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This article will help you to become a great Christian teenager; whether you are a boy or girl, this is for you. Have a great, enjoyable teenage Christian life!
- “Your tongue (words) has the power of life and death; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (depression, incitement, anger, judging, harshness, unfairness, untruth, sarcasm, reverse logic, mean, hate, and even: leading to injury, unjust war. ).
- Say what is true in love. Don’t cuss, berate, rant or rave. Stand firm and tall, not being unnecessarily “mean”. If you slip in anger or nonsense — apologize; mean it and go forward.
- Read your Bible every morning and every night, or anytime for answers to spiritual questions.  X Research source It would be helpful to have two Bibles: a study Bible for home and a gift Bible for travel, that you can give away if someone needs it.
- Create a Bible study notebook.
- If someone else comes to you with a problem, offer to pray with them. You’d be surprised at how helpful this can be from their view.
- Confronting/arguing with friends and family about sensitive subjects like this is a surefire way to make them feel irritated or uncomfortable. So, be patient and mindful of their feelings, avoid topics that are particularly touchy; pray for them and do not criticize them directly. Practicing an idea of what to say in advance is also a good idea to ensure you’re conveying what you’re trying to in a way that seems non-judgmental and easier for them to listen to. It’s up to them to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, but you can be supportive.
God does not want us to try to change ourselves superficially — with things like strange hair dye, body piercings, and tattoos.
Part 2: Discover how to stand up and stand firm as a Christian student.
Yesterday we looked at the first 3 ways we can be bold for Christ. Today we are going to explore 3 more ways to stand up and stand firm as a Christian at school.
4. Use resources already available
There are many resources already available to help you be bold for Christ at school. One is SRE/Christian Studies. I know at my school a lot of the time my friends would joke around, not pay attention, or use these classes as a time to do homework. However as Christians we can be using this time to challenge ourselves and start interesting conversations. Have open discussions on the topics touched on in these times. Do not take offence if they have a negative response because you have at least stimulated thoughts in their minds.
Another great resource is if your school has a Christian group. It took me 3 years before I was a weekly member of my school’s group. It was not because I did not follow God, it was because I was worried that my friends would think I was weird. I placed my own self-doubts before God and now I see that benefited no one. Do not be like me, if there is a opportunity take it, stand up for your belief whether that be in the form of asking questions, joining the lunchtime Christian group or opening discussions about what you just learnt. Remember that it is not for your glory but for God’s.
5. Be Resilient
One of the most important ways to be bold for Christ at school is by being resilient. One of the easiest things to do when you are rejected is to back down. However, as disciples of God, we must stand firm even when people reject us for being Christian.
If someone treats you differently because of your faith, don't give up. Since the beginning of Christianity, we have been faced with obstacles. As teenagers, we will have different struggles and different reasons for why we want to give up but we need to be resilient. Be resilient so that you can be a light for those who do not know Christ.
Everything we do is for God, by God’s command. As we seek to be bold for Christ at school, we first need to seek guidance from God. It is not just from our works that someone comes to know God, but through His work in them. As God’s disciples, we need to work in partnership with Him, so we must always remember to ask him for help because as it states in Matthew 7:7:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Being a Christian at school is hard but it is there that we can be bold for Christ. We are given so many chances as teenagers, so take these opportunities to plant seeds and be a light for those who do not know the message of the gospel.
“ In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
To skip this outline and receive ten weeks of lessons by email, go to: Christianity Basics eCourse. Sign up and you will automatically receive ten weekly lessons covering the basic principles for becoming established in the Christian faith.
