Encouragement for Teens

Teen Tuesday – Making the Right Choices

Choices

Give your servant a discerning heart…to distinguish between right and wrong.
1 Kings 3:9

You’ve probably been to a camp or retreat or youth meeting where there was a “sharing time,” a time when those who were brave enough recounted some of the choices they made in their past. Even though the teens who shared were no longer living back in their past, they could still see, remember, and taste the consequences of their choices — both the good and the bad. Their sharing may have included phrases like…

  • I wandered off the path…
  • I fell away from the Lord…
  • I got sidetracked in sin…
  • I lost my first love…
  • I strayed from the truth…
  • I made some wrong decisions…
  • I got in with the wrong crowd…

Well, you know what happened, don’t you? Somehow, at some time, for some reason, they  made a wrong choice. Maybe it was just a little lie. Just a little shading of what is right. Just a little bending of a rule. And eventually, as this happens again and again, there comes a day when making wrong choices becomes all too easy. By then, their life has become a mess.

I’m sure you already know your actions are a matter of choice. Sure, some choices are made for you. They are out of your control, and are made by those who are responsible for you…like your parents, your teachers, your coaches, and your youth leaders. But many choices each day — and almost each minute of the day — are yours to make. They are a matter of your will. You get to decide what you will or won’t do, how you will or won’t act. You make the choices, which means you can’t blame anyone else for what happens next.

As you prepare to make the tough choices, pray. Then make the choice God wants you to make—the one that leads you to living your life God’s way.

Drawn from A Young Man’s Guide to Making Right Choices by Jim George. Young men will enjoy Jim’s balance of biblical insight, personal anecdotes, and candid forthrightness. Plus, they’ll gain the skills they need to make right choices in response to all the challenges that come their way.

Teen Tuesday—Where Are You Headed?

Headed

Going to school can get old with day after day trudging off to the same classes, only to come home and do homework. But I want to encourage you! The good habits and disciplines you develop during the next few years will lay the foundation for the rest of your life. Here’s my story….

When I was in high school all I aspired to was teaching office management skills. I loved my classes in that area and wanted to give to others what my teachers gave me. I wasn’t a whiz kid or a genius. I struggled to get B’s and had to work really hard to get A’s. So I wanted to help others who were average like me fall in love with something helpful and fun, something they could use every day to make a living.

Well, trust me, you’ll never know what the future holds! Only in time did I use the teaching part of my education…and then it was to teach the Bible! And only in time did I use the typing part of my office skills training…to write books. And only in time did my other office skills help manage our ministry organization. And, my friend, only in time will you realize God’s bigger picture for your abilities and passions, all to be revealed and grown as you work at being a faithful student today.

Please acknowledge the importance of “today” each day. Take advantage of today…and every day…and any and every opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t waste or hate these critical years—years that can move you steadily down the road to success.

  • Today’s good decisions give you the freedom to choose greater opportunities tomorrow.
  • Today’s good habits give you greater discipline for accepting greater challenges tomorrow.
  • Today’s good attitudes equip you to run the greater race and win the greater prize tomorrow (1 Corinthians 9:24 ).

Drawn from A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices by Elizabeth George.  This book takes teens through the step–by–step process of making decisions that are life-affirming, godly, and wise in areas that include improving relationships.

Teen Tuesday — Loving the People at Home

Loving

Who are the people who make up your family? Whoever they are, they will always be vitally important to you (including the pesky ones), people you are to be loving toward. So…

  • How about Mom? You know what her busy life is like, so pray for her—her commitments, her job, her relationship with the Lord. Pray to be a Proverbs 31 daughter. Could she use some help in the kitchen? Setting or clearing the table? Moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer—maybe even folding it? See yourself as Mom’s right-hand helper.
  • How about Dad? Your dad needs prayer as the leader of the family. And there’s not a dad on the planet who doesn’t love a hug and an “I love you, Dad!” at least once a day. You can also volunteer to work alongside him—planting the garden, caring for the lawn, getting the trash out, painting, building, or washing the car.
  • How about your brothers and sisters? There are three key roles you can play in their lives: Encourage them, help them, and pray for them. Everyone can use a “Way to go!” “Good job!” “Hang in there!” “You’re the best!” “I’m so glad I’m your sister (or brother).” When they are stewing over their homework, late getting out the door, trying to learn their Bible verses for their Bible club meeting, lend a helping hand and an understanding heart. And always let them know you are praying for them.

When it comes to your family, the effort you put into those relationships is meaningful work, important work.

Surround yourself with inspiring Bible verses and encouraging guidance to discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having with Beautiful In God’s Eyes for Young Women. If you want to see something really beautiful ― take a look at the incredible young woman God made you to be.

