How Can Parents and Mentors Meet These Needs?

Today’s young adults need caring, nurturing adults who will encourage, pray for, and parent them.  You don’t have to have a degree — you don’t even have to have children — to be a spiritual parent. There is no skill or secret. Here are a few ideas to start with.

1. Don’t worry about your age. I promise you, maturity is an asset.  If you look, feel, and sound like a caring older person, this young generation will confide in you. 

2. Be a safe haven. Let them tell you their failures without fear of you rolling your eyes.  Listen to them and pray over them — pray out loud for them, even lay hands on them.  And before giving any of your good advice, offer them what God freely offers them: forgiveness, redemption, and hope for a changed life.  They will be touched. They will be grateful. They will come back for more.

3. Be more concerned about their relationship with God than how their behavior will impact their (or your) reputation. 

4. Communicate without using the “annoyed parent” tone of voice, but still get in their face about the things you see that are potentially dangerous. 

5. Just like a parent, always feed them — treat them to coffee or to a hot meal.  

6. Ask them if they need an accountability partner. Many of them need a “sponsor” for their very real addictions.  If you can’t help them, find someone who can.  But you must be consistent to follow up on your agreements with them. 

7. Be confidential with their secrets and if necessary, agree with them in advance on how you will proceed if they are in serious emotional, physical, or spiritual trouble.  

8. One last thing: You’ll need a cell phone, a text message plan, and an email address — okay? 

Here is the current reality: This young generation is desperate for spiritual parents. So, I challenge you to become a spiritual parent to any young person who comes into your life and needs someone to listen to them, talk to them, and pray for them. If God has put a burden on your heart as He has put on mine, then don’t make any more excuses.  Be available. Open your eyes and heart to the very students and young adults around you — at home, at work, while commuting, in your neighborhood, or at the gym.  Then “hang out” with them. 

This young generation needs you.  

Becky Tirabassi (pictured with son, Jake) has motivated hundreds of thousands of men, women and students over the last 20 years to change their lives through best-selling books, extensive media appearances, and sold-out speaking events. She currently speaks to adults on prayer and balanced living, and has returned to college ministry and speaking to students across America on topics such as self-image, sex, addictions, and healthy relationships. Her best-selling books on prayer include: Let Prayer Change Your Life, My Partner Prayer Notebook, and Sacred Obsession. She has been a guest on numerous television and radio shows including the CBS Early Show and Focus on the Family, Enjoying Everyday Living with Joyce Meyer and James Robison’s Life Today. Her upcoming book, Emails to My Daughter is her first fiction book, and will be released in June 2008. Becky is the founder of Becky Tirabassi Change Your Life® Inc., a multi-media corporation and Burning Hearts, Inc., a non-profit student organization. Visit her at: