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Age of Opportunity

  • by Paul David Tripp
Age of Opportunity

Are you struggling with raising a teenager? Are you asking, “what happened to my sweet boy who turned into a disrespectful and uncaring person?” Or, “What happened to my little sweetheart who was always so embracing but is now avoiding contact and is rebellious?” If you are shocked and hoping to survive your teenagers, Paul David Tripp has a book for you, “Age of Opportunity.”

In the opening chapter, Paul exposes the real desire of most parents, “Secretly in our hearts, many of us want life to be a resort. A resort is a place where you are the one who is served. Your needs come first, and you only do what you want to do when you want to do it” (p.31). Needless to say, this desire is almost never realized because parenting is a hard job of serving and training children who are affected by sin. Alongside the wrong expectation, the author points out the most common problem of parenting an adolescent, which is fear! He writes, “Parents are afraid of their teenagers. Even as they are enjoying the early years of a child’s life, they are looking over their shoulders with dread, expecting the worst, knowing that in a few short years this precious little one will turn into a monster overnight” (13). Is that a biblical view of the teenage years, and does it lead to biblical parenting? No. Tripp shows a better way: “Rather than years of undirected and unproductive struggle, these are the golden age of parenting, when you begin to reap all the seed you have sown in their lives, when you can help your teenager to internalize truth“(19).

This is what this book is about; it is about opportunity and hope. It is about activities, goals and practical strategies. At the same time this book is not naïve since the teen years are filled with conflict, struggle and grief, which together provide excellent opportunities to reach to the very heart of a teenager. Parents who are dealing with a rebellious child will find the author’s approach helpful and refreshing, as he encourages the parents to lead them with grace and love and to recognize, acknowledge and repent of their sinful attitudes for the purpose of restored relationship.

Having raised one son and in the process of raising two teenagers, I find this book extremely helpful in showing me the ways where I can seize the opportunities to love, to learn and to grow in godly relationship with my teens.