1) Basics to Becoming a Christian:
If you believe the Bible offers truth about the way to salvation, and you are ready to make the decision to follow Christ, these simple explanations will walk you down the road to salvation:
2) Basics to Spiritual Growth:
As a brand new believer you may be wondering where and how to get started on your journey. How do you begin maturing in the Christian faith? Here are 4 essential steps to move you forward toward spiritual growth. Though simple, they are vital to building your relationship with the Lord:
3) Basics to Selecting a Bible:
The Bible is the Christian’s handbook for life. However, as a new believer, with hundreds of different Bibles to choose from, the decision may seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you select a Bible:
4) Basics to Bible Study:
One of the most important essentials in the daily life of a Christian is spending time reading God’s Word. The Bible says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (NIV)
There are many ways to study the Bible. The following step by step guide makes it simple. This method, however, is just one to consider, designed specifically for beginners. Also, a Bible reading plan will help you go about your daily Bible reading in a focused and organized way:
5) Basics to Developing A Devotional Plan:
Along with Bible study, a daily time of personal devotions with God is a vital part of maturing in the Christian faith. There is no set standard of what a daily devotional time should look like. These steps will help you incorporate the basics elements of a solid devotional into the custom plan that’s right for you:
6) Basics to Finding A Church:
Meeting together regularly with other believers is fundamental to spiritual growth, but finding a church can be a difficult, time consuming experience. It often takes a great deal of patient persistence, especially if you are looking for a church after moving into a new community. Here are some practical steps to remember, along with questions to ask yourself, as you pray and seek the Lord through the process of finding a church:
7) Basics to Prayer:
If you are a new believer, prayer may seem like a complicated task, but prayer is simply communicating with God. There are no right and wrong words. Prayer is talking and listening to God, praising and worshiping, and quietly meditating. Sometimes we don’t know where to begin or even how to ask God for help. These prayers and Bible verses will pinpoint specific situations to help you become more effective in your prayers:
8) Basics to Baptism:
Christian denominations differ widely on their teachings about baptism. Some believe baptism accomplishes the washing away of sin. Others consider baptism a form of exorcism from evil spirits. Still other groups teach that baptism is an important step of obedience in the believer’s life, yet only an acknowledgement of the salvation experience already accomplished. The following explanation takes a look at the latter perspective called “Believer’s Baptism:”
9) Basics to Communion:
Unlike Baptism, which is a one time event, Communion is a practice that is meant to be observed over and over throughout the life of a Christian. It is a holy time of worship when we corporately come together as one body to remember and celebrate what Christ did for us. Learn more about the observance of Communion:
10) Basics to Avoid Temptation and Backsliding:
The Christian life is not always an easy road. Sometimes we get off track. The Bible says to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ daily so that no one turns away from the living God. If you have found yourself backsliding, dealing with temptation or drifting away from the Lord, these practical steps will help get you back on course today:
Many parents set rules for their Christian teens about dating. While setting rules is a good idea, it is important for parents to think through the rules that they do set. Parents need to know why they are setting the rules, and they also need to discuss the rules openly with their children. Here are some of the most common dating rules and how they can be used most effectively to guide teens through the world of dating:
1) No Dating Until You Are ____ Years Old
Pros: You can set an age where most teens have a good maturity level and are able to think independently.
Cons: Not all teens mature at the same rate, so even though your teen comes to that age, he or she may still not be able to handle it.
The Solution: Try using that age as a "review" age. Tell your teen that you will talk about dating when he or she is ____ years old. Then you can sit down and have a conversation to see if your teen is ready.
2) You Must Date a Fellow Christian
Pros: The Bible says Christians should be yoked to fellow believers. If a teen is dating another Christian, there is a greater likelihood that they will remain abstinent and supportive of one another.
Cons: Some people say they are Christians, but they are not necessarily Godly in their actions. Setting this rule alone can breed lying and inappropriate activities.
The Solution: You can set the rule, but also leave it open for your approval. Make sure you meet the dating partner. Don't grill him or her about their faith, but get to know him or her to evaluate whether or not you think this teen shares your child's values.
3) Dates Must Be In Public Places
Pros: Dating that occurs in public places prevents temptation from getting the better of teenagers. They are always being watched by other people.
Cons: Just saying that the dating has to occur in public places does not necessarily ensure that the people around your Christian teen will hold him or her accountable. Also, teens sometimes don’t stay in one place for an entire date.
