Regaining the Hearts of Your Teens
– Discovering the Root Problems (Part 1) –
Paul J. Bucknell

This is part 1/5 of "Discovering Root Problems in Regaining the Hearts of Your Teens" which presents the typical problems that occur in the family due to teenage rebellion.

Problems (Part 1): Family Problems | Solutions | Problem #1 | Problem #2 | Delinquency
Solutions (Part 2): Barriers | Let’s Solve it! | Confession | Steps of Love | New relationship

A Dream, No a Nightmare: The nightmare of the family.My wife once had a dream, or perhaps it was more like a nightmare. A family huddled together in this wide open field was having a picnic.  They were having a great time eating away. But unknown to them there was a great monster that was coming their way. They just didn’t see the monster. They were too focused on eating. But the shadowy monster came right for them. This is the picture of the Christian family in today’s society. They think everything is okay–until it is too late. Why do we wait until our families are devastated before we do anything about it?
What is your family like?
What is your family like, or the one that you grew up in? Depending on how old your children are and your own situation, you might already be asking some relevant question.
  1. Suspicious yet brave. You know something is wrong but not sure what it is. You continue on, trying to be brave, facing whatever might be coming.
  2. Give up. Perhaps, you are past that. You have given up on your child. His behavior is so wild or unpredictable, you decide you can’t cope with certain aspects of your child’s life.
  3. Focused. Or you might have settled on being content with your child just so she does well in her studies. But the parent just stays out of the rest of her life.
  4. Trying hard. But there are other parents who are still trying hard to have their children do well. But, to be honest, they have lots of fears and worries whether their child will turn out okay.
  5. Not worried. Still other parents might be wondering, “What kind of danger could be around the corner?” They have never thought about such dangers. Their children do well in studies. MonsterWhat is there to fear? After all, they remember when they were young. They just figure all young people go through such stages. “No, nothing to fear.”
Each group has their troubles but the last one is in the most danger. They are not even looking up from their meal. They are content. They have a good job. Their children are doing okay in school. Maybe they get only a B once in a while. Things are going well. But what kind of parent is in most danger? It is not the one that thinks something might be wrong, but the one that is not looking. I hope,  no matter how well you think your family is doing, that you would pay close attention to this message. Whether your child is old or young, there is much to learn. There is no doubt that many serious dangers threaten each of our families. If we are wise, we will pay attention to what these dangers are.
Giving Up Hope
But there is a real problem. Even if we think something is wrong, parents don’t know what to do. They do not know what is wrong or how to fix it. Because of this, many have lost hope. The ‘focused’ parent mentioned above in fact has given up. But he cleverly disguises it by only focusing on what they feel best about–their studies. Somehow they deceive themselves that if they do well in their studies, then all is well. This parent also has given up hope on helping the child at the most needy areas.In fact, not a few parents, whether through the web or personally, have asked me this very question, “Is it too late to do anything with my child?” I would say, “No,” it is not too late. There are significant things we can do.
Finding a Solution
But we must not be foolish. Unless you understand the problem, you will not discover the solution. The technician that comes to your house to fix your washing machine will first try to figure out what is wrong before fixing it. At least, you hope so. Otherwise, he will fix something that is not broken and not fix what is still broken. Finding a solution requires to first discover the root problem.And your dirty laundry just piles up with a stack of bills. The worst thing that happens is when your car is in the garage and the mechanic says that he cannot pinpoint the problem. This means that he will try and fix one thing. If that doesn’t work, he will try something else. Parents often have a long trail of fixes. Their children and they suffer. They have not understood what the problem us.So let’s get down to basics. What are the greatest threats that tempt to break apart family harmony? Let’s be as specific as we can. Each family is unique, but we also know that we face many common challenges. Here are a few.
  1. Their child won’t listen.
  2. Their child always hangs around with the wrong crowd.
  3. Their child is not paying close enough attention to studies.
  4. Their child has a real prideful attitude.
  5. Their child doesn’t want to go to church.
  6. Their child watches and listens to the wrong stuff.
  7. Their child might be into some kind of bad habits (porn, drinks, smokes, uses drugs).
These all might be real problems, but they are in no way the most dangerous problems. When we focus on one wrong thing that is happening, we often neglect the greater problem that allows these other problems to occur.
But even far worse, is to totally leave God out of the picture. We might try to get them to church, but this is again far too superficial. God has said more about these things than we can think. God cares. God, furthermore, knows what the problem is. He has identified it. Even better. He knows the solution and has offered to help us.
He has revealed so many truths, but we give Him far too little time to help us. He knows the problem, but we don’t ask Him. He knows the solution, but we don’t trust His help. Can we at this point turn to God in prayer and ask Him to help us in our need? Remember, our greatest need might be that we do not see the danger at all.
Dear Lord of Heaven and Maker of all, please be gracious to us in this hour. We have heard many people give their opinions. We might even have gone to this or that counselor. They have fancy titles by their names, but they are not the Creator. We have looked in many places for solutions, but never have really considered that you have can help us. Forgive us, O Lord. Forgive us in Jesus Christ’s Name.
You want us to really seek your ways and to know that they are great. Now we do care about our families, but tonight, we ask that you would show how great your knowledge and ways are by helping us all out with these serious family problems–even when we don’t think we can do anything about it. Even when we don’t think that there are any serious problems out there. Please be patient with us. We have not been doing a good job parenting.
You are our great Father in Heaven, come teach and share a few things from your room full of treasures that might cause our hearts to bless you, that our families might turn to you, and that the world would see how great you are! In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

