Summary: A lesson to help parents understand and relate to their children.

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“What Every Parent Needs to Know”

September 2, 2007

Intro: Last week we looked at what every kid needs to know. We discussed the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and the importance pf parents and the church working together to instruct their children biblically.

Today we want to look at what parents need to know about their kids and what the bible has to say about how to deal with our children.

Let’s begin today by looking at some common myths related to teenagers.

Myth #1: Teenagers are lazy.

Truth: 59% of American teenagers volunteer on a weekly basis. (49% for adults)

70-80% of teens have jobs.

Myth #2: Teens are all about money.

Truth: In a poll by MTV and The Associated Press, 0% of teens reported money as a source of happiness.

Myth #3: Teenagers use sex to make them happy.

Truth: In the MTV study, teens between 13-17 said sex leads to less happiness.

We as adults need to be willing to look past our stereotypes and into the reality of the world of teenagers and children. Scripture has some great words to help us understand our role and our responsibility when it comes to children.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

Parents love this verse. It is one of those we like to keep in our back pocket and pull out when it helps us.

Students, there are some great promises in here if you will take God’s Word, not my word to heart.

To honor is to recognize the value of someone.

When you honor your parents, you are placing value on God’s design for the family.

This also comes with a promise:

My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life,” Proverbs 6:20-23 (NIV)

So, I know this is a talk about what parents need to know, so let’s look at what scripture says to parents.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

Exasperate= to make angry; to frustrate.

Parents, our goal is to instruct our children and help them to be able to become the incredible creations God intended them to be. Our role is not to crush our children into submission.

When our children are little we can get them to obey simply because we are bigger.

When they get a little older we can get them to obey through coercion.

Eventually, they will stop obeying and will rebel.

Parenting principle: Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.

Parents, our job is to train our children. And our role is to help them discover their God-given beauty from the inside out.

Lest you think I have it all together and am speaking from a position of superiority, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite people. I think this is one of the coolest girls I know and that is my teenage daughter Emily.

Now, as Emily comes I want to let you know some things: I asked her these questions before I asked her to share the answers with you. I told her to be completely honest without any fear of reprisal, and I told her that nothing she wanted to say was off limits.

How would you describe our relationship?

What makes our relationship good?

What are some of the areas where I am not always the perfect dad?

How do we get past those areas?

If you could tell parents in here anything about how to be a better parent from a kid’s perspective, what would you say?

Now, let me give you three things you can begin doing right now to improve your relationship with your children:

Be quick to forgive your kids.

Be quick to apologize to your kids.

Be your kid’s biggest fan.

Conclusion: Parents, you are a hero to your kids.

Do anything you can do to fight for your family.

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