Teen Tuesday—Pursue Your Dreams

Dreams

It’s so much fun to pursue your dreams! It’s an opportunity to discover what you love to do—and what you are good at. And the Proverbs 31 woman (see Proverbs 31:24) gives you these two points to keep in mind as you pursue your own dreams:

  1. Don’t neglect your responsibilities. Be sure you take care of your relationships and duties at home, your schoolwork, and any other commitments you have. Your responsibilities come first—then dive in and work on your projects.
  2. Give it time. Start small. Watch for pockets of time you can fill with your projects. You can laze around and watch another TV show, or you can slip into your room and do your thing. Or you can work on your project on a table near the TV. That way, you are still with the family and joining in on their activity, but you are making progress on your goals and developing your skills. Also, make a habit of carrying items that you need for working on your projects in your backpack or a tote bag for those moments you spend waiting.

Now you’re ready to start spreading your wings in your new adventure! Talk your dreams and desires over with your parents. You will need them to back you up and support you and cheer you on. Then take the initiative.

It takes initiative to:

  • Make the phone call to enroll in a class or join a group that will help you develop your skills.
  • Go to a specialty store and purchase a magazine that targets your area of creativity.
  • Bring your dreams down to earth and finally set up a work station, the sewing machine, or the easel.
  • Find out where to send your samples of greeting cards, your manuscript, your book ideas, or your magazine article.
  • Enter your painting or sculpture in an art show.

As Proverbs16:3 advises, “Commit your works unto the Lord.” Then determine what your first step will be!

 

Surround yourself with inspiring Bible verses and Elizabeth’s encouraging guidance to discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having in her book, Beautiful in God’s Eyes for Young Women.

Teen Tuesday—Can Others Depend on You?

 

Depend

There’s something in us that wants to be lazy, do it later, wait a little longer, or take a shortcut. But this was not so with Jesus! He was committed to faithfully doing and fulfilling the Father’s will. Jesus was faithful to His disciples, His family, and others. He also faithfully prayed for them. And now, He is faithfully praying for you and caring for you, His friend (see John 17:20).

As a young woman who is a Christian, it is vital that faithfulness be a quality that describes you. When you are faithful, you show that you are born of God and belong to Him through His Son.

The good news is you can develop the same faithfulness Jesus showed the world. You can grow in faithfulness that follows through, fulfills your responsibilities, shows up, and keeps your word and your commitments. Your whole family is blessed when they can depend on you and trust you.

If this sounds impossible or like a hard uphill climb, take Step One: Call out to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you get rid of laziness. Then start small—in the little things. Start right under your own roof at home by doing your work chores, your homework, and helping with your parents and siblings—even without being asked! And count on Jesus’ strength. In Him you can do all things, including being faithful (Philippians 4:13).

In Elizabeth George’s book, You Always Have a Friend in Jesus, you’ll explore how Jesus lived out character traits in His everyday life on earth, and you’ll discover what a good friend He is to you–and what a good friend you can be to others.

Teen Tuesday – The Joys of Giving

Giving

Here’s a challenge and a truth. When you decide to work on being more generous, you’ll have no trouble finding opportunities! Just to get you going down this path being a giver, try these ideas for starters:

  1. Begin at home—Your parents and siblings are first in line for your cheerfulness and help.
  1. Give to your church—Make it a point whenever you get your allowance, or some birthday money, or some cash from a babysitting or dog walking job, to give some of it the next time you’re at church. And pray as you give for those your giving will help.
  1. Keep your ear to the ground—Take time to notice people around you who are in need. Sign up to receive your church’s prayer list. Don’t let opportunities to do good to someone pass you by.
  1. Support a group or person—A few dollars a month from you can support a needy child through a worthy organization. These same dollars can actually provide water to people who are dying of thirst in other parts of the world!

(Just a thought—be sure you check with your parents about your plans to give money or assistance. Let them know how much and who will be the recipients of your giving. They can provide their wisdom and guidance, and they just might want to join you in your efforts.)

  1. Live out love—When asked what love looks like, the early church father Augustine replied,

Love has hands to help others.
It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrow of men.
This is what love looks like.

This kind of love is truly beautiful in God’s eyes!

In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.

Teen Tuesday—The One You Can Always Trust

Trust

When friendships are broken, it’s easy to stop trusting all people. But here’s good news: You can always, always trust Jesus! He is a friend you can definitely and totally trust all the time, every day, and in every way. In fact, Jesus promises, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Because you can T-R-U-S-T Jesus, your response should be to give Him your trust. Use T-R-U-S-T from Proverbs 3:5-6 to guide your response:

  • T-rust in the Lord—“Trust in the LORD with all your heart.” God knows 100 percent of the time what is 100 percent best for you.
  • R-efuse to trust in your own understanding—“… and lean not on your own understanding.” Instead, lean on God’s wisdom from His Word, the Bible.
  • U-nderstand and count on His presence—“In all your ways acknowledge Him.” Constantly acknowledge Jesus’ presence. Talk to Him about every decision and every problem.
  • S-traight paths come with God’s help—“… and He shall direct your paths.” God will make clear the way you should travel—the way that is best for you and pleases Him.
  • T-ake time to make your choices—Be sure you make the most important choice: Accept by faith that Jesus died in your place for your sins. Because of Jesus, you can have forgiveness!

