Often times, in reference to our children, and especially our teenagers, we hear the phrase, "I did ____________, and I didn't turn out too bad. That's just a teen being a teen and you've got to let them live and learn." In taking this stance, many parents think that they are being understanding and even doing what's best for their child, but is that really the case?
We read in God's Word in Jeremiah 16:11-13 about a generation of Judah and the judgment that was heading their way. God tells Jeremiah to proclaim them, "Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; (12) And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: (13) Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour."
Here, we see a generation of people that grew up and "experienced" the same things as their parents, only with a twist: they took it farther than their parents did. I wonder if some of the parents, as they observed their children growing up, thought, "Ehh, I did the same thing when I was their age. no big deal."? We see in our passage the dangers of this attitude. As Jeremiah is preaching to Judah, he reminds them that even though their fathers have forsaken the Lord, they are in worse shape because they have have walked further from the Lord.
Often times, we allow our past experiences to dictate how we handle present day actions in light of the truth of God's Word. As parents, we should always remember: Past experiences do not trump Bible truths. Just because you dabbled with alcohol and drugs while in high school doesn't mean you should look the other way when you know your teen is doing the same today. Remember, they will take it further than you ever did. Just because you had some immoral and impure relationships in high school doesn't mean you should look the other way when you know your teen is heading down that same route today. This is why teen pregnancy and STD's are at an all time high.
My goal as a parent is not to be the "cool" parent or to be so "understanding" and for my children to experience all that I experienced; but for them to live a better, and more pleasing life to the Lord. What is your goal?