Calvary Students – Parent Resource – April 26
Well, we’ve finally finished our four-week look at what Jesus had to say about forgiveness. It’s been a really powerful time of Bible study. Your teenagers have really been challenged.
This week, the lesson was entitled “Forgive Like The Forgiver,” and it focused on helping students understand that as children of God, their identities as forgivers is wrapped up in God’s identity as their Father. We challenged students to embrace a life that seeks to show love, kindness, and forgiveness to all people, especially those who are most undeserving of it.
We looked at the following Scripture passages:
When you get the chance, maybe take a moment to read this Scripture passage to stay in touch with what your teenager is learning.
Next Steps . . .
During the next week as you have time to talk with your teen, consider asking the following questions:
- What was the one thing that you remember from your Bible study time. Why did it stand out to you like it did?
- What does it mean to you that God sees you as one of His children and He as your Father?
- Do you ever think of how you represent our family when you’re out in public? Do you see the parallel to how you represent God in the world?
Parent Resource of the Week:
Why Don’t My Students Obey Me?
Struggling with disobedient students? So are we. Here are some thoughts from a fellow parent.
One of the most effective ways, for your student to listen and obey what you tell them, is for you to listen and obey what you tell them. Modeling the Christian life is hands down the most effective influencer in the life of a student. They watch us. They know what you say and what you do. That means they know when you are “full of integrity” and when you are “full of crap”. As parents, we can easily default into a militant rule of our home. I speak and you do. And while there are some areas that this is appropriate, the “do this” cannot come out of the lips of someone who isn’t doing or willing to do it as well.
Consider creating an intentional moment with your student before summer arrives. Make it a special moment, not just a conversation in the car. Be transparent and open. Ask for forgiveness if it is necessary. A vulnerable parent is an effective parent. When you initiate the process of raising the standards in your own life, you build a platform on which your student can follow you. The concept of obedience goes from being a mandated command to an ongoing conversation.
While you walk this journey with your student, you must allow them room to fail. As sinners, we all fail – even as followers of Christ. Contrary to what society believes, this doesn’t make us hypocrites; it confirms we are human. Let’s not forget that our students are humans with a sin nature. When we don’t allow room for students to fail, we communicate a legalistic view of Christianity. We must perform in order to be accepted. This is as far from the Gospel as you can get. The cross of Jesus is all about our faults and failures. We will never be good enough to be accepted. We are accepted because we aren’t good enough. When we allow our students to fail, we allow for Gospel conversations and practical forgiveness and reconciliation.
I know a lot of parents that would like to create a protective bubble to keep their kids safe from everything. You know those parents – and you might be one. They sanitize hands every 2 minutes. The kids have to have a complete covering in sunscreen before they can walk to the mailbox to get the mail for you. When riding the bike, they have a helmet, shinguards, kneepads, elbow pads, and training wheels with training wheels. I must be a bad parent, because my kids ride their bikes without helmets and sometimes without shoes. They eat food that falls on the ground. They climb trees, eat dirt, and play hard. Yes, they scrape their knees, shed some tears, and get hurt and sick. But I believe that sometimes scars can be the greatest teachers.
When we let our students have the freedom to fail when they are in our homes, we have an opportunity to walk them through the process of healing. I would be a wreck if I never let my kids fail until they were out of my house. At that point, I don’t have any control, and I have no idea how they will handle failure. The fear of what could be, drives me back to doing what I can right now. It is really about creating a culture of forgiveness in your home. Instead of demanding perfection, celebrate forgiveness. This doesn’t mean there are no consequences to disobedience. In fact, consequences are a necessity for disobedience. In contrast, the process of forgiveness allows students the opportunity to tangibly see the Gospel in action not just hear it in words.
The bottom line is we, as parents, have the greatest influence in the lives of our own students. We must demonstrate what we mandate. That means we need to be transparent with our students. Let them see you succeed, and let them see you fail. Don’t wear a mask and cover up your difficulties and struggles – expose them. Students can learn far greater lessons from you being a “real mess” than they will ever gain from a “fake perfection”. The next time you begin to get mad that your student just won’t obey, check your life first, then display obedience as you work through the issue. It’s time we, as Christian parents, start demanding less and demonstrating more.
Clearwater Campus High School Pastor