The Solution: There are several solutions to this issue. You can try driving your teen to and from the place where the date will happen. You can also require that your teen goes on dates where other Christians will be present.
4) Double Dates Are Mandatory
Pros: Going on a date with another couple helps hold your teen responsible and resist temptation. Christian teens face a lot of the same temptations as other young people, so having friends there can be helpful.
Cons: The other couple may not share the same values as your Christian teen. They may encourage inappropriate activity or leave early.
The Solution: Encourage your teen to call you if the other couple leaves or does anything that compromises your teen's situation. Also, try to meet the other couples so that you can feel more comfortable about your teen associating with him or her.
5) No Sex Until You Are Married
Pros: Letting your teen know that you expect purity is important to tell your teen. Your direct statement will be in the back of their head, even if they seem to scoff at your statement.
Cons: Demanding that your child waits until marriage to have sex without explaining why may backfire. Using a punishment approach (the infamous, “If you have sex, you will go to Hell” approach) may only make your teen more curious.
The Solution: Spend some time discussing sex with your teen so that he or she understands why God wants teens to wait until marriage. Having a clear understanding of why they should wait can help teens make better decisions.
6) Avoid Situations That Increase Temptation
Pros: Telling your teen to be careful when holding hands, kissing, or touching can help him or her avoid situations that can end up going too far. It also helps teens identify early when a situation is becoming dangerous.
Cons: Just making the blanket demand can make it easy for teens to rebel or go too far without understanding. Teens may also not understand what to do when they end up in a tempting situation.
The Solution: Discuss temptation openly with your teen. You don’t have to divulge all of your temptations, but explain how temptation is normal and everybody faces it. Also, go over ways to avoid temptation, but also ways to cope when faced with it. Be sure to include what “too far” means and how to be safe from things like date rape when in tempting situations.
While all of these rules are appropriate, it will be easier for your teen to follow your rules if they understand where the rules come from. Don’t just cite Scripture — explain how it applies. If you feel uncomfortable doing it on your own, bring in another parent, youth worker, or youth pastor to help.
Many Christian parents wonder if they will survive trying to raise a teenager. Teenagers typically share certain characteristics. First, they are going through the stage in life where they believe they know all there is to know and what they don’t know isn’t worth knowing. Second, the hormones and chemicals charging through their brains and bodies hinder them, often rendering them incapable of reasoning as rational adults. They want what they want when they want it, and often don’t have any clue that what they are asking for will hurt them. It is the job of the parents to keep their children safe from themselves as they negotiate this difficult time of life.
Jesus teaches us this in Matthew 7:9-10 when He says, “You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!” Sometimes children ask for things that look good to them, but which will in fact harm them, so it is the responsibility of the parents to do what is best. We have the same rules—if we ask God for something we think is good, but which God knows is not, He will not give it to us.
Having Jesus in your household is the best way to raise children. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). If you have become a Christian by asking Jesus into your heart, then the Holy Spirit is living in you and will teach you all things (John 14:26; 1 John 2:27), and this includes the way we raise our children. Children learn by what they observe from us much more than what we say to them, so being a good example is very important.
The Bible teaches us the importance of discipline. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death” (Proverbs 19:18). “Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17). It is very important to lay down rules and enforce them. When children know that what they are doing is wrong, some sort of punishment should follow, but it should be appropriate for the “crime.” Lying shows that a child cannot be trusted, so maybe until that trust can be restored, time spent out of the house should be very limited. They will want you to trust them again, so they will learn from that. The worst thing we can do is try to become our children’s friend instead of parent.
Discipline should always be carried out with the best interests of the child as the motivation. Ephesians 6:4 says we are not to make our children angry by the way we treat them (this doesn’t mean don’t discipline; it means don’t discipline in anger or frustration), but raise them with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. Make sure you are telling your child why the behavior is wrong, why you disagree, and that you are doing it out of love for him/her. Hebrews 12:7 tells us that God disciplines all His children when we do wrong because He loves us and it wouldn’t be good for us if He didn’t. When children argue about being punished, which they inevitably will, the wise parent replies, “It’s my responsibility to discipline you, and if I don’t, I have to answer to God. And He’s a lot tougher than I am!”
