In his excellent book Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens,Paul Tripp offers five strategies for preparing children and young adults (a.k.a. “teenagers”) to interact redemptively with their culture. Here is a brief summary:
- Prepare. The first step is to instill in our teenagers a biblical view of life. Many Christian families have years of unfocused devotions. What their children receive during these times is not without merit, but it could be so much better if parents had the instilling of a biblical worldview as their goal. Without it, children end up familiar with all the popular Christian stories and with random doctrinal knowledge, but none of it is assembled into a usable system of truth that reflects God’s way of thinking about life. The aim of all family Bible instruction must be that our children would be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17).
- Test. In this step we teach our teenagers to critique, evaluate, interpret, and analyze the surrounding culture from a biblical perspective.
- Identify. Here we teach our children to recognize common ground…we want to raise teenagers who have learned to identify with their culture—not agreeing with its interpretations and responses, but identifying with its struggle and humbly acknowledging why these responses seem logical to someone who does not know Christ.
- Decide. We want to teach teenagers how to know when they can be redemptive participants in their culture and when they must separate from it.
- Redeem. Here we teach our teenagers to take back turf that has been lost to the world by witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ…The goal is to declare positively what God had in mind when he designed things in the beginning, to be part of rebuilding the culture his way, and to proclaim that this rebuilding can only be done by people who are living in proper relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
(Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens,
copyright©2001, pages 161-165)
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