One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Parenting

Babel Reversed in the Home
Guest Author: Kim Anderson
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pentecostPentecost is often viewed as "Babel Reversed." In both stories, there was a divine send-off, but what contrasts! Whereas at Babel (Gen 11) God confused the rebel's understanding by dividing the languages, at Pentecost God brought understanding to His people regardless of their language. Where at Babel the result was dispersion and alienation, at Pentecost the result was gathering and fellowship.

What made the difference? Can we learn from these examples to transform the experience of releasing our young adults into the gateway for renewed fellowship?

Notice first, that dispersion for the purpose of extending God's rule in the world was God's aim both at Babel and at Pentecost. Whether He was dealing with rebels or with true sons, the send-out was non-optional. In a similar way, if we have been training our children to transform the world, they aren't going to be able to do that forever from our living rooms - under normal circumstances.

Our choices, both as parents and as children, seem to be: separating with alienation and confusion or separating with deeper unity and understanding.

At Babel, God addressed rebel sons. Their sin was that typical adolescent attitude, "I'm and adult now. I can do whatever I want!" They said, "Let us make a name for ourselves. Let us make a tower whose top reaches to heaven." They were grasping for power and independence without a commission, without reference to their responsibilities, without reference to their calling as sons of God.

It is difficult for young adults, as they come into adult-sized capacities, to wait to exercise those powers on their own. What they usually fail to realize is that larger capacities mean larger risks and responsibilities, not just more power. The true test of maturity is whether those young people will rein in those inner stallions long enough to master them. Young adults must ask themselves: will I master the possibilities or will I be mastered by them instead? Will I determine to use my emerging power only at the command of God or will I use it up on my own agendas?

The result of racing out without a commission is alienation and confusion. You can see this in families when parents and teens are using the same words, but meaning different things. Or perhaps the definitions for rebellion or for forbidden activities and attitudes begin to morph. Whoever is changing the definitions is trying to control the situation. But the best they will be able to do is to limit the damage that those ungoverned powers can do.

If this is happening in your family, mourn, but not without hope. As God is gracious, there can be a Pentecost for you and yours beyond the separations.

kim andersonKim Anderson considers herself a professional mother, home-schooling her three children and using her home as the base for Biblically-based arts and education ministries.  Kim has trained lobbyists for Concerned Women for America, coached national speech and debate champions, produced award-winning short films with her adult children and founded her state's first private homeschool college prep cooperative. 

Currently, Kim speaks and writes, helping families navigate the transitions in family life - particularly those in the teen and young adult years.  Her book, Countdown to College helped her first two daughters earn nearly a million dollars in scholarships.  Imitating God's parenting methods, the Andersons are helping families launch highly effective, relentlessly positive children, who invite their parents to participate in their adult adventures in the new workshop series, Age to Age: Parenting for the Transitions of Life. From identifying callings to finding scholarships, from learning to let go of young adults to building relationships that last, Kim's inspiring perspectives on family life lead back to the heavenly Father.   

Find Kim's other books and follow her adventures in parenting and art at, and her practical advice for launching young adults into real life at

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