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To Know and Be Known?

As a teen, I felt most known by my close friends. The guys I spent a lot of time with. We hung out every day. We played basketball. We backed each other up when there was trouble. We shared thoughts and ideas. We challenged one another. We spent hours together. Unfortunately, though, most times we gathered...we smoked weed. Getting high was woven into almost everything we did together. That was just over twenty years ago. Since then I've mourned, and still mourn, the loss of half of those guys. Enrique died of alcoholism. Dave died from cancer. Marcelle overdosed. And Charles took his own life. 


My friends didn't die because we smoked weed as teens. However, those were formative years of life and who we are most influenced by in the season of adolescence can set the trajectory of our future. Young people who have strong support and close relationships with parents are much more likely to avoid the pitfalls that come with young and reckless temptation. Matthew 15:14 says "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Growing up I stumbled into many ditches. I guess that you did too. The ideas we came up with together were utterly nonsensical, to say the least. So, how do we as parents help our kids avoid life's dangerous risks and snags? How do we get to know and engage that troubled and stubborn teen who says he/she just wants to be left alone? I have three quick insights for you.

1. Be the Example. Be the example that you want your kid to learn from. They're still watching you. Live an exciting life. Show your children what fun looks like. An example to them is a life on display for Jesus with no compromise. As you and I both know, life is a slow burn. Even when it seems your good example isn't winning your kids, keep with it. They'll come around. 

2. Show Interest. Be interested in your teens. Show them you truly care more about them than the world does. Rediscover their interests and cultivate them. Engage with them in their hobbies and their skills. Hone your own skills so that you can impress them. Maybe you can train for a race together. Try disc golf with them. Take them to a movie of their choice. Study with them. Take them on an unforgettable trip. Challenge them to do something hard and then do it with them. Find out what they're currently interested in and go along for the ride. 

3. Be Attentive. Be attentive to the topics and challenges they face every day. Pay attention to your teens' needs and desires. Talk with your teen. Learn about and choose to talk openly and consistently about sex and sexuality. Learn how to engage in LGBTQ discussion. Talk about drugs and alcohol. Making certain subjects taboo only deepens shame and secrecy. You can also memorize new Scriptures and share them. Spend time informing yourself about the things the culture is communicating to your kids every day. Be patient. Sit with them and wait. Eventually, they will open up.  

Ultimately, to be known and to know Jesus Christ is most important. Make that time too, and your kids will notice that you do. You daily mirror the savior for your kids. Show them the best reflection you possibly can and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. You got this.   

Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. of life.

Jay Weber

Positive Options Men's Coach


Healthy conversations with your teen: 


Blog Goal:The Talk With Your Teen blog encourages and equips Christian parents to have consistent, open, and meaningful conversations with their teenagers about relational and sexual health.


About us: This blog is hosted by The Joshua Center from Positive Options. The Joshua Center exists to mobilize the body of Christ to embody the Gospel as we build a culture of life in West Michigan.


Parenting teens can be challenging. We offer Biblically based social and sexual health workshops that help ground teens in God's truth and authority as they navigate a hypersexual and rapidly evolving culture focused on individualism and self-gratification. Talk with your Teen articles expand and build on these trainings by encouraging and equipping Christian parents to have ongoing conversations with their teens regarding sensitive cultural issues. For more information about our workshops, for both teens and their parents, please email

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