Being a teenager is hard.
I sat at the DMV with my daughter, waiting for her number to be called to take her driver’s permit test.
I watched as she nervously looked around. Being here, doing this semi-grown up thing was new to her. I could tell she was feeling the weight of responsibility on her shoulders.
It didn’t help that our wait was close to two hours, and gave her plenty of time to second guess if she had studied enough.
She kept saying she couldn’t wait to get this over with.
And watching her struggle with all this new, real-life stuff was hard.
I wouldn’t want to go back and be 15 again for anything.
Well . . . except for getting to sleep in on the weekends.
Because the truth is, being a teenager is hard.
Yes, they’re moody. Yes, they’re sometimes ungrateful. Yes, they think they know everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.
But . . .
They are trying to figure out who they are, what they want to do as they get older, and how they plan to do it.
They think they have to look and act a certain way.
They want to fit in.
They want to be popular.
They have to deal with mean kids saying ugly things.
They have to decide to join the crowd or stand for their morals.
They have pressure to make good grades.
They stress over what career path to choose, and which college to go to.
No, I wouldn’t want to be my daughter.
Being a teenager is hard.
My teenage years were harder than my adult years.
I was worried more. I was stressed more. I was uncomfortable more.
At this stage in my life, I have many responsibilities. Responsibilities of taking care of my kids, working to have a strong marriage, managing my career, paying bills, etc.
My stress level should definitely be higher now at this point in my life.
What is the difference?
The difference maker, the game changer is Jesus.
You see, I rely on Jesus now more than ever.
When I was younger, I’m sure I thought I knew everything.
I believed in Jesus, but reading the Bible was not a priority.
I prayed, but I didn’t ask God to help me with every decision.
I didn’t thank God as often as I should’ve.
I didn’t ask Him for His peace that passes understanding.
We could just accept that being a teenager is rough, and nothing is going to make it better.
We could just assume this is a stage in life that everyone just has to “get through”.
But I don’t think it has to be that way.
I think the difference is Jesus.
Even if they don’t want to hear it.
Even if they don’t see it as practical.
Keep telling them how God doesn’t want them to worry, but instead wants them to pray and ask Him to help.
Keep telling them that wisdom comes from God, and God gives wisdom when we read and study the Bible.
Keep telling them that they don’t have to know the plan for their future, but to seek God and He will direct their steps.
As parents, we want to help our children.
We don’t like to see them struggling.
The best way we can help our teenagers is to point them to the One who helps us.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. -Psalm 121:2
The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life. -Psalm 121:7
This post originally appeared on Love, the Only Thing
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