For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

1 John 5:3

A result of our children truly knowing the Lord and having a relationship with Him is that our children will have a heart and desire to keep God’s commandments. This is more about a “want to” than a “have to.” If there is no “want to,” or if there is consistently no willingness to invest in obedience to God’s commands, perhaps the problem is that your child doesn’t really have a relationship with the Lord and needs authentic life-changing salvation. This is a very important distinction to make. An old, crude illustration is that a goat is always a goat. You can spend a lot of time trying to get a goat to act like a sheep; and in the end, you still have a goat. Our whole approach to our children’s needs must first focus on their need for salvation, then spiritual growth. As we train our children about character issues, the moral motivation will naturally come up. Their constant failure to live up to the character targets of Scripture also needs to be kept in front of them. They need to see that they just can’t make it without Christ. He cleanses us from our guilt, and then the Spirit empowers us to live a life that is pure and pleasing to God. There is no way to successfully tackle all of that on your own. Then we have a great opportunity to show our children that Christ is the answer.

Day 4 Reflection:

This week, look for the opportunity to formulate sincere, positive questions to help your teen reveal his heart so you can talk with him about salvation or sanctification…and the wonderful Savior that makes both possible!