Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

I have been a youth pastor for nearly 40 years. This means I have discipled teens from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and this current decade. And I will still be doing this into the 2020s. I learned this truth the hard way in the 1980s and changed my ways in the 1990s.

You are the number one faith influencer of your teen.

You. Not your parents. Not your teen’s friends. Not the internet or social media. And certainly not the super-cool youth pastor at your church. (Though I have tried to stay super coolas cool as someone in their late 50s can be.)

RELATED: It’s Time To Take Back Christian Parenting

Why you? Every study says so. I’ve been collecting these studies since the 1980s (the internet has made my hobby so much easier) and you have always ranked as number one. Always.

I have seen this firsthand also. No matter how many impassioned hours I spend with your teen. This is why I have switched my focus to helping the parents at my local church first. I want to encourage, equip, and inspire them to be better influencers.

I need you to intentionally pass on your faith so my job is more fruitful. I want to be that second voice (though probably one your teen hears louder than yours, that’s just is what it is). I want to affirm what you are already passing on. This grows a life-changing faith that will guide him or her throughout life—through the joys and through the valleys.

Because you are this number one influencer, you also have the power to pass on a complacent faith. Or a faith of works. Or a faith of faking it. Or a small view of God. You do this whether you know it or not. I’m letting you know now that you may be doing this.

I didn’t mean to trigger fear in you. I want you to feel your possibility.

RELATED: God Doesn’t Ask Me To Be a Perfect Mom; He Asks Me To Point My Kids to a Perfect Savior

Passing on faith was so much easier when your child was younger, right? You could pray together at bedtime, maybe read Bible stories together. But how do you do this with a teen? How do you do this with a teen who doesn’t like you in their bedroom?

You fear you won’t know how to answer your teen’s tough questions. You fear your own doubts being exposed. You fear you don’t know the Bible well enough. You fear you didn’t pass on your faith enough when your teen was younger and it was easier, so now it’s too late. You fear you are not cool enough.

You do know that fear lies, right? Even if there is some truth in any one of those fears. You are needed to push through that fear and make an attempt. Your awkward intentions will be noticed and appreciated. Though maybe appreciated the most when your teen is in their 20s. 

By intentionally passing on your faith, you have intentionally entered into the awkward, adolescent world where your teen resides daily and doesn’t know how to navigate one bit. Because you are the parents, you get the raw reactions so much more. The rest of us get the curated reactions. This is a parenting privilege. Maybe?

RELATED: 5 Biblically-Based Ways to be Gentle With Our Kids’ Hearts

Sadly, I know no one is telling you that you are the number one influencer of your teen’s faith. Not your friends because they are either telling you teenager jokes that are fueling your feelings of inadequacy, or they are as overwhelmed as you so they are only showing their faux selves. Your teen is not telling you—nor giving you the vibes—that you are the loudest and most important voice in their head. You certainly have no idea how to overcome the influence social media has on your teen, so you feel behind this anonymous monster that lives inside your house.

Sadly, even our churches aren’t telling you. This is a rare message to hear in church because the church and youth ministry schedule get a higher ranking than supporting you. Besides, we (the church) only get 90 minutes, maybe, a week with your kid. We have a lot to cram in during those 90 minutes.

So here I am as the oldest youth pastor in the world telling you emphatically that you are the loudest voice in your teen’s head all of the time.

Take every opportunity to use that voice well. And when you are awkward or struggling, trust the Holy Spirit. The Jesus-way is full of honest, awkward, and struggle that is always redeemed.

Raising teenagers isn’t for the faint of heart. We love the encouragement and advice in The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans. Don’t have time to sit and read? Listen to it here, on Audible.

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Brenda Seefeldt Amodea

Brenda started working with teens in 1981 and still hasn’t “grown up” into “real” ministry. Or prefers to keep her soul in the “real ministry” of seeing faith come alive in people’s souls. She is a pastor, speaker, wife, and mom to four men whom she didn't birth but raised in this great story. Her goal is to help faith seekers like you have the intense faith experiences that teens have mixed with the wisdom that you have. You can start now by downloading The Beauty of Pain at

What Happens to the Mamas When Their Children Are Grown?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Five children walking hand-in-hand, color photo

A friend came up to me the other day after church and commented, “I’ve never seen you alone. I had to make sure you were okay.” It’s true. I’m never alone. I usually have one or two children hanging onto me and three more milling about with my husband close. But at that moment, my husband had stepped away to collect the younger ones from the children’s service, and my older two had run off with their friends. I was standing alone. And as I stood there, one thought crossed my mind, “This is what it will be like when...

