"Influencing Your Teen's Heart"

Many parents make the mistake of trying to influence their teens primarily by threat of consequence (intimidation) and sheltering, but eventually discover that they have merely controlled external behavior and have missed their children's hearts. Fortunately, King Solomon modeled for us a perfect balance of leadership and liberty in his dealings with his teenage sons. In this session Reb examines Solomon’s approach and shows how to make the transition from controlling young children to coaching young adults.

This is Session 4 from the set
"Parenting Teens With the Wisdom of Solomon."
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Have you ever felt demeaned and scolded by another adult?   How did it feel?

A. Solomon’s approach was NOT chiefly authoritarian based. He had authority as the king and as their father, but did not rely upon threat of punishment to motivate them.

1. Gave commandments, but remained non-threatening or domineering


Prov 6:20  My son, observe the commandment of your father, And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21  Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22  When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. 23  For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light…

“Let me give you the reasons:   I’m gonna tan your hide”?

Prov 2:1  My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, …5  then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.  (Also Prov 3:1; 7:1-2)


2. Cautioned them with WarnINGS of natural consequences

ie: Anger, lust, laziness, bad relationships, finances, pride, disobedience to parents, etc.


Prov 22:8  He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.

Prov 30:17  "The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.


3. He appealed to them based on blessings

Multiple directives toward good fruit  // 32 times encouraged towards blessings or rewards

Prov 8:32  "Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.


Prov 3:33  The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.


Prov 9:12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer."


Prov 3:13, 18; 5:18; 8:34; 10:6; 10:7; 10:22; 11:11, 18, 26; 12:14; 13:13, 21; 14:14, 21; 16:20; 19:17; 20:7; 20:21; 22:9; 24:25; 25:22; 27:14; 28:14; 28:20; 29:18; 30:11; 31:28


B. He came along side of them like a COACH   NOT   like a REFEREE or a fickle sports fan


1. He coached them about what to pursue in life

Advised of blessing    //  Sought to tantalize with the beauty of wisdom and responsibility

2. He directed them on how to accomplish their own goals

Prov 3:1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2  for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.



Coached them about relationships, work, responsibility; Parenting; Good pursuits; pick a wife;

Finances; Responsibility; Relationships

C. He encouraged, comforted, advised toward wise and righteous living

Prov 2:1 My son, if you will receive my sayings, And treasure my commandments within you … 5  then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.


Prov 9:12  If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer."


1 Th 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

parakaleo 25 times / “command” 3 times


D. Appealed to them based on their need for wisdom

He appealed to what he hoped was their desire for wisdom

Prov 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3  for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young


E. Equipped them with practical help for handling temptation


Prov 1:10  My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.


Prov 22:24  Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25  or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.


Prov 5:3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil... 8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house




A. If disciplinary consequences are necessary, administer RESPECTFULLY -- don’t take defiance PERSONALLY

ie: withdraw a related privilege, but preserve the relationship, don’t cut it off by anger

B. Listen to them as wise, contributing adults  How would you want to be treated by a boss?


> Submit to their ideas if they are better than yours


C. Do not continue to make ALL decisions for your teens, but teach them how to make

wise decisions based on God's Word. (See free outline on FM website)

(See article “Learning to Make Wise Choices” on our website www.familyministries.com/articles.html) 




A. Motivation was Relationship based -- not fear based Rules without relationship is a recipe for disaster


Phile 1:8  Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9  yet I appeal to you on the basis of love... 


B. He appealed to them to invest in relationship with him


Prov 23:26  My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways



Rom 2:4b  ...God's kindness leads you toward repentance


Accept them for who they are at the stage of growth they have attained


A. If our kids fail to find our acceptance, they will welcome it from the first group or individual who offers it.    We are drawn to those who like us – but have little time for those who continually criticize us.

B. Don’t mistake affection for acceptance            BRADLEY HOME


1. Affection is characterized by a tender manner and a caring touch


2. Acceptance says, “Although you fall short, I still like you as you are now.”


C. Do not postpone acceptance until they achieve your standard

They may not act like it, but they need their parents’ approval. We all crave our parent’s approval. YOU still do!

1. Quickest way to demoralize loved ones is to communicate that they do not measure up


2. They may give up and begin to patronize you


3. Our children read our countenance every time we greet them. What do they see in your eyes?


D. Jesus modeled acceptance in his experience with the woman at the well (John 4:4-42)

Jesus taught and preached holiness more than all the prophets yet he attracted to himself the worst of sinners. 

1. He did not agree with her moral choices, but communicated no CONDEMNATION

ZACCHAEUS  // People felt exposed, but accepted by him as they were.  // Bev -1st day of school

2. He did not return her attacks                           

We are Christians and Christians have standards. We think, “If I accept them as they are they won’t change.”

3. He was “safe” with her failings     The operative word here is “safe”


E. Are you a “safe” person for your children?   Who in your life are you most drawn to? It is likely someone who knows you and likes you anyway.  It is someone you regard as safe to reveal yourself to.   

1. Stop justifying your anger

James 1:20  for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.


2. Listen to their feelings without immediately giving them the correction you think they need.

If I don’t say something, then they will think I support their sin

3. Values come out of the heart and reflect who a person is

Luke 6:45  ... out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

I did not accept my children ... their immature values disappointed and embarrassed me.

4. If their values are immature, then devise a plan to nurture the HEART that expressed those values. Don’t think you will change their values by simply telling them their values are bad.


F. Consider: Is it possible you have difficulty accepting your children as they are, because you do not believe God accepts you as you are?

TEST:    “Does God LOVE you?”  -- “Does God LIKE you?”

Rom 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us...10  For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!


Rom 8:31  What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34  Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36  As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Eph 3:16 ... I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

If you imagine that God constantly shakes his head in disgust at you... don’t be surprised if you treat your children the same way


G. Listen to them when they share their heart  REPAIRING BROKEN RELATIONSHIP


1. Begin to give them opportunities to share their heart with you.


2. Be trustworthy with their heart.   Following a leader requires trust.


3. Share with them  weaknesses or  struggles you are having in your own life.


4. Open dialogue by expressing humility, ie: Do not ask, “Have I offended you?” Rather ask, “If you could change anything in our home or family, what would it be?”



H. Express Love to them in tangible ways  Love is a choice


1. TOUCH: Be affectionate toward them.

1 Th 2:7  but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.


Isa 66:13a  As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you ...


2. TEETH: Discipline yourself to smile at them.

Prov 16:15  When a king's face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.


Mark 10:21a  Jesus looked at him and loved him...

GUARD AGAINST ever-present spirit of SUSPICION, mistrust AND PRE-JUDGMENT

3. TONE: Remove the exclamation mark at the end of their name.

Eph 6:4a  Fathers, do not exasperate your children...


1 Th 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12  encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.


4. Time: Are they variables or absolutes?

1 Tim 3:4a  He must manage his own family well ...