Lack of respect, violence, casual sex, no work ethic, irresponsibility – these are the words I hear from frustrated parents as they talk about teens. The pain is real for parents dealing with one of these issues. Fear paralyzes those who have not yet experienced a teen crisis, but see the possibility lurking around the corner.
We Failed to Pass On Our Values
How did we get in this situation? Evidence indicates that we failed to pass our values to the next generation. Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”(NIV)
Who Is Teaching Our Kids Their Values?
The first time I read those words, I knew I was guilty. We do not follow this command as God intended. We let the television and our children’s peers do the teaching. We sit back while media and advertising tell our kids what should be important to them. If we did what God is saying in Deuteronomy, we would be living as radical Christians.
God Tells Us to Instruct 24/7
God knew that an occasional parent-child discussion was not enough. Such discussions often follow disobedience when the child feels he must defend his position. That doesn’t work well. God knew that we must talk to our children about our faith and our values several times a day, every day.
Why not begin tonight? Relate a news story of the day or an event from your own day. Listen to what your children think about the event and then discuss how this fits with your family’s value system. Keep the conversation light and non-judgmental. Just be sure your children know where you stand. It matters for eternity.
Questions for You
I want to hear how you pass your values to your kids. What ideas work? What obstacles do you find that make it difficult? Do you long to live as a radical Christian, but don’t know how?