To help introduce this lesson about how our selfish priorities spark conflict, briefly share information from this blog post written by Pastor Tim Keller. Talk with parents about how we overlook blemishes in our own lives and how those flaws can grow to be spiritual roadblocks in their own lives and in their families. Even if you don’t use the entire article from Keller, share this quote with the parents in your group:
While our faults always seem small to us due to the natural self-justification of the heart, they often don’t look so small to others. As a result, these “small faults” cause large swaths of the Christian population to have little influence on others for Christ.
- Would any of us have the guts to ask our teenaged children to tell us what they consider to be our biggest faults as parents? Do you think any of our own perceived “minor faults” are keeping us from being a positive influence on our kids for Christ?
Ask: What character flaws could lead to personal conflicts? Record responses on the board. If it’s not mentioned, suggest that many conflicts can be traced to selfishness—misplaced priorities that focus only on you and not the other person. Affirm that selfishness runs naturally through the human condition, but remind parents that Jesus did not redeem us to do what comes naturally.
Share that today’s Bible study presents a contrast between two people in conflict. Saul, the powerful king of the nation, spent a lot of time worrying about himself and the “legacy” of his family. David, the victim of Saul’s persecution, humbled himself in an effort to end the conflict.
Encourage parents to examine their own hearts and to determine if they act more like David or Saul when conflict arises in their home. Urge them to identify God’s plan for resolving conflicts from the lesson and to apply it to their lives.
(NOTE: As an additional activity, create a handout that defines the characters in Keller’s blog. Give each parent a copy of the handout. Challenge them to identify their own personality and to evaluate how it might create conflict at home.)
The options for parents for the When Relationships Collide unit were written by Bob Bunn. Bob helps develop stewardship curriculum and resources for churches for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. He is the author of Indelible Parenting, a four week study for parents based on Deuteronomy 6. He and his wife, Mary, live in Nashville with their three teenagers.