“…and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” –Ecclesiastes 4:12b
Why do our good, solid young people seem to flee the local church when out on their own? Even more, why do many preacher’s kids and full-time ministry worker’s kids flee the local church even faster? While there are many possible answers to these tragic questions, I have seen a threefold cord of authority work in my life. A unified authority in the life of a teenager pulls like a threefold cord in the direction of righteous living in the will of God.
The threefold cord of authority is made up of three institutions—home, church, and school. If these three authorities are unified and all pull in the same direction in a young person’s life, a teen is more likely to make positive decisions.
Problems arise when one or more of these authorities are not pulling in the same direction. When this occurs, the young person is forced to agree with part of his authority and disagree with another part.
8 Principles to Unify Authorities
- Line your home up with the beliefs of the local church.
- If you lead a Christian home and attend a Bible-believing church, it would only make sense to educate your children in a Christian environment.
- NEVER CRITICIZE another authority in the presence of a young person.
- Do not make “mountains out of molehills.” If not a “right or wrong” issue, defer to one another in the spirit of humility and unity.
- Speak positively of the other authorities in their lives.
- Encourage the other authorities to play an active role in raising your young person. Do not be insecure or selfish with your influence and leadership.
- Wisely balance the time spent among the three authorities.
- Realize that ultimately your young person will make his own decisions. All that you can do is pull in the right direction.