God’s Advice For Being (and Parenting) a Teenager

Being a teenager is hard. The need for acceptance is overwhelming, and the life of a teenager often revolves around being accepted by their peers. Their emotional well-being can be heavily affected by their social status at school. When they don’t fit the criteria to belong to any of the cliques, they feel isolated and alone. It’s during this time of adolescence that parents can ease the hurt of rejection with biblical affirmations.

Loving Your Teen When the World Doesn’t

Her eyes glistened with her knees pulled to her chest, and her words came somberly as she rested her head on her knees. “I have no true friends. No one sees me. I’m just so different. I like math and science. The other girls want to be nurses and teachers. I want to be a firefighter or police officer. I’m just not like them.”

As my daughter shared her hurt, my heart sank, and my stomach knotted up. I realized a band-aid and kiss was no longer going to take her hurt away. I felt hopeless in my ability to comfort and soothe her broken spirit. This hurt was deep. I didn’t know what to say, so I started to pray.

God, please wrap Your arms around my baby and comfort her. Please give me the words to encourage her and lift her up. I don’t know what to say or what to do. Help me, Lord.

Loving Yourself When the World Doesn’t

When I was growing up, talking about our emotions was rare, and we didn’t talk about Jesus. Now, as the mom, I had a decision to make. I could express my disappointment in her classmates and ridicule them. I could tell my daughter, “This is normal, so deal with it.” Or I could build her up with biblical affirmations and point her to the ONE who will always be there to comfort her: Jesus. I chose the latter. At first, I was uncomfortable, but the Holy Spirit took over, and the words of encouragement started to flow without much thought or hesitation.

As she lifted her head, two rivers of tears began to flow down her cheeks; I tried to maintain eye contact with her as I spoke the truth over her. When I finished speaking truths, we prayed, and a hint of contentment and joy could be seen in her big blue eyes. The pain was still there, but God’s Word was a balm to her broken soul.

You can build up your teen with these five truths, too.

  • You are unique. “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.” (Psalm 139:14, NLT)
  • You are beautiful. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NLT)
  • You are chosen. “You did not choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” (John 15:16, NLT)
  • You are enough. “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5, NLT)
  • You are a child of God. “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. (1 John 3:1, NLT)


Loving Jesus When the World Doesn’t

Being a teenager is hard. It’s even harder now with the amount of information they have access to. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do, and they desperately want to be accepted by their peers.

Every like on social media boosts their ego and increases their endorphins, but every post that is not acknowledged can send them to a dark place. Acceptance is something we all want, but it can also be a false sense of comfort.

As parents our job is to give our children a firm foundation in God’s Word. When that foundation is built, our teens will have solid ground to land on when their world crumbles around them. Teaching our teens to abide in God will set them on a path that leads to joy, not self-destruction.

They will be equipped to stand against the attacks of the enemy, whose goal is to deceive them. Loving Jesus when the world doesn’t will not be easy, but putting our trust in Jesus is worth it.

One day, my daughter will be a mom. She will look back and realize the importance of loving her teen when the world doesn’t.

She will teach them to love Jesus and love themselves even if the world doesn’t.

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