Knowledge Of The Truth
Some parents are concerned about their teenagers not being interested in the church or God. Many worry it is their responsibility to get their kids converted and if they don’t, they worry the kids may be lost because they have had a “knowledge of the truth.” This article will investigate this idea and also address why teens become defiant. We will finally look at ways to overcome the defiance of teens.
One thing you must remember in this is that each of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. You can’t put someone else into the Kingdom of God. Getting into the Kingdom is between the individual and God. Oh yes, you can help influence and guide people, but in the end people are responsible for themselves. I also think it is important to understand, just because someone is told about God’s truth does not mean he is then held accountable at that particular time and through the rest of his life. I believe you have to be committed to God’s truth before you can be held accountable for it. This is a controversial topic that we will not fully address in this short article, but I believe scripture can help us get a better handle on this topic. In Hebrews 10:26-27 we read that those who deliberately keep on sinning after they have accepted God’s truth are in danger of the raging fire of hell. The key point here is they would have had to accept God’s truth and then later rejected it. Telling someone that the Sabbath is the seventh day and should be observed does not make that person accountable for that information. They would have had to agree that what you tell them is true and been committed to it.
It’s hard to tell what a teenager is committed to. He is just beginning to figure out what he believes in and why he believes it. Hebrews 6:4-6 is even more explicit on this point. Here we read that only those who have been enlightened and then fall away are in danger of never being brought back to repentance. I believe we can assume from this that those who have not been enlightened can still obtain repentance. Is a teen that is taught a “Church of God” belief system enlightened to those beliefs? That’s hard to say. Only God and that individual know for sure. I believe many are not. I believe each individual has to be able to prove their beliefs in their own mind before we can say they are enlightened.
Just speaking from my own experience as a teen, I never took the time to understand what all the doctrines of the Greek Orthodox Church were. I knew what many of the beliefs were, but I never got around to looking into them until about age 17. Then it took me until my early 20’s to make a choice about what I really believed. Everyone’s experience of God and beliefs varies. It’s important that parents are not too hard on their teens for failure to buy into the doctrines of the church during their teen years. This is a time when teens are only beginning to understand themselves and the world around them. Let them know what you believe and why. You should also encourage and support them. But don’t force anything on them as this may lead them to turn away from your beliefs.
Parents need to understand that being rebellious is a natural stage for a teenager. In fact some rebellion can be healthy. What I mean by this is, as a teen develops he needs to start taking on more responsibility for himself. If the parents are too controlling they may quash this natural need of the teen to make independent decisions.
All parents are bound to make some mistakes in raising their children that could be harmful to the relationship. If you have made mistakes in your parenting there is always a chance for redemption. The first thing to do is to acknowledge the mistakes. Talk to your teen and let them know what you have discovered. Ask them about their perception of the relationship. Being open and honest with your teens will allow them the freedom to feel more at ease about talking. When you feel more at ease to talk, the opportunity to talk about almost anything opens up. When the opportunities to discuss God and His truth present themselves, seize them. Those opportunities will only be there if the relationship is strong.