The Lord forges valued treasure in darkness and through difficulty. Though we may dislike trial and test, it is where we encounter God deeply and develop intimacy that stabilizes us in life’s highs and lows. Trouble can carve a space where He unveils facets of Himself that haven’t been revealed in other seasons in our spiritual or personal development.
We experience encounters with the Holy Spirit, as the treasure in earthen vessels. We become more acquainted with the nuances of who the Father predestined us to be, drawn out in challenging circumstances. As much as we don’t necessarily want to encounter tribulation, God retools it, meeting us there as our Peace (John 16:33). In difficulty, He Fathers and teaches us (Hebrews 12:6).
Similarly, we learn to follow His pattern for parenting and training our children (Proverbs 22:6). Whether our teens are facing the typical range of challenges associated with adolescent development or a particular crisis, we can model the Father’s love in how we engage them. In these times, we require the Lord’s mercy and wisdom to be present with our teens in the ways they need us most.
It doesn’t take lengthy research to note the onslaught facing today’s generation of adolescents. Turbulence marks daily encounters with uncertainties about themselves and their world. While the attacks have assumed new forms in our modern context, we must remember that headlines don’t dictate the nature of these challenges. Under the smokescreen, a spiritual battle rages. We may be aware of it, but we can also champion our teens to stand firm in faith.
While the enemy doesn’t wait to target our teens, we can’t delay teaching them how to experience victory in their own lives. The timing seems inconvenient as we endure trials of our own. Yet, as we persist in what God has allowed, we can develop the faith and patience that testifies to our teens.
Words may not offer the only sermon in their life. Instead, our lives serve as an example of the believer in our prayers and pursuit of God’s Word. The way that we choose to engage transforms adversity into a legacy that facilitates our teens’ spiritual and personal development.
Just as the world will know that we follow Christ by our love for one another, so will our adolescent children (John 13:35). They occupy the front-row seat to our lives, observing what no one else sees: the good, gory, and glorious.
While we don’t have to parade the range of our emotions and the nuance of every experience in front of our teens, we can communicate with authenticity. Asserting our faith in God amidst tribulation, models how to cultivate one’s spiritual and personal development. Furthermore, developmentally appropriate transparency helps our teens understand how to stand and succeed in spiritual battles of their own.
When we give them the gift of facilitating a relationship with Christ, they gain the kingdom advantage over a real enemy. We can support them by nurturing their relationship with Jesus and relying on the Holy Spirit. Although their challenges and spiritual walk may not mirror ours, God can outline the battle plan they need personally, and to reach their generation with His Truth.
He will also enable them to receive rest from the same Jesus who champions our victories (Matthew 11:28-30). When we equip our teens with the knowledge of the Gospel and the unique ways that God has furnished them, we offer them tools for their spiritual and personal development, and ultimately, for life.
Next steps for personal development
No one said parenting teens or raising them according to Scripture would be easy. It can seem quite challenging at times. However, you can build your teens on a firm foundation that will hold steady, despite the tests that come.
Explore the resources on this site and schedule time with a counselor. You will find the empathy and the support you need to nurture rich treasure, fostering the spiritual and personal development of the teens you love.
“Besties”, Courtesy of Getty Images, Unsplash.com, Unsplash+ License; “Counseling”, courtesy of Andrej Lišakov, Unsplash.com, Unsplash+ License