I have three teen daughters and one more who is right on their tail. I’ve also raised teen sons into adulthood. (Quite a feat!) During the teen years, there are so many concerns heavy on a teen’s heart: interactions with other guys and girls, school pressures, school or relationship drama, feelings of insecurity, and worries about the future. I do my best to talk with my kids to try to help ease their fears, but through the years I’ve discovered the best way to help them is to point them to God’s Word.
Here are five things teens need to remember and Scriptures for them to memorize to help with key issues they face today.
Remember you don’t have to figure everything out yourself.
God is there for you. He’s only a prayer a way. He wants to help guide your decisions. When you pause to pray you are welcoming in His wisdom and strength.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. — James 1:5 NIV
Protect your heart from unworthy people.
Keep it guarded as if you were guarding a $10 million diamond… although your heart is even more priceless! There are so many people who want to get close to you for the wrong reasons. They want something from you (sex, unhealthy friendships, revenge on someone else, etc.) and are not really thinking about you. They want to get close for selfish motives. Guard your heart and keep it protected because your whole life will depend on it. Don’t let people in who you don’t trust that they have your best interests in mind.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. — Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Let God fight your battles.
One of the hardest things to handle as a teen is gossip and rumors being spread about you. Of course your first defense will be to defend yourself. IBut instead of fighting back with words, the best thing you can do is turn to God and ask Him to fight for you. Jesus knows the truth, and He wants to defend you. When you feel like letting your words fly turn to Jesus instead.
God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut! — Exodus 14:14 MSG
Don’t feel as if you have to carry those burdens alone.
Worried about a test? Concerned about a friend making bad choices? Did your dad lose his job? Has your mom been sick a lot lately? Those worries are a lot to carry. Sometimes it’s hard to think, hard to sleep. But, you don’t have to carry your worries alone. Ask Jesus to carry them for you. Take a minute and picture yourself placing them in His hands. Whenever those things come to mind again, remember Jesus is holding them for you, caring just as you care.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 1:7 NLT
Trust Jesus to direct your path.
I remember when I was a teen being overwhelmed with decisions about the future. People were asking me what college I wanted to attend and what career I wanted to pursue, and I was just thinking about next week’s Calculus test! Thankfully we don’t have to figure out life all alone. We don’t have to figure out our future career alone or our relationships alone. When you trust God and seek to do His will He will guide you. He’ll bring people into your life to help you. He will give you peace about decisions you make. Jesus doesn’t leave you alone to try to figure things out. Aren’t you glad about that?!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. — Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Encourage your teen to memorize these Scriptures… and while you’re at it, join him or her. Family devotional time is invaluable and can lead to fantastic discussions. Sarah Young’s books are wonderful resources that the entire family can use together. Jesus Today Teen Edition recently joined Jesus Today Devotions for Kids and the adult version of Jesus Today to make a complete line of devotionals for all ages because all of us need to be reminded of how God guides, protects, and cares for our hearts.
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What are some of the issues facing youth today that concern you? What other scriptures are your favorites for gaining strength in difficult circumstances? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!