The Most Important and Often Neglected Message to Deliver to Teenagers

photo-4I spoke at Greenwood Christian School this morning.  This is their Spring spiritual emphasis week, so I will also speak on Friday.  This morning, I spoke on what I considered the most important and often neglected message to deliver to teenagers: honor your father and mother.

This message isn’t ever preached in churches to teenagers.  In an ideal world, parents will teach their children about prayer, purity, worship, the Bible, etc. and not rely on youth ministers.  Ministers should only have to remind teenagers of one biblical message: honor dad and mom.  Everything else should be handled at home.  If ministers remind students to honor parents, parents obey God and model Christlikeness for their children, everything should be taken care of.  This teaching should be a part of the most repeated lessons to students in your church.

While I felt God’s leading to speak on this issue, I was not looking forward to it necessarily.  I anticipated some eyes rolling and some instant defensive mechanisms raised.  I saw that in some students.  I think they hope that a younger chapel speaker will come in and be funny and relate to what’s going on with them.  I did relate, but maybe in not the way they were hoping.

As I tried to get them to acknowledge what family type they belonged to (great parent/great child, great parent/sorry child, sorry parent/great child, or sorry parent/sorry child), some of them were really allowing God to speak to their heart.  I was so encouraged by many of the students who admitted they had been acting like spoiled brats to their parents.  I pray that some letters make it home today and parents can attest to some changed attitudes in the home today.

I ran out of time on some of the biblical information, so for any of you students wanted anymore biblical reading, here goes:

Paul’s command to obey parents in the Lord adds a deeper spiritual implication to the command.  Children must understand that when they obey their parents they are subsequently obeying the Lord.  In an ideal Christian home, parents are simply asking children to give them respect in response to the parents’ own submission to Christ.  Paul views this obedience so significantly that he groups disobedience to parents in a list of godless sins next to murder, greed, and other unrighteous acts (Rom 1:28-32).  One of Paul’s signs that the end of time is nearing is the presence of disobedient children (2 Tim 3:2).  God viewed obedience to parents as so important that he imposed the death penalty on disobedient children (Lev 20:9; Deut 21:18-21).  God views a disobedient child as a disgrace (Prov 19:26).  In the Book of Proverbs, children are also warned concerning the danger of cursing their parents (Prov 20:20).

Reminder of the big idea: Your family cannot change if you stay the same.  See you on Friday.

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