4. Display Gratitude and Hope
Although teenagers may not always show it, they do look to their elders for examples on how to live. If their parents or youth group leaders bombard them with their own anxiety, stress, anger, and other negative emotions, they may reflect the same.
After all, Scripture does say that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
We are all experiencing a stressful time. Many of us have lost a good portion of our income, if not all of it. Many local stores, restaurants, and churches are struggling with incoming funds, now that everyone must operate on an airtight budget.
Nevertheless, despite these circumstances, we can trust in God and display gratitude for what he has given (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and show hope and faith that he will carry us through this time and provide for us in our time of need.
This doesn’t mean putting on a smile and faking it until you make it. But it does look like having genuine conversations with your family or those in your youth group by showing where you are worried, but also that you trust in God to provide. That way teens can feel safe to express the same emotions or sentiments.
One way to display gratitude is to invite all teens in an online group to share something they’re thankful for that happened that day or week. Encourage them to keep gratitude journals, and to pray using a method known as ACTS.
Adoration - Praising God
Confession - Confessing our sins
Thanksgiving - Displaying gratitude
Supplication - Asking God to provide for needs
Why Does Supporting Teens through Loss Matter So Much?
First, teens are the next generation of Christian leaders. If we fail to exemplify godly living now and care for them during their greatest time of need, they may struggle to lead the next generations to Christ. They may find themselves falling away after a great period of stress, doubt, and turmoil (Matthew 13:1-23).
It also matters because teens do not often feel heard or understood.
By bridging that gap, we show that we care and that we value their opinions and want to care for their anxieties. We give them a safe space to express themselves and that can often lead to deep conversations about faith, God, and any other number of things of spiritual importance.
And when we uplift others, we most often find ourselves uplifted as well.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 500 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) Den (releasing July 2020), Dear Hero (releasing September 2020), and Dear Henchman (releasing 2021) Find out more about her here.