I took some time to do a question/answer session with Stasi Eldredge. We dug into how to help our teenagers. It is a challenging time in their lives and we have a large roll to play. We’d love for you to weigh in on the conversation.
Shari: While teens are searching out ‘who they are and who they are becoming,’ many make wrong choices. What would you tell a teen that has made a mistake and made a wrong choice. One that could alter their future if they were to keep going in that direction. How do they start over?
Stasi: Making mistakes is a part of life. Sure, those that love you do not want you to make them. We don’t want you to suffer or to hurt. But the reality is that suffering and pain are two of the best ways that we learn. Our mistakes placed into the hands of God can become beautiful and redeemed things.
Your mistakes don’t define you. They may inform you and shape you but they do not dictate your future. Nothing is out of the reach of God. Not any pain you suffered nor any sorrow you inflicted. Bring it to Jesus. Bring all that you are. He knows. He understands and he has not now nor will he ever turn his face away. You are loved. (Look up 1John1:9. It’s all true).
Shari: How does a teen keep their hearts softened to God’s voice and tune out the world?
Stasi: Growing in Christ takes time. Keeping your heart softened to the Holy Spirit takes intention. You have choices to make. My best advice is to begin your day in prayer. Upon waking, surrender your life, your work, your everything to Jesus and ask for his help! He would love to guide you, strengthen you and give you everything you need to live well. With him. In him. (I love the little devotional “Jesus Calling”. It’s short, easy to read and filled with the truth of God’s love and presence.)
Shari: If a teen is gifted and talented in an area, how do you teach them to use their gifts for God’s glory?
Stasi: Jesus is a marvelous, beautiful and creative God who wants you to enjoy developing and offering your gifts and talents. Invite Him into every aspect of your life. He would love to live all of your life with you in a creative partnership. He loves to create with you and is the very best one to help you grow in your gifting as well! It gives God glory when you ask Him to do that while also recognizing that every perfect gift, even yours, are gifts straight from His heart for you to enjoy and bless others with! (It also gives Him glory when you are happy and nothing will make you more happy than knowing Jesus intimately and personally!)
Shari: What can teens tell themselves in order not to give into peer pressure?
Stasi: The desire to belong to a group, to have friends, and to be well thought of by peers is a good desire and one that we all share. But I and many others have done some pretty stupid things in an effort to fit in! Tell yourself the truth that what is needed in our world is more leaders and less followers. Dare to lead! (Even when leading may mean walking away). Pray for the strength (God’s grace) to rise up in you so you will be able to follow Him and lead others. Jesus’ is the group that you want to be a part of.
Shari: What is your favorite Bible Verse to tell teens for how God see’s them?
Stasi: My favorite verse would be this:
1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
God sees teenagers as leaders. He sees them as valuable, important, and key to the Body of Christ. Because that is what they are!
Enter to win a copy of Stasi’s book. Perfect for a teenager in your life!