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How to Teach Your Teenager a Lesson

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

If you're like most mom's and dad's in this world, you know that getting your teenager to apply what you have taught them can feel impossible.

There are generally two types of moments you will have as a parent,

Teachable or Defining. As parents, you will have countless moments like these.

They may sound similar but here's the difference;

Teachable Moment - Intentional lessons that you plan to help a child learn and grow

Defining Moment - A lesson taught to your child, not by your words but through your actions or reactions to a situation

In John 8:1-11 an adulterous woman is brought to Jesus by a crowd and by the law was condemned to be stoned. The woman probably knew what the consequences were of her actions and also knew what reaction would be garnered from others (family, friends, pharisee's). The woman lays on the ground in shame, guilt and condemnation. The crowd wanted to teach a lesson, while Jesus was there to give a defining moment, Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone". This wasn't the reaction the crowd nor the adulterous woman expected but the crowd left and the woman was left there with Jesus.

Many times teachable moments are great, in fact, that's one of the primary roles of a pastor, teaching the word of God but preaching isn't the only time I teach. I might preach a lesson on sexual immorality, but if a student comes up for an altar call and confesses to that very act, my reaction will be the defining moment in our relationship. Jesus tell's the adulterous woman after everyone has left, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.". We acknowledge our child's failure in the moment, Jesus acknowledges the woman's failure as well but doesn't He doesn't leave her on the dirt road. He lifts her up and encourages her to leave from that experience with the attitude of repentance, learning and practicing what this defining moment has taught her.

Sometimes we turn too many situations into teachable moments, but what they really needed were defining moments.

What is your reaction like to a bad mark on a test or report card?

What happens when your teen has disobeyed a rule in the house?

When you find some questionable search history on their phone or computer, what happens?

There will always be time for teachable moments, but don't forget that defining moments are often the ones that penetrate the heart of a person. We don't excuse sins or disobedience instead we acknowledge, repent from it and seek Holy Spirit's strength, wisdom and discernment to help redeem the sin.

Andy Stanley, son of well known Pastor Charles Stanley, has a great story about how his mischievous ways led to a moment with his dad he would never forget,

check out his teaching in the video below;

Keep giving God your best,

- Pastor Brandon

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