We did a series early on at Gateway called Think. Be. Live. It was a counter view to the old adage Know. Be. Do. which was used by the military and a few advertisements. Our take was something like this...
It's better to THINK about the rules we follow (what you believe about them) rather than just KNOW the rules. If we really take the time to do this, the rules and our devotion or decisions about the rules can actually become a part of who we are, a part of our BEing. Now, since we have done the brain-work, we will be more likely to LIVE out the desired virtue rather than just having a list of DOs and don'ts.
No sex before marriage. THINKing about why this is important is much more valuable than just KNOWing about the rule. Countless numbers of Christian teens and adults are breaking this rule everyday. Why? Because it's really not a part of who they are, it's just a rule. In the "heat of the moment" the brain is NOT functioning at normal operating capacity! If this rule is just something they follow out of fear or obligation rather than something that's really a part of who they are, they will fail.
Not drinking. Same thing here. Statistics in both examples show that the drinking (and sexual activity) rates among Christian and non-Christian teens and young adults are essentially the same. Why? This ideal is not something that we are teaching kids to think about, we've just told them to follow the rule. But peer pressure is much stronger than that!
By the way - that thinking part is where the gospel comes in... the gospel is the true changing force in a Christian's life. If you don't understand the gospel, the sacrifice of Christ for your sins, can you really seek to honor God in your daily living?
Let No One Despise You for Your Youth
April 21, 2008 | By: David Mathis
Category: DG Resources
This week's sermon: "Let No One Despise You for Your Youth: A Vision for the Next Generation"
The Ten Commandments are not central in Christian parenting. The gospel is.
The gospel is the rule and power by which we teach our children to live. The gospel is the culminating word of God that can break in on our children, who are born in sin, and by the power of the Holy Spirit bring about the new birth and forgiveness of sins and strength in suffering and biblical maturity.
Successful parenting is more than compliant kids. It is gospel-saturated living and teaching—a gospel is not just something that begins the Christian life but empowers it and shapes and sustains it.
Changed and sustained by the gospel, our children can rebel against the low expectations of adolescence and "do hard things" in a way that magnifies Jesus.
Original article page link.