Licensed Christian Counselor
Specialist in Child & Adolescent Therapy
Life Training Christian Counseling
Adolescents are in a special season of growth and discovery. Their brains have developed enough to begin making their own decisions and filter information, yet they are still sometimes impulsive in their choices in an effort to meet their own needs. The “rebellion” part of adolescence is a teen’s effort to determine what is true for themselves, regardless of what their parents have taught them. Searching and asking questions shouldn’t be discouraged, but as adults in these teens’ realm of influence, we should create a space where questions are welcomed and each teen is pointed to the truth.
As the book of Proverbs in the Bible informs us, raising our children to know the Lord starts when they are young.
“Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”Proverbs 22:6 NIV
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.”Proverbs 29:17 NIV
God’s Word Is Truth
It is our responsibility as parents, guardians, and leaders of children to teach them how to seek God’s word for truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the English Standard Version tells us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Our teens have the ability to use critical thinking skills to determine what is right and wrong. However, they have many different sources in the world telling them what the truth is. It is imperative that they are given a good example through both words and deeds of what it looks like to use God’s word as the basis of truth.
- Personal Bible Study. Your kids are observing what is important to you not just by your words, but through your actions. It is important to prioritize your personal relationship with God to lead your children’s relationship with God. This may feel intimidating at first, but it’s important to remember perfection isn’t the goal here. Paul understands this when he says God’s grace is sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:9). If your heart is following God, your kids will see it in you.
- Open Discussions and Welcomed Questions. When a child asks a question and is immediately brushed off rather than engaged, one of two things will happen. Their curiosity will be suppressed and they will no longer actively participate in their faith: no questions asked, going through the motions, etc. They will seek answers elsewhere. Depending on who engages their curiosity, this child is now susceptible to the false beliefs of the world becoming their foundation.
Creating an environment where questions are welcomed and answers are sought in scripture develops a pattern of seeking God for truth that can follow the child through adolescence and into adulthood. Even Jesus asked questions, as we see when his parents find him in the temple. We don’t have to feel pressure to know all of the answers, but lead our children in looking to God for the answers.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”Matthew 7:7-9 NIV
If you are in a place where you did not cultivate a desire to seek the Lord for truth and now your teen has accepted different beliefs, do not give up. Here are a few practical, effective steps you might consider:
- Approach your child with Micah 6:8 in mind, “seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking in humility.”
- Take time to have intentional conversations with them about their beliefs.
- Take a James 1:9 stance and be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
- Ask questions about what your child believes and where they’re getting their truth from.
- Engage their critical thinking skills to analyze their sources.
- Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, and when it is appropriate, share the truths of the Bible with them.
- Above all, pray for them. Pray for the Lord to soften their hearts to His truth. Pray
- for God to reveal the lies of the world and protect them. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you in your actions and words, and trust that God is actively pursuing the heart of your child.
Kayla Wright joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in May of this year. She is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association, with an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky.
Kayla, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our COUNSELING FOR TEENS & PRE-TEENS in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at email@example.com