Many godly parents may have a sin-filled past. This may leave them filling guilty or ashamed when addressing the sins and temptations presenting their teens in today’s culture.
Regardless of what some would say, your past should not be a secret you keep from your family. Our interview with author and speaker Lisa Hein will provide us with guidance on how to delicately discuss your past with your teen.
Click to Listen
Today’s culture inundates parents with so called “parenting advice.” Where should parents go to learn the answers to parenting? Often times the best people to provide guidance are the people that have travelled the parenting road before us. Our guest, Lisa Hein, is the author of Manifest God’s Love in Your Family and The Book: I’m Doing the Best I Can.
Teach Your Children
Before we can discuss the topic of sin-filled pasts, parents need a firm point of reference to guide their family.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us to “train up your children.”
When involving your past, avoid the cliche answer of “do as I say not as I do.”
Instead, practically apply the principles found in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. Impress upon your children the Word of God.
This means requiring more than a Bible devotion or attending a youth group once a week.
During your daily activities, indelibly plant the scriptures into your teen as a way of life.
Remove the Shame of Your Past
Without mature direction from the absolute truth of the scriptures, many teens will look at mom and dad’s mistakes to justify their indulgences in sinful activities.
One approach is for parents to keep their past a secret, fearing that their past may give their teen the liberty to indulge in sin.
This may make parents shy away from communicating the mistakes of their past.
Parents do not need to buy into this misconception.
Leverage Your Past as a Tool
Instead, be proactive. When your child is old enough, find the balance in appropriately communicating the sins of your past without giving all the gory details.
You should not keep your past a secret.
You can never go wrong with telling the truth.
Find the balance between being vague and going into all the details. Your teen does not need to know the details of the sin.
The bottom line is, it is important to be forth right and to delicately communicate the truth.
If it ever gets back to your teen that you are hiding a sin-filled past, your teen will think it is okay to withhold the truth from you.
Conversation Starter: What are some challenges you face when addressing the questions your teen has about your past?