Parents Are Not the Problem

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 15, 2020 2 comments

by Jason DeZurik

I have worked with students and their parents since 1995. I have heard teachers, youth pastors, and many others who have worked with students proclaim the phrase, “Parents are such a problem.” To that I would like to say, “No, they’re not.”

It has been such a blessing for my wife and me to work with students and families since 1996, and as of this writing we have also been blessed to have 6 children of our own. I can assure you that youth work is not only faith work but family work as well. Our oldest is currently 21 years old. Having been on both sides of this relationship now, I understand more than ever why some parents are the way they are in regard to their children. Even if I disagree with parents in their parenting style and some of their tactics and decisions, I believe that as a youth worker, in order to be effective, the one working with students must make a decision if they are going to believe the Biblical mandate of parents teaching and raising their children or not (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

If God has indeed put parents over the children that He has given them, then as someone who works with students, you must be okay when a parent decides to do something regarding their child that you disagree with and might even go against Biblical teaching. These children are not your children. They have been given to their parents by God Almighty. For instance, if a parent decides not to send their child on a mission trip or to church camp, you must be okay with that and not take it personally. There may be things going on in their lives that you do not know about or understand at the present time. After all, you are not God Almighty. The child has been put under that or those parents’ leadership by Almighty God and not you. So, trust God.

I believe we all know there are “bad parents” out there. So, I am not referring to parents that have decided to neglect their god given responsibility. With that said though, most parents, even those who are not followers of Jesus Christ, want what is at least on the surface “good” for their children. Most parents are trying their best to raise their children. Even if you or I disagree with how they are raising their children, friends, I believe it is time for us as a society to be willing to allow adults to make decisions for their own lives, even if we believe that decision is going to bring them hardship in the future. We should speak the truth in love.

One way we can do that is to share the truth with them personally or in a group setting and allow people to believe it and live it out in their own timing, realizing that they may not choose to do so at this present time. Liberty needs to win out. By doing so, we are following the example of God Almighty, who allows each individual the free will to follow Him or not. We must be willing to allow parents the same liberty with their own children. Parents can either teach their children to obey Christ or not. God will be their judge, not you or me.

We should also allow parents the freedom to make the decision of who teaches and influences their children. If they don’t want it to be you or someone you know, don’t take it personally. It just means God will bring someone else into their life to help them grow in Christ. It also could mean that God will bring someone else into your life to help you grow in Him too. Like it or not, the ministry you are a part of isn’t for everyone on this planet. Some will stay and some will leave, and that’s okay. I know I would rather have people leave and go do what God has called them to do instead of trying to whine or complain about our ministry or “shoehorn” me and our ministry into what they are called to do for the Kingdom of God. This doesn’t make me, or others who think like me, out to be ogres; in fact, this is the example of Christ, it is not? Think about it. Those who were not ready to follow Jesus Christ were encouraged to follow Him, but if they weren’t ready, they were allowed to go their own way. (Ponder the story of the Rich Young Ruler for a moment in Mark 10:17-27.)

Again, you and I don’t have the whole picture. Be okay with the fact that God is God and you are not. After all, He is the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God of the universe. Friends, God instituted that parents are to raise their children (Proverbs 1:8-9). So, if you see parents as a problem, I encourage you to stop seeing them as part of the problem but see them as part of the solution. God does; you and I should as well.

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Charlie said...

One of the clearest cases I've seen on this issue is this: a kid in a youth group was complaining to his youth pastor that his unbelieving father would not let him go into the mission field but instead demanded he go to college and get a life-skill. Something he could get a job in. The kid wanted nothing to do with that. After several back and forths on the issue, the youth pastor went to the father to ask him why he didn't want his kid going to the mission field. Remember, the father was not a Christian. The father's response? He lacks self discipline and needs to mature more. Parents know their kids better than we do (youth workers, teachers, coaches, etc). They generally know what their kid needs.

JD70 said...

Amen Charlie, Thank you for sharing that.