Sometimes, I simply can’t believe the things that today’s teens and young adults have to battle, and other times I can believe it because that’s the world we live in.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10 (ESV)
It seems like teen moms are becoming more and more “normal”. Smoking, drinking, and drugs are becoming “normal”. We have vapes, websites for young eyes that lead to addictions, TV shows that encourage or add humor to bad situations, and magazines that display false realities that make our teens literally hate themselves.
It’s no lie that culture is after our youth. Why? Because they’re the next generation who will be leading. If the “thief” mentioned in John 10 can get his hands on these kids, he can continue in his downward spiral of chaos.
So we need to fight on their behalf.
It is so irresponsible for us as adult Christians, young adult Christians, or even well-grounded teens to sit back and say “Well, it starts in the home” or “That’s their parent’s responsibility” or “If only schools were different…”.
Passing the blame does nothing. We have the spiritual warfare to drop to our knees on behalf of the youth. We have the wisdom and the knowledge to take time out of our day to guide them if they seek guidance. And we have the resources to share with them to help their spirits grow.
Teen girls are especially under attack these days.
They are belittled and left feeling as if they need a boyfriend in order to be accepted, thus creating hurtful and toxic relationships. Being “thin” and “pretty” is every girl’s goal because if they aren’t, they’re bullied. If they don’t watch the latest reality TV shows, they’re made fun of. No makeup? “They’re ugly”. No jewelry? “Oh they must be religious”. Modest clothing? “They’re prudes”. If they say “no” to bad influences? “They’re just looking for attention”.
How can these beautiful, intelligent and insightful young ladies, who are so full of dreams, ever look at themselves and see who they truly are if we don’t actively search them out and tell them so?
There are so many ways we can help the young girls of our communities, but here are 3 specific ideas:
1. Pray strengthening and uplifting prayers for girls by name.
I’m sure we all know at least one teen girl who we can pray specific prayers over. We don’t have to know her life story, her struggles, or even anything about her. But if you know her name, pray that she will be strengthened, uplifted, and encouraged.
2. Talk to her about her dreams.
If you have the chance to speak one-on-one with a young woman, encourage her to think about more than the mundane small talk of “how’s school going?” by being interested in who she is. Girls often don’t get the chance to voice their dreams, so unfortunately, many girls will let those dreams die.
3. Suggest Christian resources to them (or others who work with youth e.g. Youth Pastors).
Christian Resources are slowly growing around us, but they don’t get near the publicity that they should. So something that you may have grown up thinking that everyone may know about, your local Youth Pastor may have never heard of. Sharing helpful resources can not only help the individuals you are speaking to specifically, but also the individuals that they will help, and they will help, and so on. It’s the same method internet users use to “go viral”.
A resource I recommend for teen girls is Pursue Magazine.
Girls love magazines! So many outfit suggestions, recipes, poetry, interviews with stars, gorgeous pictures, and interesting articles!
Pursue Magazine provides all the things that entice girls, but their goal is to inspire girls to be who God created them to be, not who culture is trying to shape them to be. The columnists have such passionate hearts for encouragement and they continually pray and seek out what topics should be discussed.
Pursue Magazine has recently changed the way that girls can read the issues as well. Whereas before, one would purchase the issues individually for $1.99, the editorial team decided that the messages for the upcoming issues need to be free for the girls to obtain. So on the website, there is an option to subscribe for all the free digital issues (1 released in the Spring and another in Fall), as well as the always free blog articles.
If you know any young ladies, mention Pursue Magazine to them. They may not subscribe immediately, but mentioning it to them will at least let them know that you care about inspiring and encouraging them. And maybe, one day, it will come back into their radar and it will benefit them several months down the road.
If you would like to check out their website, head over to PursueMagazine.net.