In A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George, you’ll learn how to grow close to God, get along with your family and friends, make the right kinds of choices, become more like Jesus, prepare for the future, and fulfill the desires of your heart!

Teen Tuesday—How to Be a Happier You

happier

I’ve been experimenting for years with what I call my “attitude helpers.” They help me get my work done with a happy heart—even the things I don’t like doing!!!

  1. Prayer always helps — Pray about your attitude toward your chores, the people you serve at home, and your schoolwork. Ask God for His help and His attitude. He can definitely turn your heart into a fountain of joy.
  2. Use Scripture for a pep talk — Make a list of verses right out of God’s Word that encourage you while you take care of your responsibilities. My favorite is Psalm 118:24—“This is the day the Lord has made; [I] will rejoice and be glad in it.”
  3. Do your work “as to the Lord” — When things seem unbearable or impossible, Colossians 3:23 comes to the rescue: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” This reminder pours fresh joy into an empty heart.
  4. Tackle your tasks wholeheartedly — As you face tasks (even homework!), make a conscious decision to tackle it energetically and joyfully. A halfhearted attitude will produce halfhearted results—and you sure don’t need that!
  5. Tackle your tasks energetically — Whatever chore or school project you face, take on the challenge. Roll up your sleeves, “do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10), and finish fully. You, girl, are on a mission!
  6. Tackle your tasks creatively — To help make each task exciting, ask yourself, “How can I do this differently? What would make this more fun, more enjoyable?” And my favorite? “How can I beat the clock—do this faster, finish sooner, zip through it?” Do whatever you can to make a game out of your work.
  7. Tackle your tasks joyfully — The key to joy is to look at your responsibilities at home and school with anticipation rather than dread. See your tasks as challenges rather than drudgery. Look at each demanding job and decide to do it, to do it well, to do it as to the Lord, and to enjoy doing it. Oh, what a difference joy makes!

Beautiful in God’s Eyes for Young Women surrounds you with inspiring Bible verses and Elizabeth’s encouraging guidance. You’ll discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having.

Teen Tuesday—Guarding Your Purity

 

Purity

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace,
along with 
those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:22)

It’s crystal clear in the Bible that God wants His women—young, old, and all ages—to be pure. Titus 2:3-5 tells the older women in the church to teach and serve as role models to the younger women. It’s amazing that there are only six topics listed for these ladies to teach to those who are younger. And guess what? Purity is one of them: They are to teach and “encourage the young women to…[be] pure” (NASB).

Purity does not come naturally! That’s because of our sin nature, which means the opposite of purity is what comes naturally! So you must choose to avoid people, places, and practices that might tempt you toward wrong and impure thoughts and deeds.

What else can you do? A daily dose of the Bible will have a powerful purifying effect on your heart and mind. Reading the Word will lead you to a purer life, and it will expose you to scriptures that give good advice to young adults—like Psalm 119:9: “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”

Another step you can and must take on the road to purity is confession (1 John 1:9). To confess your sin means to agree with God when you have failed to live according to His standard of purity. When you think an impure thought, confess it. If you hear something impure, confess it. When you see something impure, confess it. If you say something impure, confess it. Jesus, the one who died for your sins, is ready to forgive you!

When it comes to purity, you want to guard your …

… physical purity. This will guide how you behave.

mental purity. This will dictate what you think.

… spiritual purity. This will determine the depth of your devotion and worship.

Like all the areas of your life, God expects you to manage your purity. He has entrusted you with this most precious possession. Guard it well!

Surround yourself with inspiring Bible verses and encouraging guidance to discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having with Beautiful In God’s Eyes for Young Women. If you want to see something really beautiful ― take a look at the incredible young woman God made you to be.

 

Everyday Beauty

 

Beauty

It’s true. Beauty on the inside counts with God! However, there are a few additional steps we can take to represent Jesus Christ well so that what others see in us honors Him (Titus 2:5).

Dress up—Queen Esther, chose to wear her royal robes into the presence of her husband, the king (Esther 5:1). The Proverbs 31 woman wore silk and purple (Proverbs 31:22). These women dressed with a touch of class, wearing what was right for the occasion and proper in her day and time.

Fix up—You can make an effort to create a pleasing appearance. Think about the people who fill your day. What will they see? Fresh face, hair, and makeup? Clean, wrinkle-free, spot-free, odor-free clothes? A bright smile and a little color here and there?

Clean up—You’ve heard that cleanliness is next to godliness. Plus Proverbs teaches that “ointment and perfume delight the heart” (27:9). Both are pleasant and heartwarming and indicate that someone has gone to the trouble to spruce up.

Look up—Throughout your day look up to the Lord. Pray to Him, think on Him, serve Him, worship Him, do all unto Him, obey Him, and love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). As you are consciously aware of His presence, His beauty will shine through your efforts. And then He is glorified (Matthew 5:16)!

In Beautiful in God’s EyesElizabeth George guides women through the popular Bible verses in Proverbs 31 to show how God defines beauty and reveals His plan for a woman’s success.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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