The teenage years aren’t always known for being smooth, happy times between parents and children. In most popular books, movies, and TV shows, teenagers act out rebelliously to the annoyance of their misunderstanding parents. Even when parents are doing their best, it can be hard to connect with a teenager who is starting to develop their own unique identity and opinions.
But what if it doesn’t have to be this way?
In spring 2020, as Ian McKnight watched the world shut down around him, he felt anxious for his 16-year-old son Finn. How would a teenager handle a global pandemic when even adults were scared and unsure?
During lockdown, Ian started using WordGo with Finn, hoping it would provide him with some structure to keep studying God’s Word as churches and schools closed their doors.
“I wanted to make sure that, amidst all of the challenges he was facing during this time, that regular study of God’s Word and prayer continued to be steady in his life, to encourage him, and to help him lean on God’s promises,” Ian shared.
While WordGo gave this father and son the practical benefits they anticipated, such as a consistent routine for studying the Bible and a daily discipline in prayer, it also became an unexpected gift for their relationship. They saw each not just as parent-child but as fellow believers and even friends.
When Finn thinks about WordGo, the first thing he remembers is how he got to connect with his dad. “Using the group feature has allowed me to gain understanding both of the message and a bit of what it’s like to be my dad! I always look forward to our joint meeting each weekend,” Finn said.
WordGo brought Ian and Finn a step forward in growing together as fellow believers, and even as friends. What more could any child or parent want than to feel truly liked and understood by the other?
Ian described their Sunday afternoon meetings as “close times” for them during the week. “I feel like I am getting to know my son as a brother in Christ, which is such as a wonderful experience as we connect as Christians,” he said.
Ian’s excitement echoes John’s words in one of his letters, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).
Although the pandemic restrictions have now lifted considerably, Finn and Ian are continuing to study together with WordGo. Ian sees it being a part of their dynamic for a long time to come:
“My hope is that, at least as long as we share our home, we will continue in this routine and that the WordGo study will be part of our daily and weekly walk, strengthening our father-son friendship around these times.”
Who is God calling you to strengthen your relationship with? Deep connections go hand-in-hand with deep Bible Study. Read our journal Five benefits of Bible study for relationships and think who you could you invite to study the Bible with you.