It doesn’t take much to know that the teenage years are some of the most difficult in life. Whether you’re a boy in the 8th grade who hasn’t hit his growth spurt yet, or a junior in high school just hoping to get asked to the prom, there’s a reason they call them the “formative years.”
Teens are SO susceptible to influence, and living in 2019, I know there are a LOT of influences I don’t want coming within ten feet of my kids. The only way to combat the ways of the world is speaking Truth, and encouraging our kids to focus on the things above.
Here are 7 Biblical Truths our teens need to know today.
1. You do not have to be in a romantic relationship to enjoy your high school years.
The pressures are unprecedented, I get that. You see your friends cuddling up to some guy who appears to care, and gave them a teddy bear on Valentine’s Day, and it’s only natural for your heart to long for the same. We were created to love and be loved. But sweet child, you are SO loved by a Father who gave His one son as a brutal sacrifice to be with you. That’s a gift I’d take over a teddy bear any day.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28)
2. You are beautiful.
And not just beautiful, but completely and totally unique in every wonderful way. You were created on purpose, for a purpose, and there’s not a hair on your head that wasn’t perfectly designed with intention.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)
3. You are not defined by your GPA.
Yes, your education is important, and you should always work hard to be the best you can be. But you are not defined by your grades, the classes you take, where you’re going to college, or what your title is in a job. You can’t place your identity in those things because they are not what you have been created for. Your identity is in Jesus Christ. Learning is a gift, so don’t take it for granted. But hold tight to the truth that you’re first and foremost a child of God. He’s not looking at your grades, but the condition of your heart.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
4. It’s okay if you don’t fit in.
I know this can be one of the most difficult parts of being a teenager. The world wants us to conform and to be like them. And it’s only natural to want friends, and to be liked by others. But you were created to stand out. You were set apart from the very beginning. You are strong, you are brave, and your friend group should never be the end goal. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, encourage you, and speak Truth, not judgement.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
5. Don’t beat yourself up over the past.
What’s done is done, and all you can do is seek God for forgiveness and peace, and He will grant it generously. But sweet child, when you ask for forgiveness, Jesus tells us to also repent. Don’t beat yourself up over the past, but be intentional about also not falling into the same sinful ways again. His death for our sins is not permission to do the wrong thing, but to know in our hearts that He has taken away the burden of our sins.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
6. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
I always call this “my five.” Many people can be your friends, but it’s important that you know the difference between acquaintances who you get along with, and the people you trust your life to. Your closest friends should be the ones whose influence draws you closer to God and what He’s called you to. They should be the ones you trust with your struggles and your prayers because they will battle alongside you, not gossip about you. Jesus had his 12 disciples, but then he had his “three.” Peter, John and James were the most trusted of Jesus’ friends. They were the ones He turned to first because they spoke Truth, and had only His best interest in mind. Find your “inner circle.” Not in a clique way that excludes people from the truth, but in a trusting way that offers support.
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. (Proverbs 19:20)
7. Never feel like you have to earn the approval of someone else.
Sometimes it can feel like you have to dress a certain way or look a certain way in order for someone to like you, or accept you. But after a follower of Jesus Christ, you’re not after the approval of people. You need only God’s approval. Align your actions and your words with His.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Share these truths with your teen today, and remind them that they are eternally loved by a father who died just to know them.