Shepherding a Child’s Heart: Raising Teenagers

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Today we’re in chapter 18 and 19 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart.  Get all the details of the Shepherding a Child’s Heart Book Club in the kick off post. This is the final post of the book club.

Raising Teenagers

For many parents raising teenagers seems to be an overwhelming task and one full of frustration and defeat. This should not be the case! Sure, you can feel like that, “at the time”, “in the heat of the moment”, but not as an overall picture, which many do.Your children, your teens, NEED you! They are still under your covering and need your love, guidance, prayers, protection and support. They are still “in training.” They still have much to learn from you, as their parents.

raising teenagers
My teenager!

What Teenagers Need

“Teens feel vulnerable about everything. They worry about their appearance. They feel insecure about their bodies and their personalities,” says Tedd Tripp. Since we know this to be true, we, as parents must pour into them the love of Christ and what He says and speaks over them. Our children need to gain their identity in Christ. They need to feel secure about how God created and fashioned them. He gave them an amazing personality and they are unique and special. This needs to be rooted and grounded into their hearts and minds. Their future depends on their identity and who they are in Christ. Once they know this, they will not worry (as much) about their “outward” appearance or personality. They will learn to cast all their cares on to the the Lord and know that He loves and cares for them, has a plan and a purpose for them. They will learn to hear His voice and worship and obey the one that matters. They will become God pleasers and NOT man pleasers! This is a HUGE task for us as parents to instill into our children: to FEAR GOD and NOT MAN! When they are tempted by the things of this world, they will be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ and will turn to Him for help in time of need.

This, we must believe and contend for with our teens. I have heard several parents say, “the teenage years are the rebellious years.” Well, I am NOT coming into agreement with this. I have said that from the time I found out I was pregnant. I will not have rebellious children! Some might say that is silly or how can you know. Well, I do know that my words and thoughts are powerful and carry weight! I do know God’s word says, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I do know that “life and death is in the power of the tongue.” I do know that we can speak blessings or curses over our children. I choose to believe God and His will for my kids- He came to give them a hope and a future, to prosper them and not to harm them. Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance. The enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy. This is why I can say the words that I say and believe them too! Faith is the things “hoped for, not yet seen.” I have BIG hopes for my children!

So, I do not believe teens have to rebel. I pray against this daily for my children and I pray you will do the same. I believe we can train and teach our children the ways of God and when they are old, they will not depart from it. I believe through our love for the Lord, we can instill that love into our children to “love the Lord with all of their heart, mind, and strength.” Our teens are the next generation and we need them to be the forerunners for Christ. They need to be salt and light in this dark world. We need to pour love, honor, acceptance and blessing into our teens. Pull out the “gold” in our children- God’s gifting and callings on their life. Prophesy over your children and have other mighty men and women speak God’s heart over them. May the Lord grant us His eyes as we raise and train them.

When raising teens, cry out to the Lord for His wisdom and grace daily! This is a paramount time in your child’s life. They need to have a listening ear. Our teens need to know that “mom and dad are a safe place- a safe haven for them to communicate and be with.” Teens need to be able to communicate openly with their parents and vise versa. We want our children to know we understand their struggles- we were once teens- we understand peer pressure, insecurity, fear of man,etc. We also want them to know that we do not want them falling into the trap of sin and the snares of the enemy, but to be Kingdom minded, Kingdom Kids, set apart and on fire for the living God. We must experience life together with our teens-share your stories together, pray together, and live life together. This does NOT take your parental authority out of the equation, you are still the parent and they are the child, but it will bring you into a close relationship that will unite your hearts together- “a 3 stranded cord is not easily broken.” Let your teenager know they are loved unconditionally and that nothing will or can ever separate them from the love of Christ. Teach your children “to not only be hearers, but doers of the word of God.”

raising teenagers
Taking my son out on a mother-son date- Sushi!

May your teenager

May your teen be experiencing the love of Christ and know that God is “alive and active” in their life. May they experience the fullness and richness of Christ. May they walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and learn to walk in His ways and not their own. May your teen be in communion with like minded peers- “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens another.”

May they be falling in love with their King and living for His glory. May they know that Christ is their plumb line-their joy, strength, hope, faith, and trust. May they know the power of the resurrected Christ and Him crucified and that He lives inside of them. May they know they are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. May they walk in power and authority on the earth being filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. May they love the Lord and make Him known to the ends of the earth. May they preach the Gospel to themselves daily as well as to others.

May they hunger and thirst for His righteousness. May they know who they are in Christ and see themselves and love themselves as Christ does. May they freely give His love away to the world. May they do great exploits in the name of the Lord. May everything they do give Him glory, honor and praise!

Parents, “train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” God’s word does NOT return void. Stand firm, pray without ceasing and know your children were created for GREATNESS!

Do you have a teenager? Are you struggling raising your teen? How can I pray for you? I believe in you and am here for you! I welcome your prayer requests and feedback.  Bless you parents! :)

Comments

  1. great post! love it – Carrie is consistent with her wonderful boys!

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