A time to speak and a time to keep silent

Walking with Teens Through Many Seasons (Part 3)

The seasons in our lives can create crises which produce opportunities for individuals to grow. For teens, these crises can be particularly difficult to navigate, as their undeveloped minds can have a hard time grasping the positive side of change. The challenge of growth often becomes a stumbling block, and teens require a solid support system to help them find the right direction for them. This blog is the third and final blog of a series where we use Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 to acknowledge some of the difficult seasons teens experience during adolescence. 

“A time to tear and a time to mend”

In order for an individual to build muscle mass, they must first work out their muscles. The process of working out creates tiny tears in the muscles that the body builds back up, resulting in muscle growth. It must tear before it can grow. Building spiritual disciplines requires a similar process. Teens who are working to develop their relationship with God are experiencing a process called sanctification. Through the many difficult relationships in middle school and high school, these adolescents are growing their sense of self and identity in Christ. Adults who have the opportunity to walk alongside these individuals need to be sensitive to the unique position they are in and willing to pursue the patience required to support in the tearing and mending. 

“A time to be silent and a time to speak”

Part of adolescence is becoming aware of injustice in the world. Many of the students I work with are acutely aware of the dysfunction in their homes, schools, and world. If the injustice isn’t directly affecting them, it’s affecting someone they know and love. These teens are learning the art of active listening to one another. Not just hearing the words of their peers, but holding space for compassion and understanding. They absorb the information of the world like a sponge. Their silent listening equips them for the time when they choose to speak, and they speak with a clear understanding of the situation and where they stand on it. Many adults can learn from these teens how to better listen in silence before they speak. 

“A time to love and a time to hate”

In Luke 14, Jesus tells his disciples about the cost of being His followers. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” (26). In the context of this verse, Jesus is not telling his disciples to hold ill-feelings toward those they love in order to follow Him. Jesus is speaking to the need to place Christ over everything, and everyone. There comes a time in every teen’s life when they begin to decipher their beliefs that differ from their parents. This doesn’t require disrespect, but can cause an inner conflict within the young adult. As the parents of this youth, it’s important to encourage a child’s relationship with the Holy Spirit and God’s Holy Word. When they have this foundation, they can begin to navigate what the Truth is, with or without their parents’ guidance. 

“A time for war and a time for peace

There are many times in a teen’s life where there are things happening out of their control. Parents divorcing, friends moving away, not making the sports team, etc. There’s an inner battle that is created when the individual has to decide when to fight, and when to rest and let the Lord fight for them. Sometimes in the middle of the chaos, it can be hard for them to know what time it is. The support system of these teens plays an important role of a neutral third party that can help them know when to let go and let God take over. With the right people to lean on, they can take the war off their shoulders and find peace in the capable and compassionate arms of Christ. 

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Contact us to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Teen Therapy at Life Training.

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