But that is not the way you learned Christ!

Posted on · Posted in Gospel, Parenting, Teenagers

The Apostle Paul issues a strong reminder to the Ephesians when he contrasts learning Christ with living like the world. In Colossians Paul demands that we not be taken captive by being and thinking like the world. The difference between living like the world and living for God is Christ! So, there is a sense of urgency when Paul proclaims that the Ephesians should be different from the world – they should learn Christ. 


As previously noted, this particular language, learning Christ, is the first time in the Greek Bible that there is a directive to learn a person. The clear, but shocking, implication is that if you are not teaching the person of Christ your teaching is just like that of the world. 


What are the implications for parenting? Let’s say your teenager has just committed a major mess-up. Not only is he late coming home, but there is a fresh dent in the side of the car. When you ask him about the dent, he offhandedly says, “what dent?” 


The first temptation here is to inform your son that the consequences of his actions will be severe. Then, there will be the interrogation session that seeks to find out why he was late and what happened to the car. While consequences and information about what happened must be addressed, there is a more important reality that must come first – Christ. If ever there is a time that your son needs to learn Christ, it is now. This the opportunity to teach Christ so that Christ can be learned. If all your son hears about is consequences and questions, you be instructing him as the world does. You will lose an opportunity to teach Christ.


Think about this with me. There is much to work through. Look carefully at Ephesians 4:17-20 and Colossians 2:6-8. 


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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.