Mark Sturgeon, Board Member at Urban Light Ministries reveals his heartfelt learnings as a father of teenagers. Learn that you are not on this fatherhood journey alone.

Our parenting roles change as our children grow older. However, one thing remains the same, children are to obey their parents and fathers are charged with a particular assignment, don’t aggravate your children, instead bring your children up in the faith instructing them through the words of the Lord. “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise-that it may go well with and and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)

Many fathers make the mistake of wanting to be their teenage child’s friend and not their parent. They want to be the “cool” dad! As inviting as that may sound, that is really an unhealthy idea. A child needs a father, who can provide structure, stability, and discipline. Your job during those teenage years is to be an adult, making sure that your child knows that there are rules in your home and they are not meant to be broken. Once the rules are broken, there will be consequences. Of course children will make mistakes and they must learn to grow from them. You learn, you grow and you move on! There is a breakdown in the family when rules and expectations are not set, when a child doesn’t see immediate consequences for their actions or behaviors. This sets up a household of chaos and that creates disorder and as much as children will want to disagree, they really do need order, structure and stability.

In the midst of our current pandemic, fathers need to stay connected to their teenage children more than ever. Talk to your children, understand what they are feeling, what they are thinking about, and how you can help to ease their fears and frustrations. Keep up with the current trends on social media, understand your child’s world and talk with them about what is happening in the world. Words to the wise, “this too shall pass”, but in the meantime, let’s make the most of the time we have together. You
may never have this opportunity to be together as much again.

Always find time to hug your child, let them know that you love them unconditionally. Even when your child pulls away, they will come back if you have laid a solid foundation of love, faith, encouragement and support. Teenagers will need your grace, guidance and forgiveness. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9) We all need to accept our weaknesses but be relieved to know that God is a loving God full of grace and mercy.

Biblical References

Raising Teenagers

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise-that it may go well with and and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

(Ephesians 6:1-4)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”

(2 Corinthians 12:9)
author avatar
Bruce Stapleton