One of the most common concerns of parents is that their teens seem to be on an
entirely different page than that of the parents. Some of this problem can
be attributed to the generation gap. But Christ intended the church to be many
generations in a single unified body. So the generation gap, by itself, cannot be
an insurmountable obstacle to fellowship.
In 1 John 1:3, the aged apostle John told his spiritual children in the church all he knew of Christ “so that” they might have fellowship with him (John). The “so that” clause identifies the very source of his connection with them. What was the source? First, John had fellowship with the Father and the Son. John’s way of thinking, wanting, and living was in line with God’s. Fellowship IS this unity of mind, heart, and life.
Second, John declared to his spiritual children everything that he knew as a result of his fellowship with the Father and the Son. He declared and lived-out God’s mind and heart so that he might have enduring fellowship with his children.
So why is there such a disconnect (lack of fellowship) between parents and teens? John’s fellowship with His children was based on the unchanging reality of Christ. Parents try desperately to foster a connection with their teens based on so many temporary realities like sports, school, teen romance, driving, teen’s emotions, parents’ emotions, successes, etc.
Until parents have fellowship with God (thinking, wanting, and living in Him) and until teens see this fellowship clearly, teens will either be ignorant of it or find it unbelievable. When parents ways become God’s ways, teens are more likely to understand God’s ways, find them credible, and parents will share the most intimate of connections with their teens. . .the growth toward godliness, and God doesn’t change. While this parent/teen fellowship is not automatic, there is no hope for it apart from an ever-growing unity with God made clear to our teens.