The combination of self-seeking motives and being easily angered are effective deterrents against having your teenager believe you when you say you love them.
For example, you just confirmed that your fifteen-year-old son, Justin, has been looking at pornography on the internet. You could become enraged. You could be hurt that your son has embarrassed you in this way. You tell him in a loud, stern voice that this behavior will stop immediately and he will be grounded with zero privileges for months. You could also let him know that you are confiscating his computer, phone, tablet and any other electronic devise he has or ever will have. You could tell him how disappointed you are in him. You could ask him how could he do this to you and his mother. You could tell him this is a terrible sin. You could say you are sorry to so angry, but you love him too much to let him do porn.
You could do this. However, you would also be demonstrating a self-serving spirit served up with instant damaging anger. This may not be your intent, but if you are not showing biblical love then, by definition, you are doing something else. The results will not be pretty!
Thankfully there is an alternative. Following is an example of a conversation that demonstrates what 1 Corinthians 13 looks like in action. See how many positive attributes of love you can find in Dad’s conversation.
“Justin, we have to talk about the images you were viewing on the computer.”
“Dad, I really don’t want to and I am not going to — it is really none of your business.”
“I think I understand why you would say that. I didn’t want to talk to my dad about this stuff either. He caught me looking at a magazine once. He screamed at me and told me never to do it again. He said if I did, I would be in more trouble than I could ever imagine. He grabbed the magazine, stormed out of the room, slammed the door and never spoke to me about it again. Do you think that stopped me from looking at pornography?”
“You did porn?!?”
“Yes, Justin, I did, all the way into college. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to stop, I prayed about it, I felt guilty, but I couldn’t stop. I would always sneak out and buy another porn magazine. I don’t know what I would have done if this stuff had been online like it is today. I always felt awful afterwards but I did it anyway, for years.”
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]