In order for us to be truly effective in the lives of our teenagers, we need to be totally honest with ourselves when it comes to our relationship with God. If I asked you “Who is on the throne of your heart?” you would probably give the “appropriate”, “learned” Christian response of “Why, it’s Jesus of course.” When our teenagers are struggling with adolescent problem, we quickly look at their shortcomings and ignore our own. Working on a parenting strategy can be a waste of time if we don’t first examine ourselves.
If our hearts are controlled by anything other than God, we will not view the teen years as incredible parenting opportunities, but instead as a constant stream of annoyances from an terrible self-centered person who seems to have the ability to turn even the smallest event into utter chaos. Our own heart problems can completely blind us to the hurt and pain in our children – even to the mercy and grace they may need from us. An idol is any thing or any person we value more than God; it is sin.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalm 139:23-24 (ESV)
Identifying Idols in Your Heart
Here are some questions ask yourself as you seek to identify possible idols in your heart.
• What do you want, desire, seek, aim for, pursue, hope for?
• What your goals, expectations, intentions?
• What do you feel like doing?
• Where do yo look for security, meaning, happiness, fulfillment, joy, or comfort?
• What would make you happy?
• What do fear or tend to worry most about?
• What do you love or hate most of all?
• What images do you have of who you are or who you want to be?
• What do you see as your “rights”?
• When you are pressured or tense, where do you turn?
• What do you pray for?
Am I willing to sin to get this?
Am I willing so sin if I think I’m going to lose this?
Do I turn to this as a “refuge” and comfort instead of going to God?
For more on this topic, listen to the Gospel Treason series.
I’m praying for you! Let me know how I can help or better serve you and your family.
in HIS service,
P.S. The themes and main ideas come from Paul David Tripp’s book “Age of Opportunity”. I’m summarizing what I read, adding my own thoughts and Scripture too.
You can read past posts on our church website HERE.