Are you a parent or guardian struggling to raise godly teenagers in this digital age? Do you wish you had access to practical advice and biblical principles to guide you through this challenging time? Click to learn the Ultimate Secret to Raising well-balanced Teens.
In this episode of The Christian Minute podcast, host Anne Markey sits down with Natasja Visser, a personal counsellor who works with families and teenagers, and shares some key biblical principles to help you raise your teenagers in a godly way.
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Episode At A Glance:
- 00:00- About Natasja Visser
- 05:59- Raising Godly Teenagers in the Age of Technology
- 11:46- Explaining God’s Principles to Our Kids
- 14:04- Principle of “Easy now, hard later or hard now, easy later”
- 17:47- Applying Principles to Parenting
- 21:48- The Benefits of Delayed Gratification for Teenagers
- 22:43- Teaching Biblical Principles and Reaping Consequences
The Ultimate Secret to Raising well-balanced teens
Understanding and Applying Biblical Principles
Principles are an essential aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. They are the foundation upon which we build our decisions, actions, and beliefs.
When it comes to principles, there is no better source than the Bible.
However, for many people, the idea of biblical principles can be intimidating and religious. So how do we explain these principles to our kids in today’s age?
The answer lies in the way Jesus explained things: through stories and parables.
Explaining how biblical principles can be used in everyday life, in a way that is relatable and easy to understand.
Principles are actually scientific, much like laws.
The law of gravity is always on, regardless of whether we believe in it or not. If we climb on the roof of a house and jump, we won’t fly because gravity is on. In the same way, the principle of God applies in life because He is the Creator of the universe, and He has shown these principles in His creation and in the Bible.
God’s principles show up in all areas of life. People may think they have discovered something new or secret, but in reality, God has already created it.
By understanding and applying these principles, we can make our lives easier and more fulfilling.
For instance, if we understand the principle of gravity, we can make airplanes fly. If we apply God’s principles to our marriage, it can soar.
Teaching kids about biblical principles isn’t just about being religious or avoiding sin. It’s about showing them how to apply principles to their lives so they can have an easier and more fulfilling life.
So, let’s help our kids understand and apply these principles to navigate life with ease and confidence!
Principle of: Easy, hard, hard, easy
The principle is this: easy now means hard later, but hard now means easy later.
It’s important to teach children about delayed gratification, which is a principle that applies in various areas of life.
If you have younger kids and you don’t want your kids to yell and scream and throw a tantrum, put on the TV or give them the chocolate they’re asking for and you give in. That’s easy because now they stop crying at the moment.
However, when that child becomes a teenager, it becomes challenging to give in to their demands all the time, and this can cause heartache for parents.
Principle of Sowing and Reaping
What we sow into our lives, we will eventually reap. But I want to take that principle a little bit further or a little bit deeper in the insight for us parents.
I get this a lot with parents that I work with in my office whose kids are sewing things in their lives, spending obscene amounts of money, making bad choices and all that. So they are sowing.
But then what do we do as parents? We come to jump in and reap what the kids have sown.
When we do this, we put our kids at a disadvantage. We need to teach our children the principles of life, that if they are late for school, you don’t jump in and fix that.
We need to let them suffer a bit. They learn that there are consequences and, they need to learn those principles.
When should we start teaching our kids these principles?
They are actually learning it from a very young age. When they start learning to walk, they try and stand up, but they fall and experience some pain. They get up and walk again, fall and get some pain. We can’t save them from that pain. Otherwise, they might never walk.
We should teach this to them in everyday life. Let them experience God’s principles. When our kids are listening to music, when they are watching TV, whatever they are busy with, we can teach God’s principles in everyday life.
And we can always bring The Bible into our teaching.
Start this as young as they are and in every kind of moment. But also at an age-appropriate level, because I think sometimes I’ll try to explain to them a concept, but it’s like they’re not old enough to fully understand that.
So being able to simplify biblical principles to teach the young ones and then walk with them as they’re learning it.
Teaching kids about forgiveness and consequences
Let me give you a quick example of how I taught my son and daughter some principles about God when they were young.
My son was installing something because, you know, boys love to play and tinker. He would sometimes get carried away and accidentally bump his sister or play too rough.
One day, they were playing dangerously on the trampoline and I had to intervene. I explained to my son that he could say sorry and his sister would forgive him, but the consequences of his actions would still be there.
Just like how God’s grace can forgive us for our sins, the consequences on Earth may still remain.
I think sometimes kids, and even adults, believe that everything will be fixed if they ask for forgiveness from God, but that’s not always the case. The consequences of our actions can still remain.
For example, if someone has a child outside of marriage, asking for forgiveness from God will not make the child disappear.
We can teach these principles to children as young as five, and continue to reinforce them as they grow older.
As parents, it’s really important to teach our children about values and principles. We need to show them that waiting for some things can be really worth it, and they’ll be happy they did later on.
There are some great ideas we can use to help them make good choices, like the ones from the Bible. These include things like waiting for good things to come, understanding that what we do now affects our future, and respecting God. These can help us in raising well-balanced teens.
Natasja is an experienced counsellor and coach. Throughout her career, she has specialized in working with children, adolescents, and families. She has developed expertise in teen-parent conflict resolution, especially in the context of healthy sexuality.
Her expertise is helping families cope with day-to-day challenges and discover answers by looking at life through the lens of simplicity.
Natasja works as a Family Counsellor in South Africa, registered as Advanced Religious Professional in Christian Pastoral Counselling.
Through her private practice, Natasja Visser Counselling Centre, Natasja developed, Let’s EXplain coaching program. The program assists parents and teenagers with practical guidance to navigate through a risky world filled with sexual imagery and sexual exploitations.
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