Parenting Teens

Dear Parents,

I hope you enjoyed our last lesson.

If you didn’t get a chance to read it, I have posted our last session online

Today we are asking the question, “How do you pass down faith to your teenager?” It can seem like a really daunting task. Please remember - doing anything is better than doing nothing. Taking even the smallest step on this path is better than no step.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 gives us our mission from God as parents:

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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.”

I want to quickly unpack this job description for parents into 3 action steps that you can do today to begin passing down faith in your home:

1) Put it in your Heart First- “these commands…are to be on your hearts” You can’t give away what you don’t have. You can’t inspire someone else to do something unless it inspires you first. If you want your teenager to be fueled by their faith than make sure that is what is fueling you.

ACTION STEP: Consider planning a spiritual retreat for yourself. You could get away for just a few hours or you could invest a whole week in a focused time with God. It may feel selfish, but filling your own heart spiritually allows it the ability to spill over into the life of your family.

2) Infuse Faith into Everyday Life- “talk about them when you sit at home” The center of spiritual activity for your family should be your home. Many times we believe that should be the church. In God’s blueprint for passing down faith He sets up parents to be the leaders and the home to be the main stage.

ACTION STEP: Brainstorm ways you can discuss faith with your teenager daily. Practice intentional conversation about spiritual matters this week. It could be as simple as leaving your teenager a note with your favorite verse and an encouraging word. It makes a difference.

3) Use Symbols and Ceremonies to Pass Down Faith- “Tie them as symbols on your hands” In the Bible, we quickly see that God values symbols and ceremonies as a way of giving faith away to the next generation. The Hebrew word for “impress” in verse 7 literally means to “tattoo”. God made the hearts and minds of children and He knew that the way to “tattoo” faith on their hearts was to give them symbols they can touch and ceremonies they can experience.

ACTION STEP: What are some Christian symbols and ceremonies you can bring into your home and lead your family to experience together. Our Student Ministry has created these kinds of experiences you can do with your teenager. Go check out the Rites of Passage Experience materials we have available for you by clicking this link: Family Experiences Resources 

God sure did give us an important job didn’t He?

The encouragement we have for you today is that you are not alone in this task.

God Himself will give you all that you need to accomplish His will as a parent.

Also, our church’s Student Ministry stands ready to partner with you in this task. This is why we started this Online Parenting Class and we are making the Rites of Passage Experience available to your family.

I would love to hear your questions, thoughts, or continued discussion.

Your Partner,