By ELIZABETH COOPER
Tuesday 28 July 2020
Keeping all our young people from Church in mind, we continue with the “PRAY THROUGH MAY” initiative.
I enclose the next set of topics for the week 29th to 31st May.
29th. Self-esteem 30th. relationships
How do we help teens arrive at a God-honouring, balanced sense of self?
Christian teens have clear and tangible reasons to feel OK about who they are. Their self-worth should be grounded on, and bolstered by, the following realities:
· They are made in God’s image.
· Jesus personally cares about them.
· They’re worthy of unconditional love in their home.
· They can find a haven of acceptance among other believers.
· God has a plan for their life.
Although these truths can be a great source of encouragement, teens’ emotions don’t automatically “catch up” to the facts. Self-esteem issues often feed on irrationality. Teens must vigilantly pursue an honest view of themselves, their circumstances and the Lord. Feelings shouldn’t be allowed to trump the facts.
A healthy self-esteem isn’t grounded in one’s strengths or abilities. Of the five points listed above, none leads teens to find their value by comparing themselves to others. Somebody will always come along who is prettier, wealthier, smarter or more athletic. That’s inevitable.
Our teens’ self-esteem must come from their knowledge of who Jesus is and from the assurance of His love and care. Parents have the privilege of emphasizing these truths as they model acceptance, forgiveness and love. These truths provide lasting purpose and clear direction — even to those traversing the heady and often challenging years of adolescence.
The Church has a part to play in this too. Supporting couples as they become parents and loving any child in the big Church family, modelling Christian behaviour and showing acceptance at every opportunity.
It is true that children model behaviour and are very observant! Therefore, we need to ensure they see how relationships work in the Christian family. There are enough other models out in the world for them to view. We must ensure we give them Christ’s view on the relationships they see and ensure they understand how to seek God for their own relational issues.
As our youngsters see us on our knees in prayer seeking God for His will for our Churches future – and as we include them in this life of prayer and praise, so they will come to understand who holds the future and who they can trust.
We have a big responsibility in caring for and nurturing the children in our midst, and ensuring they find their place within the body of the Church. They are not just the Church of the future, they are a very important part of the Church today with their own giftings and abilities. To prevent them worrying about their future, we need to ensure they know who holds it and who will guide them.