Friday, November 18, 2011

Axis Wrap Up - How to Raise Your Parents

Over the past two weeks we've been talking about our families at axis.  Both weeks I told our students that if their parents were here, I'd be talking to the parents about their role and responsibility in their family.  But, since parents were not there, that meant I was going to talk to our teenagers about their role and responsibility in their family.  Families work best when both parents and teenagers are fulfilling their roles and taking responsibility for what they can take responsibility for.

I wrapped up the series this past Wednesday by looking at three of our teenagers absolute FAVORITE verses (insert sarcasm) ... "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."  Ephesians 6:1 - 3.  The basic thought was that God says teenagers have a role and responsibility in their family:  1) To obey.  2) To honor.  Not very popular, but again, families work best when we are fulfilling our God-given roles.  I know that some teenagers often feel that the word "obey" is a dirty 4-letter word.  Part of being a teenager means that there is a desire for independence, a desire to find out and explore things on their own ... and that's healthy.  But, tension often occurs when a teenager's desire for independence conflicts with a parents responsibility to set up guidelines for their kids to follow.  I worked hard at trying to explain to our kids that their parents are not the enemy.  That parents do not set up boundaries and guidelines to ruin their lives but to help them develop in to God-loving, self-less, responsible teenagers and adults.  When done in the right way, the guidelines parents set up are there to teach and to protect.  We obey because it's "right" (Ephesians 6:1 - 3) and because it pleases God (Colossians 3:20).

Secondly, a teenager has a responsibility to honor their parents.  Honoring goes so much deeper than simply obeying your parents.  You can obey and NOT honor your parents if your obedience is done half-heartedly or disrespectfully.  (I've never did that).  :)  But, to honor means to show parents love and respect and to try to bring honor to them by how you live your life.  Some volunteers in our youth ministry told me one time that when their kids leave the house they always tell them "Remember who you are" ... meaning represent your family well and, even more importantly, represent Jesus well.  Honor is something we can give freely, but we have to choose to do it.  Again, God says families work best when teenagers fulfill their role and show honor to their parents.

It was a really good night.  Lots of fun with some Just Dance and a game called Turkey Toss.  And, we also got to hear from our team that went to Urban Hope in inner-city Philadelphia.  Next week is just a fun night with a Super Hero theme, a movie, some dodge ball, and pizza and wings.  Just a fun way to get ready for the holiday.

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