Fathers are responsible for the training of their children, even if they aren’t with the child as much as the mother. Fathers are ultimately responsible before God for the whole family. The wife is under the husband’s authority, and she implements what they decide together. Still though, the father is the leader with oversight and responsibility to God.
Provoke means to not exasperate. It’s the command given to us as parents in Ephesians 6:4. That means don’t frustrate your teen with too high expectations, criticism without love, withholding love, inconsistency, rejection, over-burdening them with rules and regulations, expecting too much— expecting perfection, overprotecting, spoiling, being overly permissive or too severe.
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24
Teens need to feel loved and secure. In the absence of discipline, they will likely never feel either. Besides that, when we discipline in love it is an excellent example of how God treats His own children.
It's helpful to take note of the areas they choose to rebel in:
Ask yourself why your teen choose this area to rebel in?
Or, is there another reason altogether? It’s certainly something to consider. Pray and ask God for wisdom and insight. I always like getting to the root of the problem rather than snipping at tree branches in vain.
Pick your battles carefully! Never expect instant, immediate obedience in any area. If you get it, be grateful! They are no longer children, give them some space to exercise their own free will. If you can’t win a battle, don’t let it start. Decide what is major enough to make an issue of, and what isn’t. When you draw the line, do it with love, stick to it, and be consistent. Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8). Always, in as many ways as possible, assure your teen of your unconditional love.
Keep their emotional love tank full and overflowing!
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8
When we must discipline, it’s so important for us to remember to use natural consequences instead of nagging, threatening or yelling.
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." —Frederick Douglass
Avoid power struggles and nagging at all costs!
Anything that makes your teen feel that you are treating them like a little child is going to be counterproductive. Be sure you don’t play favorites. Also, make sure you don’t expect more of one child than you do another.
The instruction of the Lord refers to training in a way that is preventative, so that correction isn’t as necessary. We accomplish this by our example as well as our words.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Communicate your feelings, emotions, struggles and difficulties with your teen. They will appreciate your transparency. Draw them out. Ask questions: How did that make you feel? Silently listen. Be very slow to give advice. Listen more than you talk.
"Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." (James 1:19).
Encourage them! It takes 99 compliments to make up for 1 criticism.
When you’ve blown it— and we’ve all been there, take responsibility for your part without blaming justifying, or making excuses. Ask forgiveness. Forgive yourself and re-establish communication. Make necessary changes so it doesn’t happen again. Be patient!
PRAY! Above all, over all, before all, during all, after all—pray, pray, pray, pray, pray and then pray some more.
So, how can we help our teens love God more?
How do you help your teen love God more?
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