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A New Look at Teenagers’ Biggest Questions

The struggle to “just be yourself” raises all kinds of questions for this twelfth grader. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Like every teenager, Lilly is a walking bundle of questions.

Things Every Middle Schooler Needs to Hear

Nobody feels cool in middle school - not even the self-proclaimed orassumedcool kid crowd. It's one of the times in our lives when everything changes at once. The time we need to be reminded of what doesn't change.

5 Simple Ways to Start Habits of Prayer with and for Your Kids

Is prayer something that feels too hard in the mothering days you’re in? Whether you’re exhausted from midnight feedings, shuffling kids to practices, juggling too many schedules, or scrubbing baby food off the high chair, God wants to meet you in that exhaustion with His power and peace. If you’ve been putting prayer off until the kids are older, when the days get smoother, or when you’re less frazzled, stop. Here are five simple ways beyond mealtime prayers to stack prayer onto things you are already doing, so you can begin to incorporate prayer into your daily routine with your kids now and make prayer a habit that will last their whole life through.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/tatyana_tomsickova

12 Ideas to Get Your Teen Talking

While there are no fool-proof ways to get your teen to talk to you, there are ways to make it easier for communication to happen. Here are a dozen ideas to get your teen to open up with you.

3 Ways to Encourage Youth Pastors and Leaders

Being a Youth Pastor or a Youth Volunteer is a tough, but incredibly rewarding gig. Just like everyone else — in fact probably more so — they need our support, encouragement and to be treated like a valuable part of the church.

How to Pray for a Wayward Child

Along with praying for a spirit of forgiveness, you may be called to lean in and listen to your child more closely and intentionally than you ever have before. Pray about when to stand your ground and when to compromise so you can do the right thing at the right time. Pray for strength and a positive attitude to do all you can. Whatever happens, pray to trust God with the outcome.

5 Ways to Engage Millennials and Gen Z in the Local Church

Gone are the days when families drove to church in their Sunday best and went to Wednesday night Bible study. While this might have been a priority at one time in our history, it is no more. In an age when Millennials and Gen Z kids are leaving the church in droves, it is more important than ever to engage them in your local ministry.

6 Bible Characters That Can Help Teens Know They Are Not Alone

Nearly every teenager at one point feels like they’re stuck in their tension, questions, and doubts. All of God’s people have felt the same way at times throughout their journey on earth. Even those recorded in the Bible whom God used to fulfill his purposes.

What to Do When Your Teen Shuts You Out

In Abba, we see one of the crux truths in all of parenting: our job is not the outcome; our job is the input. Hard though it may be when we feel shut out by our older kids, when we choose to love them as a leading action we initiate with no condition of reciprocity, we follow the example of love's Author and Perfecter.

How to Exercise Faith When Allowing Independence

My son’s little legs raced across the field as his kite bounced along on the ground behind him. A gust of wind caught the kite’s corner and lifted it above the grass. “Let out the string!” I called. As he released a few feet of twine, the kite caught the breeze and soared into the air. “Keep letting it out!” I urged him. As the string extended, the kite rose higher and higher. We both exulted at the sight of the colorful kite dancing in the summer sky.As a mom, it’s even more exhilarating to see my children soaring into the future God has planned for each of them. Yet for them to rise up and claim their independence, I have to let out the “string” so they can fly. It takes faith to relax my grip and allow them to go where God takes them.Parenting five kids has required a lot of letting go. Our son grew from pedaling his bike down the driveway to driving off in a moving van with his bride by his side. Our little curly-headed daughter learned to cross the street, and now she’s crossed oceans to serve Jesus. Every milestone presents a choice as we raise our five kids: will we hold on more tightly or trust and let go?How do we exercise faith while allowing our kids to become more independent year by year? We remember these six truths along the way.Photo Credit:©Getty Images/PIKSEL

How to Teach Youth That Sex Is a Gift Worth Waiting For

It only takes a few minutes engaging with modern culture to see its obsession with sex and sexuality. Billboards show lingerie-clad women, pop songs sing about sex, social media and television are full of it. Sex is also used to sell virtually everything from food, to cars, to clothing.The proliferation of pornography, the glorification of the “hook-up culture,” and the lack of any sort of abstinence education suggests that sex is something to have any time with any other consenting person.In fact, the thought of waiting to have sex until one is married proves an overall foreign concept in American culture. According to one statistic, only 3% of the U.S. population chooses to save sexual intimacy for marriage.With all of this in mind, it may seem like an impossible task to convince youth that sex is a gift worth waiting for—a gift that God designed for marriage. However, this article aims to provide practical steps to help teens realize the safety and beauty that awaits if students choose to follow God’s design. Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Tim Mossholder

5 Ways to Put a Stop to the Fall of Today's Youth Group

What our kids need most right now isn’t another Wednesday night filled with games and a quick lesson about why God says this or that is bad. Our kids need their parents willing to talk about their personal relationship with God and how God still loves this world—no matter how messy it seems.

3 Ways Parents Can Cultivate Growth in Their Teens

As a parent raising actual teenagers, I’m familiar with the temptation to drift into a hands-off, watch-and-see, hope-they-grow form of parenting stewardship because raising and discipling teenagers is hard work. But just as planting fragile young trees and leaving them to wither in dry dirt isn’t productive or advisable, neither is overlooking the responsibility of discipleship in the life of my teenager.

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