Summary: This sermon deals with parenting tips and how both parents and youth can listen to each other.

It’s A Tough Job

10/2/2005 Genesis 49: 1-28 Ephesians 6:1-4

Today let’s look at the job of being a parent and being a kid or teen. All I know is that it is a very tough job to be in either in the role when we’re living as Jesus Christ calls us to live. When a child is born, that parent expects to have a wonderful relationship with that child full of love. We all grow up with the idea that when we have children, they are going to be special and we’re just going to have a wonderful time together.

When we’re small we think we have the greatest parents in the world, and we hope that they will always be wonderful parents. But somehow in the midst of life, something happens to the wonderful kids we thought we had, and something happens to the wonderful parents that are over us. We didn’t expect to end up fighting each other, hurting each other or misunderstanding each other, but we do. We can talk without really hearing each other.

In a moment if you are an adult or a parent, I want you to really listen to what the teen’s concerns are, and if you are a teen, I want you to really listen to what the parent’s concerns are. So often we think about being right and our side, that we miss what the other person is saying. Let’s watch Jillian and her mother (Video)

If Jillian got what she wanted at the end of the video, she and her mother would both lose. So who needs to listen to each other more? Jiillian cannot hear her mother’s genuine concern for her safety and her future. Her mom doesn’t hear Jillians need to be able to talk to her about her social life.

Some of us have had that scene played out in our home again and again. But through it all we are to remember that our relationships to our kids or our relationships to our parents are still to be governed by the word of God. One of the most needed verses we have in getting along with each other is found in Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

At times we want to prove that we are right, that we forget we are called to also be loving. The important thing is not whose right or wrong, but the relationship that we share with each other. We find in Philip. 2:4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The young teen was so concerned with having a good time, that she could not hear her mother’s genuine concern for her safety and her future. The mother was so concerned with her daughter not ruining her life, that she could not see her daughter’s positive traits and her daughter’s desire to have a more intimate relationship with her.

Every family has struggles that it goes through, but God still loves you and still expects a lot out of you. Before you think your family is so screwed up you are beyond God’s reach, I want you to notice the family that God chose to become a blessing to the world. Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. One of his sons had sex with his stepmother. 2 of the sons became murderers. Another son was known for lying and doing things behind your back. 10 of the sons ganged up on one of their brothers and sold him as a slave. And yet God kept His word to use this family to bless the world.

God wants to use your family to be a blessing to you and to the world. It may not look like that at the moment, and you might be the only Christian in your family. If you are, that’s going to make your job even tougher, but the God that is in you is greater than the difficulties around you. Your attitude makes a huge difference. One of the great cries in the home is that’s not fair or you’re being unfair.

First of all, we need to all get over it. Life is not fair. We are all sinners and that means, all of us are going to cause headaches for the people around us. First we should recognize, if you have any sisters and brothers, you do not all have the same parent. If you have more than one child, you should recognize they each have a different parent. We want to claim that we treat everybody the same, but that is not true, and it is not biblical.

The Bible teaches that each of us has a very distinct personality. Some of us are bent in one direction and some of us are bent in another direction. Some of us have certain gifts and talents, and others of us have completely different gifts and talents. These things affect the way other people treat us and the way we treat other people including our parents and our children. It is unrealistic to think that someone who treats us rudely and obnoxious is going to provoke the same feelings and actions in us as a person who treats us with dignity and respect.

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