. They threaten fire and brimstone instead of complete gratitude of the death of our savior. God doesn’t want us to feel afraid or that we are chained up! He wants us to feel loved and protected. But how can we feel loved and protected if all we hear is, “respect me cause that is what God says in His word and that if you don’t you will go to hell.”? All this does is create bitterness in our hearts and as soon as we hit 18 look who is gonna be running out that door…a child…full of anger who wants to find their place in the world and will do anything to find it. Someone who will do everything our parents told us not to do because they want to know why it’s so bad and test the waters….
Guys, it is not a bad thing to have parents who want you to be careful and have a hand your relationships. They care about us and want what is best. But I also know that some of us have parents who are control freaks and only want to rule our lives and don’t have our best interest at heart. But, some of us will also have bitterness or anger in our hearts from something that has happened in our past and have a flawed view of our parents intentions. Pursuing purity means letting God search our hearts and convict us of areas that we need to change. Our parents were put in our lives to lead us and protect us. It says many times in the Bible that if we follow the commands of our parents that we will have long life and length of days. This scripture holds true regardless of the intentions of our parents.
Parents…sorry to say but if your kids are rebellious it may not just be a season your kids are going through in life. You may need to consider whether you are trying to lead them or force them into submission. Rebellion is not just a season of life we all go through. In fact, teenage rebellion is not cited in scripture. It is a social norm that has been accepted…but it should not be the norm. Love your kids enough to challenge them to desire to move away from rebellion. Many times our hearts are turning away from what is right simply because we don’t have the right focus on life.
Rebellion is something we are choosing to go through as a norm in our generation but we shouldn’t want to rebel. We all want someone to lead us and show us the right way. Check this out…