Finally, several things are crucial to survive raising teenagers: a sense of humor, a sense of conviction that you are doing the right thing, reliance on God’s wisdom in His Word, and prayer, prayer, prayer! Not only will these things help parents “survive,” but will also help them model good parenting, which teens will eventually use when they become parents themselves.
“Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.” — Charles Spurgeon
The Rebelution started with a stack of books. When Alex and I were 16-years-old our dad walked in one morning and announced, “I’m putting you two on an intense reading regimen.”
That challenge lit a fire in us. And those books became the inspiration behind this blog and helped birth a movement of young people rebelling against low expectations and doing hard things for the glory of God.
Now, if I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me for the list of books our dad handed us — I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d have some substantial pocket money.
Just yesterday John wrote to say, “I’m reading your book again as I prepare for a series titled ‘Leaving a Legacy” for eighth graders. Would it be possible to get the list of books your dad had you read? Thanks!”
Fortunately for John, we’ve actually put together an improved and expanded list of books Christian teens should read as part of our Raising Kids to Do Hard Things online course.
Growing up my dad always said to me, “Don’t waste time reading good books. There are too many good books. Focus on reading the great ones.”
This is a list of great books. These are books that changed my life, expanded my horizons, and shaped me into the Christian man I am today. You can grab a PDF of the entire list by subscribing to my email updates. You can unsubscribe at any time.
The Top 5 Books Christian Teens Should Read
Of course, you really should grab the entire list.
But here are my Top 5 book recommendations for Christian teens and young adults. Besides #4 these are not teen books. They are books teens should read. These five books have impacted my life more than any others (outside the Bible itself).
You can click the cover of each book to visit it’s Amazon.com page. The links are affiliate, which doesn’t affect the price for you, but does provide TheRebelution.com with a small percentage of your purchase. This allows us to reach more teens and parents around the world. Thanks!
Now, without further ado, here are my top five books Christian teens should read:
1. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
“Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” John Piper has written more than 50 books. This may be the best. Every young person on earth should read and re-read it. The title really does say it all: Don’t waste your life.
2. Heaven by Randy Alcorn
What will heaven be like? Randy Alcorn presents a thoroughly biblical answer that will transform a young person’s perspective on life, ignite an eager longing for heaven, and inspire them to live in light of eternity while serving faithfully on earth.
3. David by Walter Chantry
An honest look at one of the Bible’s greatest heroes — a man after God’s own heart who stumbled often but returned to God with a melted heart for pardon and help. Walter Chantry is a masterful writer and biblical scholar. Great devotional read.
4. Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle
A timeless classic for young men and young women. This short book by J.C. Ryle addresses special dangers facing young adults, provides powerful biblical counsel, and suggests some general rules of conduct every Christian should follow. Must-read.
5. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
An in-depth and thought-provoking look at why certain people succeed and others don’t, Outliers is a foundational must-read for young people who want to make an impact on their world. Highly recommended. #1 New York Times bestseller.
Those are my top five, but I’ve got 22 more books I think every Christian teenager should read. This list is drawn from my own personal reading as a young adult. I read most of them in junior high or high school and the rest as a twentysomething. You can grab a PDF of the entire list by subscribing to my email updates. You can unsubscribe at any time.
So, I’m curious. How many of my top five books have you read? How many of my top 27 books have you read? Let me know in the comment section. Parents, you can chime in for yourself or for your kids (since these are really just books everyone should read).
Love Your Children’s Mother: Absolutely the best thing you can do . A husband and wife who let their kids know theyre in love provide a secure environment for their children. “If Dad and Mom accept each other, then they must accept me, too” is the hidden message . and thats a powerful declaration of security for any child. The best family education? Having parents who love and cherish each other.
Spend Time With Your Children: How you spend your time reflects whats important to you. Its a simple truth kids know long before Dads do. No matter what you might say to make up for lost time, if your children feel you are not as concerned about them as you are with work, or some other interest, theyll perceive that theyre not valuable. To kids, perception IS reality. Which is why theres no greater love a father can give than giving of himself for his children.
