I was listening to this the other day and was struck by something said.
"We pray for our teens to remain pure, but there IS no purity unless Christ is Lord of their lives. We put such an emphasis on the outward purity, yet it is a heart issue. If there is not a relationship with Jesus Christ, there has never been nor will be purity.We need to pray for purity to be given not for purity to remain."
As a mom of three teens and one "thinks she's a teen", and trying to steer them in the direction of purity and Biblical love, I must go back to the ONE ultimate issue. Their hearts. No, not that beating machine. But their mission control station. The part of them that makes decisions, feels emotion, and longs for the unknown. The part of them that decides whether they are for or against their Creator.
But, aren't externals so much easier to be in control of? Aren't rules so much easier to navigate their actions by? Surely, I don't want little Pharisees, and yet, so often this is what this external stuff makes.
We are so often sidelined and shocked when our almost grown teens make decisions that are contrary to our standards. We are seen as failures as parents. We, "all of a sudden" stumble upon sin in our kids lives and lose grace with them. Our kids need heart change, not sinless lives.
"Many parents want to train their kids to be sin-avoiders and sin-concealers. Instead, we need to train our children to be sin-confessors and sin-repenters. We need to start showing them what that looks like in our own lives." - Michael DiMarco