Menconi - Jan 2000

Al Menconi
I got a couple of calls recently from fathers that reminded me why it's so important to keep doing this ministry. One call was frustrating; the other was encouraging.

The first father called to ask about some rock groups his stepson wanted to listen to. He was looking for a quick answer to substantiate his idea that rock music was making his son rebellious. It was frustrating because this father just wanted information to support his desire to throw out his son's albums. He didn't want to get to the root of the problem.

In the years that I have been studying this subject, I have become convinced that a person's music is usually a symptom of a deeper need. There's usually a reason kids in Christian homes choose to listen to angry and ungodly music. This father didn't want to examine the possibility that there might be outside influences on his son's choices in music. I gave this father the information he wanted, but I guarantee it won't solve the problem. You see, you can remove the symptom, but unless you get at the root cause of the problem, it will reappear.

That's why the second father's call was so encouraging. Like the first father, he was looking for information on a rock group his son was listening to. This father, however, was open to looking deeper into the situation. He wanted to do more than merely tell his son what to think, he wanted to teach him how to think biblically. This father realized that he didn't understand his son as well as he would like.

At our suggestion, he took a renewed interest in his son, not just his music. He began to communicate with his son. He started building bridges that he thought were closed forever. We know this because he sent us a grateful letter explaining the positive response he had been getting from his son. He felt he was becoming the father he wanted to be.

As Christian parents, we all need to avoid the temptation of the "quick-fix" and be courageous enough to go deeper. We need to be willing to ask ourselves some important questions: How is our relationship with the Lord? How is our relationship with our spouse? And finally, how is our relationship with our child?

But be careful that you don't go on a severe guilt trip, convinced that you are the cause of your child making wrong choices. Remember God is the perfect parent, He created perfect beings, put them in a perfect environment and they still chose to sin. Why? Because like our children, they had a free will.

On the other hand, are you creating an environment that is "pushing" your child to look for answers that are not biblical? This is a question that I ask myself every day. Maybe God is using a rebellious child to get you on your knees. Think about it.