Earn The Right To Be Heard: Want your childs first thought when theyre facing adversity to be “I wonder if Dads available?” Then build the road that will lead them home now. That means taking an interest in their views and their issues. It means being honest, and vulnerable. It also means talking about anything . and often. Children want to be led, but the successful father earns the right to lead.
Discipline With A Gentle Spirit: True discipline is a function of a fathers love for his children, which is why it should never be hard-nosed or harsh. Disciplines role is not to intimidate or tear down but to mold and to correct. So, discipline with a teachers heart and your children will learn just how much you love them.
Be A Role Model: Fathers are role models to their children. A father can best teach his children the values of self-restraint and hard work. A father can also champion the virtues of honesty and humility by admitting when he is wrong. Modeling-being a living example-is worth more to your children than anything you could ever tell them.
Teach The Lessons Of Life: For far too many fathers, teaching is something somebody else does. However, the responsibility for teaching children rests primarily with parents. A father who teaches his children right from wrong imparts his faith in God to his kids and encourages them to strive for excellence. Hell be rewarded as his children grow up to making good choices. A father should always be alert for everyday examples in which to teach his kids the lessons of life.
Eat Together As A Family: Most children today dont know the meaning of a family dinner time. Yet the communication and unity built during this time is integral to a healthy family life. Sharing a meal together breakfast, lunch or dinner provides structure to an often-hectic schedule. It also gives kids the opportunity to talk about their lives. This is a time for fathers to listen, as well as give advice and encouragement. But most importantly, it is a time to be together on a daily basis.
Read To Your Children: In a world wired for sound, its important that fathers make the effort to read to their children. Childhood is a time for learning first by seeing, then by hearing and reading. When a father reads to his children, he draws out their creativity and helps inspire their dreams. Reading to your children also encourages literacy, a crucial step in a lifelong process of self-improvement. A fathers desire to see his children soar above the clouds unfolds the moment he opens a book and begins to read.
Show Affection: Children long for a secure place in this fast-paced world. They find it most often in the warm embrace of a parent. As children grow, so does their need for acceptance and sense of belonging. Such a need is met when a father offers a hug, or a kind word, and expresses his appreciation and love for his children. But showing affection doesnt stop there. Letting your children know that you love them requires a daily effort.
Realize A Father’s Job Is Never Done: Some day every father must let go of the youthful activities that bond him with his children. But a good father realizes that as he allows his children their freedom to direct their own lives, he doesnt abandon them at a dorm room, a wedding altar, or the door of their first job. His encouragement and discernment will leave a legacy to his children, and their children after that.
It was 10:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and honestly, talking to our 14-year-old son about sex was the last thing that my husband and I wanted to do.
But our teen had some great questions (Why is sex outside of marriage wrong? Did you guys have sex before marriage? What is a sexually transmitted disease?) that we knew needed solid answers.
The conversation was not easy (we talked about everything from dating to porn), but as my husband and I shared transparently and listened genuinely to our teenager’s questions, I was overwhelmed with one thought: God, thank you that he is coming to us for the truth on these issues.
Through the years, my husband and I have done our best to be upfront, real, and open about these tough-to-discuss topics with our kids. However, even though we proactively address issues like sexuality and dating, we’ve seen repeatedly that our two teen boys (and even our tween girl) have questions that we never would have anticipated.
And if you’re a parent of a teen, I’m guessing your son or daughter is filled with questions too.
What are the typical questions that teens ask? And, as parents, how can we do our best to encourage open dialogue with our children about these topics?
5 Topics Your Teen Has Big Questions About
It may surprise you—and even frighten you—to know what today’s teens are asking about! It’s true that these are sensitive, controversial issues that are difficult to discuss.
Parents, we can’t choose to either hide our heads in the sand or simply attempt to reinforce our teens’ “Christian bubble” in order to “keep them immune” from these questions!