Next: Finding the Right Solution!

Problems (Part 1): Family Problems | Solutions | Problem #1 | Problem #2 | Delinquency

Solutions (Part 2): Barriers | Let’s Solve it! | Confession | Steps of Love | New relationship

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell

Please notice the other BFF articles related on the family below!

Parenting Seminar Parenting Perspectives Parenting Challenges

Biblical Parenting Principles provides helpful teaching on forming a godly family. This series provides good reading material with handouts and diagrams. (Chinese)

#1 The Goals of Parenting (Spanish)
Understand the key role God's goals for the family have in shaping godly children.
#2 One Great Team: Dad & Mom
The responsibility, need and ability for husbands to work along with their wives as teammates in order to produce godly children.
#3 Parental Authority
Understand the parents' responsibility to govern their children and to properly put it in effect in the home.
#4 Developing Self-Control in our Children
The need and means of cultivating self-control in our children from an early age in order that they may please God and focus on serving others.

Principles & Practices of Biblical Parenting

#5 Child Training & Routines (New)
Enable parents to understand, use and create effective routines to further the training of toddlers and older children.
#6 Correcting Your Children
Properly deal with disobedient children so that they might become joyful family members.
#7 Discipline & Use of Rod
A scriptural perspective of discipline and ways to properly administer the rod.
#8 Setting Boundaries
Set up, implement and maintain proper and effective boundaries for our children.
#9 Raising Godly Children
Applying biblical principles to provide proper spiritual care for our children.
#10 Developing Intergenerational Love
Enable parents to show God's love and truth to their own parents and in-laws during visits with each other.
#11 Restoring Older Children

Even though we have made mistakes, we must not give up on our teens and older children. Lots of advice stemming from biblical principles are given to enable you to restore your children to your loving authority.

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Index: Godly Beginnings for the Family

Godly Beginnings for the Family series helps parents start right: filled with lots of practical advice for prebirth, birth and postbirth accompanied with reading, handouts and clear illustrations on early training. Check above for downloads.

Godly Beginnings for the Family

#1 Family Commitment
Making a commitment to raising godly children helps parents and children to withstand the influences of this evil generation.
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   Husband-Wife Roles
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Childbirth is a miracle. Now if we would only stop interfering with God's ways our births would be better and easier.
#5 Tender Newborn Care
Care for the mother and child afterbirth is important. Detailed suggestions as well as routines are provided for both Mom and baby.
#6 The Challenge of Child Training
Now that we have the child, how do we effectively train up a godly child? Start young!
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