As a parent, you are not just dealing with bad behavior but a condition that causes bad behavior.

Paul D. Tripp

This week several parents reached to us asking for advice on how to handle a particular situation with their child.  They had tried different approaches but felt like nothing was working.  So often, many of us feel the same way.  We try so hard to make our children do the things we want them to do, act the way they want them to act, only to find that it seems like in the end, nothing guides us to the outcome we desired.

The focus of this chapter of Parenting by Paul Tripp is on the reality of our children’s sinfulness and hard hearts.

In the last few weeks, some of you may have followed the discussion about Facebook and the company’s knowledge of the fact that its products (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) are causing harm to teenage girls. 

It is interesting that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are being blamed for invading homes and impacting the emotional state of our children.  For years now, reputable studies have connected social media to the rise of teenage depression and suicide.  Yet today, because of leaked documents, there is “someone to blame”. 

Facebook does have some ownership in their marketing and platform strategies.  But let’s consider the blame that should fall on parents who are not monitoring the usage and activities of their children on devices, especially on social media.  

As parents, we must understand that our kids are broken and sinful just like we are. Therefore, we should be all the more engaged in their daily choices–especially when it comes to social media. It would be naive to think our children are mature enough to handle this on their own. 

Tripp shares two types of two lies that all children believe:

LIES OF AUTONOMY: I am a completely independent human being and have the right to live my life the way I choose.

LIES OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY: I have everything I need inside myself to be what I need to be and do what I need to do

It’s no secret today that there is an addictive nature to technology.  Yet so many parents allow their students to use technology hours upon hours. Yet, we would never consider giving our kids alcohol or drugs to play around with every day.  We know the sinfulness of their heart and the temptation would be too much for them to handle.  Yet, we have ignored that reality when it comes to technology and social media. 

The reality of sin is that it distorts the way we view and understand the world around us. Sin is rooted in pride, whereas a biblical understanding of God leads to utter humility and dependence on Him for all things.  As parents, we must focus not only on our children’s behavior but the understanding that their hearts are inclined to rely on themselves as opposed to depending on God.  Our most important job is to enable them to see themselves as they were made in His image and point them to Christ so that they can humbly follow and depend on Him each day. 

Our children need the wisdom to know when to say no.  A successful life is all about saying ‘No’ but not to the authorities in your life, or to the people you have been called to love, or to God’s call, but ‘no’ to yourself.”

Paul D. Tripp

Social media is just one of hundreds of examples in which our children desperately need our wisdom to navigate the brokenness of this world. 

May God give us the grace and boldness to parent in such a way that our children are able to see things the way God sees them …even when it is contrary to what today’s culture says.

Hilton Head Christian Academy‘s Life+ blog was created to equip today’s Christian parents with practical tools, thought provoking content, and honest conversation.

This fall, we look forward to parenting alongside all of you through a new series based on a life-giving book by Pastor Paul Tripp: Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your family.

Each week we will unpack them chapter by chapter right here on the Life+ blog. We hope you’ll grab a copy and dive in with us, taking time to discuss each principle with your own family and the people God has placed in your life.

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