Love in the Teen Years: Restoration

Perhaps you’ve been trekking with us this past week but have found your parenting journey to be on a different path than the biblical one described in the preceding entries. Since we each come from different family backgrounds and various life situations, you may be encountering these truths for the first time. Perhaps you have made choices for your children that didn’t reflect Scripture, or maybe your child has already made choices that oppose God’s best. If that is the case, you can praise God for today’s truth.

God Forgives and Restores

God’s forgiveness and restoration are precious gifts of His grace. In order to provide us with grace, Jesus gave His life for us on the cross. Therefore, we should avoid taking this subject lightly by presuming that we can freely sin, expecting God’s grace to cover us (Romans 5:20-6:4). On the other hand, as we strive to shun sin and earnestly seek His forgiveness, God will always take us from where we are to where He desires us to be. The same is true for our children.

As human beings, there will never be a perfect parent or a perfect child. For this reason, God calls His followers to be blameless. Perfect is never committing sin. In contrast, blameless includes acknowledging sin, asking forgiveness, and repenting or changing our behavior to reflect Jesus and His Word (Psalm 19:12-13).

1 John 1:9 promises this: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Please don’t miss the enormous redeeming qualities in this verse: When we choose to admit to wrongdoing, God forgives us of personal sin and purifies us from ALL unrighteousness. There is absolutely nothing in our past that God won’t forgive.

So, how do these truths apply to you as a parent?

If you have not been following Christ in parenting, take time to do personal business with God.  Ask Him to forgive you and enable you to become the parent He desires you to be.

As you begin to walk the biblical path of parenting, ask the Lord to show you if there is any unfinished business with your children. James 5:16 instructs us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other. I encourage you to ask the Lord if there is a conversation that needs to take place with your child, confessing sin or parental failure and requesting your child’s forgiveness. If so, ask the Lord to direct your words and actions concerning righting any wrongs with your child.

Since we can’t go back in time, we sometimes think we can’t correct our mistakes. Repentance is choosing to change our behavior and striving to correct any wrongdoing. According to Scripture, God asks us to be obedient and leave the results to Him. It is very freeing to know that your obedience to God is not determined by your child’s response.

How do these truths apply to each of your children?

For those of you with young children, begin now to teach each of the truths we have discussed in this series, while showing them practical application as opportunities arise.

If your children are currently involved in relationships with the opposite sex, begin to pray that God will give them a desire to honor Him in their choices. Communicate, to each child, God’s desire for them to follow His will and your commitment to helping them do so.

Perhaps you have a child who has suffered the consequences of being involved in a relationship that was not God’s best. Maybe the experience left him brokenhearted, disillusioned, or mistreated. Lovingly remind him that Jesus heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). Encourage your young person to take their hurts and concerns to Jesus. Show him that Jesus will forgive while providing comfort and peace, even though the consequences of poor choices may remain.

In what ways are you teaching your child that God continually forgives and restores?