Parenting Teens and Being Successful? Part 6

This is the sixth post in the series. In this post I am going to discuss the instrumental parent. Check out the other posts in the series on the main page.

We all want to be successful. As parents, we are many times lost as to what that means with teenagers. I am going to work through some biblical principles that will point us to success with parenting teens.

Some of you might be asking what is an instrumental parent.  It is about being an instrument in the hands of our redeemer, a term used by Paul Tripp.  We as parents want what is best for our teens, the best is God’s best.  So it doesn’t come down to how great we are but it comes down to how great our God is!

No matter how righteously I act with my son, he must deal with God or there won’t be any hope for him.  No matter how righteously I act with my daughter, she must deal with God or there won’t be any hope for her. (On Parenting, JBC)

We can do all the right things and not be instrumental in the development of our teens.  If we are not with God in how we parent our teens we are not going to have any success.  Eternal success is only found in God, our living God moving in the hearts of our teens.  That begins and ends by constant dependance on God for all things.

As a father, I want to be a sharp instrument in the hands of the Redeemer because I know that only Christ can renew my children’s hearts. (On Parenting, Paul Tripp)

That should be our goal as a parent of a teen.  Being one consumed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  His goals become our goals.  Having mature and complete teens that become mature and complete adults.

Colossians 1:28 (ESV) Him (Jesus Christ) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

We as parents are called to be God’s instruments that proclaim, warn and teach our teens.  So that they can be mature.  We need to get on our knees asking God for maturity, for grace, for wisdom.

If I’m willing to admit my need of Christ, then I come before my child with the evidence of what he also should do.  He has not only seen his need, but he has seen the changes Christ is able to make in me.  I preach the Gospel by living my life…My authority is representative anyway; it’s not based on my righteousness.  My righteousness is based on Christ.  When I model this for my teens, I am an instrument in Christ’s hands. (On Parenting, Paul Tripp)

This summarizes success in parenting teens.  Being an instrument in the hand’s of Jesus Christ.  We need to seek to be like Jesus in our approach to things.

Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus was humble enough to be obedient to the point of death.  As parents we need to be obedient instruments of God’s grace in our teens lives.  Spend some time thinking of areas you want your teen to grow in.  Who you want them to be “when they grow up.”  Spend some time looking at yourself what areas do you need to grow more Christlike.  Be revolutionary and work on what you are struggling with and seek to be the parent that focuses on being a instrument in Christ’s hands.  Its the grace of God through Jesus Christ that you are able to be a parent. My prayer is God reveals to you through His Word who you need to be for your teen. Be a model of the Gospel, always seeking God in all things!

This will be the last post in this series and I will be starting a new one next week.  If you want to discuss more anything that I have posted in this series, feel free to email me at


One response

  1. Excellent advice on parenting teens. I want to be an obedient instrument of God’s grace in my children’s lives.


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