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Spiritual Growth

What Are Some Practical Ways Busy Parents Can Spiritually Invest in their Teens?

Have you ever noticed that the older your kids become the faster time seems to move? It is almost like a trick our minds play on us because the more time we have had with them we realize the less time we will have before they move out and begin the next steps in their life’s journey. This is only increased when we get into routines and rhythms of daily life with work, school, making meals, going to practices, and on to the next day. There are, however, some good rhythms you can develop even as busy parents that disciple your teenager. Consider God’s word in Deuteronomy 6:4-7.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

It may have been written a long time ago, but these words are never more relevant than today. We as parents are to first love God with a focus and passion that is taught and modeled before our children as we go through life together. Parents and families have always faced obstacles to this goal, including busyness. Scripture reminds us it all begins with our heart’s motivation. We make time for what matters to us most. Even so, busy parents can get distracted with the urgency of the next thing. That is the beauty of God’s plan for family discipleship. There are moments we set apart to spiritually engage our children but the majority of the time spent in discipling them is as we go through daily life. What does this look like? We have some practical ideas to get you started. Let’s take a look at five moments parents can spiritually invest in their children through everyday life.

The Prayer Ask 

There is something that happens when we ask people how we can pray for them. Why not ask your teen each week how you can pray for them? You can send a text or you can ask at night before bed. Just ask them what they are facing and how you can pray and then you have a reason to ask later how that issue is going.

Sharing Scripture
This rhythm comes from your own study and growth in God’s word. Maybe it is reading through a little scripture in the morning, being in a bible study, or after hearing a Sunday sermon. The goal is considering a scripture and truth God is using to shape you and taking a 1-5 minutes to share that with your teenager each week. This accomplishes two huge things. Your teenager will hear an important message from God’s word and experience living and active faith from a parent. That is an incredible gift given in a short amount of time.

Have Some Fun
Get on your teen’s calendar and block out some time for you both to just have fun. What do they enjoy? Find a way to spend a few hours together. It could be a monthly trip to the movies and pizza or could be a coffee date or a hike. Laughter and fun invite moments of trust, connection, and conversation. It opens the door to spiritually invest in them not just in those moments, but in countless others because you are connecting relationally.

Leave a Note (or Text)
This is so easy today. Leave your teen notes or send them texts encouraging them spiritually. Let them know you are thinking about them and you want to remind them of God’s love and faithfulness in all areas of life.

Weekly Check-in
This is a great way to slow down the busy pace of life and see how everyone is doing and what’s going on in each other’s lives. You can leverage at least one meal together each week to allow everyone in the family to have time to share. Ask questions about highs and lows and look to the week ahead together.