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Teaching teens how to renew their minds

Sep 2015    

The world is full of counterfeit truth claims, but you can teach your teen to renew his or her mind and live according to God’s reality as the Bible defines it. When the mind is renewed, God’s will and reality become clearer. Here is how you can guide your teen in this important process.

 

Preparation

Begin by making sure your teen has the right set of expectations. For example, does the Bible promise that if you follow all the commandments, you will have no struggles in life? Of course not. But it’s not uncommon for a person to read the Bible with this kind of faulty expectation.

Teach your teen to look for who God is and what His world is really all about. Help him understand that reading the Bible is having a conversation with God. As he reads, he can look for things that apply to his own circumstances and place in life.

 

Perspective

The next step in helping your teen to renew their mind is to give them a biblical perspective. Put God’s Word into the context of your teen’s everyday life. Many parents make the mistake of assuming their teen’s world is the same as their own world.

Start by looking closely at your teen’s world. Walk in her shoes. Listen to the messages she gets when she watches a television drama or listens to a radio show. Then, help your teen gain a biblical perspective on these messages. For example, you can ask, “What are the promises that you heard on TV tonight? Are they true?”

 

Personal time with God

Next, help your teen carve out regular, daily time with God to study the Bible and pray. Encourage (don’t nag) your teen to commit to a specific time every day. Have him pick the time and spot.

You should also make time for you and your teen to talk. Engage your teen with life questions that apply directly to his circumstances. For example, you might ask, “Have you ever read anything in the Bible that might apply to that?” or “Have you looked at Proverbs to see what God might have to say about that?”

 

Quality time with God’s people

Also, find rich environments where your teen can learn from God’s Word with her peer group. Often that will be a Bible-focused youth group, but it also might be a Bible study you start in your home, or a conference for teens. Continually evaluate the quality of the teaching and converse with your teen about what she is learning.

 

Quest for truth

Finally, emphasise the importance of the quest for truth. Discovering what it means to live out our faith is a lifelong journey as we integrate what we believe with every area of life. Teach your teen that God desires to reveal His truth to us. He talks to us all the time: through creation, through others, and most clearly through His Word.

 

Learning to think like a Christian requires renewing the mind. Teaching your growing teen how to do this and live according to God’s will – and why that’s important – is likely one of the best gifts you can give.


Adapted from Teaching Teens the Life Skill of Renewing Their Minds by Marc A. Fey. © 2015

Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

Used by permission of Focus on the Family Singapore (www.family.org.sg), a local charity dedicated to helping families thrive through differentiated programmes, trusted resources and family counselling

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