What Our Teenagers Need to Hear From Us Right Now

May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. – Psalm 144:12 NLT

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Our teenagers need us.

Last week, their security and self-worth were rocked when the Burnbook app made it’s way into the world. Feasting on immaturity and insecurity, this app works to devour our teen’s emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.

And it’s time for us to come to the rescue.

Society is breeding new ways to judge, manipulate, and bully our kids – especially through social media. Apps like Burnbook remind me of a Goliath standing on the open plains of technology taunting and tormenting our kids. As a parent, I feel appalled and disheartened, and I know a lot of you do too. Maybe we take action by signing a petition, or demanding it be banned, but in the end, the problem is too overwhelming.

How do we conquer this Goliath when it grows with a heart of it’s own?

It hits our families with a one-two punch, and most days I feel the best we can do is begrudgingly welcome our kids to their new level of new.

But is that it? Is this the best we can do?

I don’t want my daughter and son to have to shoulder another level of hate. To worry and fear about threats, gossip, or lies.

We’ve never been a more connected society, but apps like this create a dangerous paranoia that separates us like never before. Our kids are growing up distrustful of relationships. Hatred and anger don’t have to come with a face or a name. They can wound and damage without any accountability.

But I think we CAN do something. This danger may have tentacles on a global scale and supporters eager to grow it – after all, evil will always have an audience.

But so does goodness and truth.

Our kids need to hear from us right now.

My child …

Guard your heart and mind.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.- Proverbs 4:23 NIV

You have the power – and the right, to protect and watch over your heart and mind. Decide every day what you’ll listen to, look at, and focus on. Sometimes things will come your way and you’ll have to make a tough, unpopular choice. Don’t be afraid to be choosey! Ask yourself, “Will this hurt someone, or bring hurt to me?” If so, let it go. You can never get far enough away from evil.

See yourself through Heaven’s eyes.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14 NIV

This is a hard one to believe at your age. There are so many physical and emotional changes happening to you right now. You may feel confused and disappointed with where you’re at, but God already sees the finished you! He’ll spend your lifetime molding, shaping, and carving you into his wonderful work. This world will try to keep you blind with lies, so you must learn to know “full well” your significance in Christ.

Be a voice, not a victim.

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth. – 1 Samuel 17:33 NIV

Not only do you have significance in Christ, but you are here for significance. Every connection you make with another person is a chance to create significance – for you and for them. Dare, like David, to face the Goliaths of this world. As evil stands on a the hillside spewing insults and cruelty, proclaim as David did:

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty! – 1 Samuel 17:45 NIV

I’m here to show you how.

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. – Titus 2:7 NLT

Being your parent is serious business, but there are times when my own life keeps me from doing the best job I can. I’m asking you to guard your heart and mind, and I must do the same. I’m asking you to live knowing how much God loves you, and I must know that full well too. I’m asking you to be a voice, not a victim, and so I must stand beside you and rise above what holds me down.

Let us listen, challenge, and be brave together.

I encourage you to share this post with your teenager. And if they don’t yet know Christ, I would also encourage you to show them the power and promise they have in Him.

Verses for your teens:

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.” – Ecclesiastes 12:1

He has showed you… what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8

My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. – Proverbs 1:10

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12

4 Replies

  1. Jeanette Pittman

    Thank you for this…so thoughtful, challenging, and informative! The accompanying scriptures are perfect. I have also shared this on my FB page.
    Blessings!

    1. Raye Wortel

      Thank you Jeanette! I appreciate you spreading the word. Blessings to you as well.

  2. Shirl

    Awesome!!! Thank you!

    1. Raye Wortel

      Glad you liked it, Shirl! Thanks for letting me know.

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