“My Teenager Needs Jesus!” (They really need you.)
Encouraging your teenager to grow spiritually can't come before your relationship with them is strong. There is hope you will share your values one day, but love them as they are for now!
"The only thing they can depend on in this life is God."
Sometimes life has dragged us through the mud and then given us kids. Do you feel like the only way you made it to where you are standing now is because God plucked you out of the muck and gave you a fresh start? We want our kids to know that God is the only way to live a life with meaning and direction. And, I would be so bold to say that God wants for them to know that, too. What is different about your situation and your teenager's life is that they have YOU. They have an adult who loves them and an adult who is led by the Holy Spirit. They do "need Jesus". We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
How to help your teenger be close to God
Your teenager needs to pray, read their Bible and go to church. However, this advice can push them further away from you and further away from God if it is your only response. The old saying goes, "They do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." You have to earn the right to be heard. Often, validating your teenager's pain is all of the "advice" they need. The empathy you can offer or the comforting touch may be just what they need. to empower them to then use their coping skills that have been modeled for them and taught to them from a young age. Responding to your teenagers requests for love and comfort with
directing them to pray more,
read their bible may be appropriate!
How to earn their trust
As parents, we have the opportunity to model service and love to our kids. We should not be more loving, patient and kind with everyone at church than we are with our own family. It does not line up with the Bible to leave your family, lonely and wanting your attention, to set out to meet the needs of others in broken families and buried in neediness. Your family is your first mission field. Be sure they they are healthy and you are being responsible those who depend on you for emotional and physical support.
Serve your family first, after God. Priorities that have been outlined to me through years of marriage conferences and guidance are:
God, Husband, Kids, others.
That is how the priority line should look. Deciding your priorities is between you and the Lord. The original disciples of Christ left their families behind to follow Jesus and I’m not denying that the Bible says. However, your loving and patient holy-spirit given fruit should not be only visible to strangers. Strangers are the easiest to love. The nitty gritty, real, good, bad and ugly are those we live with day in and day out. Do they see your heart is led by Christ?
They do just really need Jesus.
So when a parent comes to me and says, "they just really need Jesus," my thought is, "Yes. They do. And we are called to be that for them. So let me join you in being Jesus to your teen." Your teen needs someone
to tell them the truth about God and about Heaven.
Thank God for you in your kid's life!
Do not miss this.
Often teens feel like parents do not care what they have to say, do not support them, or do not spend time with them. They feel that their parents will never accept them. They feel neglected, abused or abandoned by their parent. They are heartbroken and absolutely need Jesus, but they also need parental figures in their lives that they can trust. So maybe if you are thinking that your out-of-line teenager needs Jesus, you may keep the door open with the counselor for feedback on how you can be a better parent to this kid.
We all have blind spots. We all come into parenting when loads of baggage and blinders. We are all going to make mistakes. But, in the therapy office, some of those hurts that have made their way down through the generations can come to a halt. Families can become healthier for the next generation. It starts with you! Be what your kid needs.
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