This study can be adapted for use with a parent/teenage group or simply as a teenage Bible study group. Use your best judgment in what would work most effectively, keeping in mind the need for a trusting and caring environment in which people will be able to share comfortably.
That, with the help of the Spirit, parents and young people will
- see family conflict as a natural occurrence and process, which reflects our sinful nature;
- rely on God’s grace and forgiveness in Christ to resolve their conflicts;
- come to a better understanding of and higher sensitivity to other’s needs.
Family conflict is fact, not fiction, and will continue, rather than disappear, because even as Christians we still have our sinful human nature. But thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ we have God’s forgiveness and His own love to enable us to combat our sinful nature and to resolve family conflicts.
Our prayerful purpose for the next few minutes is to recognize particular conflicts in our life and to open the lines of communication for God’s Word to speak to us.
Participants will each need a Bible, pencil, copy of “Agree-Disagree Questionnaire,” question sheet, newsprint, marker and worship service sheet.
To help participants see the natural differences and the variety of opinions which can arise when studying parent/teen relations, set up a continuum line. Use a hallway or one side of the room where people can move freely. On one end of the room or hall, place a sign that reads, “far left,” and on the other end, a sign that reads, “far right.” Place a third sign that reads, “middle,” in the middle between the two extreme signs. Have the participants move to indicate their response to the following statements:
- When Mom or Dad asks, “What did you do last night?” they really are…
- suspicious of what you were doing. (move left)
- expressing their care and interest. (move right)
- Youth, growing up today, have it…
much easier than their parents did. (move left)
much harder than their parents did. (move right)
- When raising a family in this day and age, parents need to be…
- open-minded and permissive. (move left)
- close-minded and strict. (move right)
- When deciding on what to wear for church…
- teens should make their own decisions. (move left)
- parents should make the decision. (move right)
You may wish to add other statements which are reflective of your particular community and situation. It is not necessary to spend much time on each one, but rather move fairly quickly through them so as not to distract from your purpose for the night.
Divide into mixed parent/teen groups of four to six people each. Provide each group with Bibles, “Agree-Disagree Questionnaire,” question sheet, and pencils. Ask each group to appoint their own leader/facilitator.
Download the PDF of Family Conflicts: Resolving or Dissolving to get the handouts.