Healthy U Parent Devotionals
(Insert eye roll or face palm here)
Ah, knock knock jokes. The Jar Jar Binks of comedy. Clumsy. Awkward. Cringey. Knock knock jokes are truly the worst.
But, everyone HAS knocked on a door and had a questioning response come through the door, “Who is it?” The person on the other side of the door truly wants to know who’s there. And, of course we automatically know the response . . . “It’s (fill in the blank with your name).” We know who we are and we have no problem identifying who we are to them.
I find it interesting that despite the fact that we know our names, there are times that, even as adults, we lose track of who we are.
For your teenager, most of their teenage years are spent trying to figure out who they are and who they’re “supposed to be.” Are they supposed to be who their friends are? Are they supposed to be who we expect them to be? Are they just supposed to figure out who they WANT to be? It can be very confusing and frustrating for them.
Who they are is not something they necessarily should know right now. They’re in the middle of figuring that out. That’s what adolescence is all about. Growing . . . physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually . . . developing who they are and growing into the person God created them to be.
But that’s the key. It’s knowing that they’re not alone on this journey of discovery. And, neither are you alone on this parenting journey. God is with them and wants to show them who they are and who He has created them to be. And, He is with YOU helping you to parent. But, you’ve got to let Him lead. Seek Him. Ask Him to give you wisdom as a parent.
Read the following Bible verses and see what God wants your teen to know about who they are becoming and why he created them!
“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.”
God created you in his image. That doesn’t mean he created you to look the way he looks. God isn’t anthropomorphic (he doesn’t have a body). But he did create us in such a way that we have characteristics of God – ability to be in intimate relationship with Him and others. We can engage in logical reasoning, demonstrate intelligence, and have moral consciousness. We are capable of speech, creativity, rationality, and choice. And, as individuals who have all these divine characteristics, we are divine image bearers. We represent God here on earth.
Additionally, God has given humankind the responsibility of having dominion over the rest of His creation (vs. 26, 28). (This includes using creation wisely, responsible to the Creator for all that He has created.) This verse tells us that God created us for the purpose of being His image bearers.
It also tells us that he created us “male and female.” God clearly defined our gender identities as male or female. It’s tied to our biological formation and development. We don’t need to be confused about our gender identities. God never intended for you to be confused. Embrace who God created you to be. Male. Female. God isn’t confused about who you are. You don’t need to be either!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
God spoke these words to the prophet Jeremiah and let him know that he had created him for a specific prophetic task. But the truth in the first part of the verse is true for all of us. It’s true for you!
God KNEW you! Before you were even born! You had an identity. You had personhood. And, God knew why he created you! You may not be a prophet like Jeremiah, but you have a specific reason that God created you. There’s a reason why you’re here!
‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God created humankind for the purpose of doing good works “in Christ.” Just as the obedient son faithfully submitted Himself to the heavenly Father, we too should walk in the manner that Christ did. Doing good things that bring glory to God our Father.
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
The author of Ecclesiastes tried to figure out the meaning of life . . . money, women, parties, food, great accomplishments, etc. But he eventually figured out that he found his identity and purpose in being in relationship with God and following God’s laws and teachings.
As important as school, sports, jobs, etc. are, they are secondary to knowing and following after the God who created them and loves them.
As a parent, you need to help your child see that their true purpose and meaning in life comes from Him and not from worldly pursuits. You don’t want them to spend their lives (like the author of Ecclesiastes) pursing things that they ultimately realize is “meaningless, meaningless.”
But set the example in your own life first!
Is your teen struggling with discovering who they are “supposed to be?” It may be that they are seeking their identity in all the wrong places. Are they seeking to find themselves in on-line gaming or on-line relationships? In sports? In a boy or a girlfriend? In school or sports? In work?
Spend some time in a conversation with God right now. Ask Him to help them see their identify and value as His special creation.
Ask Him to help them begin/continue the journey of becoming the person that God has created them to be.
That journey begins with trusting Jesus to rescue them from their sin, repenting of that sin, and pursuing Jesus in all areas of their lives.
Has your teen placed their faith in Jesus? How do you know? Have you talked about it?
When they come back from the retreat be intentional in having conversations about their faith journey. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to talk about spiritual matters.
Ask the Lord to help you set boundaries for your teen in pursuing “meaningless” pursuits (they won’t set them for themselves).