Ephesians 6:1-4: Kids vs Parents

Good morning bloggers!

(Note: I said in the last post that we would go to nine, but there's just a lot of stuff to digest here in just the first four verses. We'll pick up the rest later!)

Raise your digital hand if you've had a student ever complain about their parents? Of course you have! Everybody in youth ministry has had at least 50,000 kids complain about the way their parents are treating them. Which, tends to be hilarious to listen to, as it usually has something to do with a punishment handed out that any rational third party observer would agree was just and fair. Once again, it all comes down to perspective!

I often wrestle with how to offer parent/teenager relationship advice on either side of the spectrum. My policy is and has been for quite some time to never offer parenting advice to parents. Even when I'm really pressed, I try to wiggle my way out of it, because the pure and simple fact is that while I am a youth leader and a (hopefully) purveyor of youth culture, I don't have any children of my own. That limits my perspective. What might make perfect sense to me as a youth leader might be missing some fairly obvious points that parents are quick to catch on to. Typically if I see some areas where parents could improve, I might ask questions. But I try my hardest not to offer advice.

Here, Paul tells us that the relationship between parents and children is important, if only to make our life here on earth a little bit better. And the truth of the matter is that when students and parents are getting along, everyone's just a little bit more joyful. So the one piece of advice I have to offer is this: watch the ways we communicate. While I'm not a parent, and I'm a little bit old to be a child, I've come to realize that about 90% of the fights and arguments that happen between kids and parents happen because of bad communication. So my recomendation to parents and kids is to take a moment and make sure you clearly understand the other person before you jump to any kind of conclusions. And my advice to youth pastors is to try your best to be a third party observer when kids come to you for help with their parents. Listen not for who's right and who's wrong, but listen for the breakdowns in communication.

Tomorrow we'll go from 5-9.