Teens can smell fake a mile away. They witness the gossip, the judgment about poor choices, and the hypocrisy we sometimes live in. Teenagers aren’t falling away from churches in droves because they aren’t open to a relationship with the King of Kings. They are falling away, because they sometimes see a misrepresentation of Christ through religion and traditionalism.
Talk openly about what Christ has done for you. Share your imperfections often and honestly. Be transparent about the hope offered in Christ. Balance the weight of sin with the joy of knowing that a true relationship with the Father changes lives. They want to know! They need to know!
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 )
This oft-quoted Scripture sounds great. It’s the end goal. It’s the hope and faith we stand on. But the steps it takes to actually “train them up” can be difficult to discern. Today, I’m happy to report that I made it through the parenting-teen years alive, and the kids survived, too! We have such a rich and meaningful relationship now, and I learned some things about myself along the way—as you will too.
Jennifer Maggio is a national voice for single mothers and hurting women. Her personal story has been featured in hundreds of media venues including The New York Times, Daystar Television, The 700 Club, and many others. She is CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, a national nonprofit that works with churches to develop single mom’s programs and serves more than 1,500 churches and 82,000 single mothers annually. She is an author of several books, including The Church and the Single Mom. For more information, visit www.jennifermaggio.com
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