Keep Reading

8 Fight Songs for the Single Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding earbuds in ears

They whispered to her: You cannot withstand the storm. I have had days when the storms hit me while I sat on the shower floor with my knees to my chest feeling completely defeated, letting the hot water beat down on my body. I have had nights when the storms hit me as tears stained my pillow. As time has moved on, I am learning how to beat the storms. This is only possible because of the family and friends that God has brought into my life. This is my fight song. These are and have been my take back...

Keep Reading

Your Brother Is With Jesus Now

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Brother and sister in yellow outfits smiling on park bench

“Thao is with Jesus now,” we told her, barely choking out the whisper. Jesus. This invisible being we sing about. Jesus. The baby in the manger? Jesus. How can we explain Jesus and death and loss and grief to a 3-year-old? And now, how can we not? We live it, breathe it, and dwell in loss since the death of her brother, our son, Thao. Here we are living a life we never wanted or dreamed of. Here we are navigating loss and death in a way our Creator never intended. What words can I use to describe death to...

Keep Reading

Even When You Can’t Find Joy, Jesus Is There

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman through pane of rain covered glass

The international church service was vibrant with voices lifted up in songs of praise. Many clapped their hands and some even danced before God. But I wanted to be invisible. Joy felt like a land depicted in a fairy tale. I had returned from the hospital the day before—a surgery to remove the baby who had died in my womb. Watching this church buzz with happiness unearthed my fragileness. I slouched in my chair and closed my eyes. Tears trickled down my freckled face. My mind knew God was in control, but my heart ached as yet another thing I...

Keep Reading

He Mends Our Broken Hearts

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Praying hands of woman with bracelets

Rays of soft sunlight streamed through the curtain onto the hospital bed. I stepped to the edge of the bed, taking a moment to soak in his face before gently holding his hand. Eighty-nine years is a rich, full life, and each passing day revealed more convincingly it was time for him to go. Grief and relief shared the space in my heart as I carried the weight of understanding each visit held the opportunity to be my last.  When he felt my hand, his eyes opened, and he gifted me a smile. Pop Pop always had a smile for...

Keep Reading

When I Feel Like a Failure, God Reminds Me of His Grace

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child hugs mother in sun flare

I’ve always been a teeth grinder, especially during times of high stress. Striving manifests itself physically through my teeth and jaw. I have even shifted several of my teeth from the grinding, moving my pearly whites to become crooked and a little unsightly. I should’ve known this morning that the night of grinding my teeth before was going to turn into a day of clenching my jaw. The spiritual warfare was intense, the temptations strong. I felt angry and burnt out.  After I finally laid my son down for a nap, I sat on the couch and told God, “I...

Keep Reading

My Father’s Faith

In: Faith, Grief
Man with grown daughter, color photo

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy lately.  When my dad passed away in 2011, I lost the most influential person in my life. He was sacrificial in his love for me and others. His heart was devoted to the Lord, and it was evident to all who knew him. His death marked me in a significant way, and I still struggle with grief 11 years later. But his life marked me in an even greater way, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. As I reflect on legacy, I think about the impact that my dad’s faith had (and still...

Keep Reading

Silence the Lie that Says You’re Too Much

In: Faith, Living
Mother and daughter smiling outside wearing sunglasses

As a kindergartner sometimes I tagged along to my mom’s work as a hotel housekeeper. While my mom worked, I played in the recreation room. Her boss checked on me and always had something fun to play with or a story to share.  One day, in a burst of excitement, I shared something special that happened over the weekend with the supervisor. The words bounded from my mouth like a puppy ready to play in the morning.  The boss chuckled, “Whoa, motor mouth! Slow down!” In a split second, my 5-year-old heart crumbled, and the lie that would follow me...

Keep Reading

He’s the God of Small Things In Motherhood Too

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding infant, black-and-white photo

Normally, on a Sunday afternoon during the girls’ naptime, I try to get some work done or lie down to rest. But a few days ago, I instead wrapped a blanket around my waist to keep warm and pulled cutting boards and pots out of the cupboard.  Before I had kids, I wondered what kind of mom I would be. In fact, I was pretty sure I knew. My outgoing and vivacious personality attracted kids to my side for years. Their energy matched mine, and we giggled and chased each other before collapsing on the floor. I pictured myself holding...

Keep Reading

Let’s Stop the Negative Talk about Marriage

In: Faith, Marriage
Square, wooden arch with floral and fabric in field, color photo

Growing up, I remember hearing many negative phrases used about marriage—on TV, by distant relatives, anywhere, really.  “The old ball and chain.” “All my wife does is nag.” “You’re happy in your marriage? You must still be in the honeymoon phase.” These are just a few examples of the many things I have heard for years that create a negative connotation around marriage. I never really thought much of it until I fell in love and got engaged to the man of my dreams. Can you guess what happened next? “Just wait . . .” I heard entirely too many...

Keep Reading