We must be aware of what our teens are asking and be willing to address their questions in a loving, truth-filled manner that invites discussion and Bible searching.
That’s why I’ve gathered a list of topics and questions that many teens ask. I’ve also included a few helpful resources after each topic so that we parents can be prepared and help our teens answer these difficult issues for themselves.
Author’s Note: The topics presented below are based on information I’ve gleaned from youth pastors and from my own experience as a mom of teens. This is not an exhaustive list of questions for each issue, and since every teen is unique, your teen may have different questions. Also, this list of questions is based around teens who have grown up in the church or who have had some sort of exposure to biblical concepts. Teens outside the church may have different questions.
This comes as no surprise, right? Teens are curious about sex and have a plethora of questions around this controversial topic, including:
- What is same sex-marriage, and why does God think it’s not okay?
- Why do some boys want to be girls, and some girls want to be boys? Does God sometimes make mistakes in assigning people their gender?
- Why is sex before marriage wrong, especially if two people are in love?
- Is it wrong to live together before marriage (even if those two people are engaged)?
- What about masterbation? Does the Bible say this is okay? Or is it wrong (and if so, why)?
- What constitutes “sex” according to the Bible? Does oral sex or other forms of physical pleasure (that don’t involve intercourse) count? Where is the line?
- Why is pornography wrong? What’s the big deal?
Whether teens are dating or not, so many of them are filled with all sorts of questions about relationships, such as:
- What if the person I’m dating wants to have sex (and I don’t want to)? I really like him/her and I don’t want to lose the relationship.
- Is it alright for my boyfriend/girlfriend to treat me in (blank) manner?
- How do I know if this guy/girl is “the one”?
- How do I handle it when I’m pressured to do things physically with my boyfriend/girlfriend that I really don’t want to do?
- What if I’ve already had sex or gone further physically with my boyfriend/girlfriend than God would want me to?
- I think I may be in love with someone of the same gender. How do I handle these feelings?
- Is it okay to take sexy pictures of myself and send them to my boyfriend/girlfriend (if the pictures just stay with him/her)?
- What if I like someone who is a really nice and good person but they don’t go to church?
- My boyfriend/girlfriend just broke up with me. I really loved him/her. How can I go on without him/her? How do I heal my broken heart?
3. Alcohol and Marijuana
Drinking and drug use are controversial topics for most Christians. Throw the confusion of peer pressure into the mix and you’ve got a potentially volatile brew for teens. Some questions teens ask include:
- Is underage drinking really that bad?
- Is it alright to use marijuana? It’s legal in some states now. What’s the big deal?
- What if my friends are drinking or using drugs? They’re not alcoholics or anything. What’s wrong with joining them if it’s just part of relaxing and having fun?
- My parents drink occasionally. Isn’t it hypocritical for them to tell me not to drink?
The teenage years are when kids must decide if they want to adopt the principles of the faith they’ve been raised with. This leads to all kinds of questions, such as:
- How do I know that God is real?
- How do we know that the Bible is true?
- What if I have doubts about my faith? What should I do?
- Why did God allow this (blank difficult situation) to happen to me (or to my friend)?
- How can a God who supposedly loves us allow for so much suffering in the world?
- If God loves me then why isn’t he answering my prayers?
- What about my friends who don’t go to church but who are nice people? Does going to church really make a difference, and shouldn’t I still be friends with them?
- I am struggling with (blank situation, temptation or doubt). Does God still want to have a relationship with me?
5. Self Worth
Teens may or may not outwardly express these questions about self-worth, but so many of them are struggling with these issues!
- What is my purpose? Why am I here?
- Am I worthy of love, even when I mess up?
- What if I don’t like who I am? How do I learn to love myself?
- I hate this (blank characteristic about my body). Did God make a mistake when he made this part of me?
Friends, these are huge, controversial issues! But God is able to equip us to guide our teens through these tricky issues to a deeper understanding of what it means to walk with him.
Let’s commit to be open, honest and prayerful in how to answer these types of questions with our teens!