Feb2MonFebruary 2, 2015
Dr. James Boyd
If teens get their values from parents, and the knowledge of God and His greatness is THE treasure, and if it is the natural frailty of human parents that provides the opportunity for God's great power to be shown, what does this all look like? 2 Cor. 4:7-11 provides the four life-situations that provide the "teachable moments" through which the importance of knowing God's greatness can be clearly communicated. The first is when parents are "pressured in every way" but remain free to live for Christ in every choice. The second is when parents have no clue what to do, but still do not despair. The third is when parents are "persecuted" but live on knowing God will never leave them.
7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (HCSB)
The fourth situation in which the extraordinary power of God can be seen in the parents' lives is when the parents are cast down, knocked down, or hurt badly. The same Greek word refers to the people of Capernaum being "cast down" to Hades in Matt. 11:23 and to Satan being "cast out" of the presence of God in Rev. 12:10. How are parents cast down or cast out? As aliens in this world, believing parents will experience rejection. Whether physical, social, or emotional, it will certainly be painful. When excluded, shunned, or rejected by others, parents can model how to live in God's strength by their conviction that destruction is not something that the world can impose on the believer. The Bible is clear when it says that believers need not fear man who can kill the body, but rather should fear God who can destroy both body and soul (Matt. 10:28). Parents can endure by the power of God when they are rejected and hurt by others because they know that whatever man does to them, man cannot destroy them. The believing parent can exhibit faith in the power of God by living out the psalmist's affirmation of Ps. 118:6 "The Lord is for me, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" This world can cause intense pain. But this world has no power to destroy the believing parent because of the power of God. Paul reiterates this truth in 2 Cor. 4:10 when he says that it is by carrying the death of Christ in the body that we reveal the life of Christ. Do your teens see the powerful life of God in your body when you suffer, or does your suffering cause your teens to see God as a little, powerless Deity?