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Spiritual Growth

How Can I Get My Teenager Talking More With Me About Their Faith?

Having spiritually deep conversations with your teenager can at times be challenging.  However, God has designed our families so that we take the lead in conversations about Jesus with our teenagers. We want to be very practical and help you out by sharing three types of faith conversations you can have with your teenager. Once you understand the types of conversations, you’ll be ready to engage with them as you go.

The first type of spiritual conversation you can have with your teenager is when LIFE brings it up.  You are away with your family, watching TV together, or driving down the road, and something comes up that prompts a spiritual conversation between you and your teenager.  There are tons of ways that whatever happens around you gives an opportunity to infuse faith into the moments of everyday life when you want to look for those kinds of conversations.

The second type of spiritual conversation that you can have with your teenager is when THEY bring it up. I think this might be my favorite type of spiritual conversation because it is initiated by your teenager. You know what that means? It means they’re ready to listen.  My rule of thumb is if they ask a question they are absolutely ready for an answer.  If you don’t give them that answer rest assured they can find it elsewhere and we may not like the answer the culture around us has ready for them! 

There are those moments when your teen will come up to you with a question so you want to make sure you’re ready to respond. You might not see the spiritual element in this because sometimes when your teenager is bringing this up to you it may not be directly a spiritual thing. They might not say, “I was wondering what the Book of Revelation said in this verse,” but one of the things you can look for is when they say, “Hey, Mom, Dad, I had some questions. I’ve been in a fight with one of my friends, and I don’t know how to get past this.” You know what, that’s an opportunity for you! They’re asking you for that guidance, and that’s a chance for you to give biblical guidance in an area where they may need it the most. They’re giving you that invitation to enter into their lives and give them spiritual leadership so take advantage of it and don’t push it off for another time.

The third type of conversation you want to look for is the time when YOU bring it up. Let’s go back for a moment. This is where you are very intentional with your teenager, and you tell them, “I need to talk with you about something.” When you meet with them, you’re giving them direct and intentional spiritual instruction and bringing a specific conversation to the forefront. One of the ways we desire to help you do that is through the Milestone Ministry here at Carmel.  This is a way we can equip you for meaningful conversations as you look toward significant moments in their lives.  You can find more of these moments simply by observing where your student is in life and where they are heading next in their faith journey.  What can you do to create an intentional moment that would help guide them through those steps along the way?

For example, is your teenager about to start driving? Guess what, you can have a driving contract or some kind of party or celebration that honors the fact that they’re about to drive. In that moment you could start to teach them about the spiritual concept of being responsible, accepting responsibility and then also what’s going to happen if they mess up with that car, they get a speeding ticket or get in a car accident? How are you going to show them forgiveness, and how are they going to accept responsibility? How are you going to give them hope that they’re going to be okay and they can keep moving on? Do you see how much spiritual significance is in that moment?

Besides the big moments, we can all be more intentional about having meaningful conversations with our teenager in those little moments along the way.  A little thought and preparation can strengthen both their faith and your relationship with them. You can’t spiritually lead them unless you’re talking about these things with them. Look for those spiritual conversations and make sure to make these moments count with your teenager.