Photo by Alberto Casetta

My friend, Walt Mueller, has just authored a book entitled The Space Between: A Parent’s Guide to Teenage Development. It’s a great primer for parents on adolescent development and all the changes happening in kids emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

Walt includes a great quote from Paul Tripp from Age of Opportunity:

“We need to face the fact that the harsh realities of the Fall are depicted in everyday family life. It is this humble admission that opens us up to one of the greatest functions of the Christian family… As we parents and children alike face our need as sinners, the family becomes a truly redemptive community where the themes of grace, forgiveness, deliverance from sin, reconciliation, new life in Christ, and hope become the central theme of family life.”

I love the idea of the family being a redemptive community. Not a landing pad in between busy activities, but a refuge and a place where grace, love, and hope abound.

It’s not easy to be that kind of family, but I know that we Powells come the closest to it when we’re not rushing around. It’s when I have time to sit an extra 30 minutes with my two girls having frozen yogurt and just listen to them, or when I can stop and play lots of games in a row of Connect Four with my son, that I feel like our family is being the family God intends.

A redemptive community. I like that.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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