Here’s some great parenting insight from Logos expert Mark L. Ward, written as an aside during an extended article discussing difficult to interpret Bible passages. Below, Dr. Ward argues that when parenting teenagers, it is rarely a good idea to give them orders with the reasoning, “because I said so.” His rationale is that explaining decisions to teenagers not only shows them that you are not being arbitrary, but it also teaches them how to think and how to come to wise decisions.  Here’s the key thought:  “But a sixteen-year-old has some right to know [why a decision has been made], because my goal in parenting a sixteen-year-old is not merely to get him to do the right thing, but to think and love the right things

“When you give a command to little kids, like, “Come here,” they frequently ask “Why?” And sometimes the answer is so complicated—involving the schedules of multiple family members, the timer on the oven, and the closing time of Rite-Aid—that they simply have to be told, “Come here because I’m the dad and you’re the kid.”

But a sixteen-year-old has some right to know, because my goal in parenting a sixteen-year-old is not merely to get him to do the right thing, but to think and love the right things (that’s my goal with the three-year-old, too, but I serve it differently because of his capacities). I train my teen by exposing the reasoning and the motivations behind my actions. I shape him to think the way I do. At least I hope I will when I get to that stage. In this, I hope that my fathering will be somewhat like God’s. The Mosaic law sometimes treated the Israelites as schoolchildren (Gal 3:24), telling them what to do and what not to do without a lot of explanation. The New Testament epistles, in particular, work in a different mode than any portion of the Old Testament; they shape our thinking rather than merely stock it.

John Piper has a great little book called Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, and it makes the point that where true Christianity goes, literacy and education follow (173). Why? Because the Bible both demands and produces rigorous thinking, something it wouldn’t do if Bible interpretation presented no friction, no challenges for the human mind.”

Mark L. Ward, Logos

Mark L. Ward, Logos

Here’s the source for the whole article: Why Bible Difficulties are a Good Thing (Mark L. Ward) 



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