Reasonable Expectations For Teens And Pre-Teens As Far As Passion For Christ

by BB
(Wisconsin, USA)

Should Teenagers Have A Passion For Christ?

Should Teenagers Have A Passion For Christ?

Hi Angie,

I have had a question floating around my mind for some time now and would love your input. What are reasonable expectations for your pre-teen and teenage aged children as far as their passion for Christ?

They've made a profession, they attend church, but I don't see them pursuing the Lord on their own yet. What's reasonable to expect?

I'm a second generation Christian and haven't witnessed very often a passion for Christ in young kids. Would appreciate your input if you have the time, and if not, that's totally ok. I know the Lord will lead me.

God's richest blessings on your ministry. Thanks for letting me share, too.

In His Grip of Grace,

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What Does Passion For Christ Look Like In Teens?
by: Angie

I'm going to try to address your question about your concern for your daughters, but bear in mind that I have a killer headache right now, so my thoughts may not be as clear as they should be. I just didn't want to procrastinate because that has become an annoying stumbling block for me lately, and I'm trying to stop it. 😉

So, I'm not 100% sure I know exactly what you mean by "expectations of their passion for Christ." That's kind of a general term that means different things to different people.

What does "Passion for Christ" look like to you? Do you mean their love for Jesus? Desire to act like Jesus? Desire to serve Jesus? Desire to witness to the lost?

My expectations for children of all ages are extremely high. We are living in a world of extremely low expectations for everyone. We have learned to heap abundant praise on those reaching bare minimum requirements. That is hurting us as a society, and particularly as a people of God.

Where do we get our expectations? Who is setting the bar or the standard? For us, it is the Bible. God sets the standard. It's super high! Can we achieve it? No. Should we be striving daily toward achieving it? Yes. Why? Because we love and adore Him and want to please Him more than anything else. Bonus: He gives us abundant blessings when we are doing our best to reach that goal - blessings, joy, peace, comfort, strength, hope, etc.

Uh oh, I feel another book coming on. 😂

Anyway, without knowing for sure what exactly 'passion for Christ' means to you, let me approach answering in a slightly different way. (You can always respond, and I can be more specific).

How are YOU exhibiting a passion for Christ in your life? I assume your husband is a believer, too? How is HE exhibiting a passion for Christ in his life? I'm not asking if you're perfect. (I know the answer. 😊)

I'm asking if your love for God is more than something you demonstrate at church. Or is it a part of everything you say and do throughout the day, at home, driving the car, the tone you use when speaking to your spouse or children, the way you talk about others in front of your children, etc.

Your faith needs to be the most important thing about you. If it's not, changing that problem will be the most effective way of helping your girls to become passionate for Christ themselves.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not talking about harshly adhering to a set of rules with an attitude of either martyrdom or Pharisaical pride.

I'm talking about choosing to conform to the image of Christ out of a deep love for Him and an understanding of the big picture of humanity and eternity.

Jesus said, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31

When you live this way and, with love and gentleness, teach your children daily why you do what you do, say what you say, act the way you act, etc., your girls will have the best chance of doing the same.

Here are a few simple examples of what I mean by that:

  • "I know --- was unkind to you, but we have to be forgiving because we sure want God to forgive us when we mess up and treat someone unkindly ourselves."

  • "No, we can't keep watching this program. I want to know how it ends, too, but if Jesus was sitting here on the couch with us, I would be so embarrassed, wouldn't you?"

  • "Let's make a batch of cookies and take them over to Mrs. ---. A great way to show God we love Him is by cheering those who are lonely. Let's be a blessing today, shall we?"

There should always be a Biblical reason why you do and say the things that you do. Don't assume your girls know them. Inserting them into your daily conversation, gives them the opportunity to understand and take ownership of these Scriptural principles and guidelines into their own hearts.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

What Expectations Should You Have For Christian Teenagers Regarding Their Passion For Christ?

In a nutshell: It all comes down to a matter of the heart. If you can get your girls to love God with all of their heart and pleasing Him becomes their number one goal in life, you will not have to worry about particulars. The absolute BEST time for anyone to develop a passion for Christ is when they are young. It's the time in our lives where we have the greatest capacity for learning and developing our underlying character, as well as lifelong habits.

Yes, God is able to take us as broken, lazy, selfish, self-willed, proud, self-indulgent adults, and turn us into productive Christians that shine His light in this world through our transformation. But it's a painful and difficult process. I don't wish that on any child.

It's so much more wonderful to have the privilege and blessing of growing up with parents who already know and love Him dearly, model that relationship consistently in their daily lives, and expect their children to do the same.

Okay, seriously, there is so much that I can say on this subject. I am truly hoping this year that the Lord will help me to create a more robust online resource of booklets, videos, etc., that can be a help and blessing to others.

Not because I think I have all the answers and am an expert, but because I know that He has all the answers and is The Expert.

Our Good God has taught me a lot and is continuing to teach me daily. I'm finally at the age and place in my life where He has convinced me to stop keeping silent (because I am childless) and trust Him to use the wisdom and authority of His Word and my experiences in working with children for 40 years to try to be a help to others, as so many are struggling in this darkening world.

I'm going to leave you with that for now. Thank you for stopping in for a visit. I look forward to our next chat.


Defining Passion For Christ
by: BB

Hello Angie and thank you for that great and thorough reply. God used your words to give me clarity, and He also confirmed it with a book I'm reading about Boundaries for your teens.

Both of you confirmed that the things that we model have the greatest influence. I guess that's the hope I needed.

I especially like how you questioned what I meant by having a passion for Christ. I've been learning a lot lately that defining terms is so important. AND asking questions is too. Jesus asked questions when asked a question. So much of what you wrote just blessed me, and I feel we are like-minded in the faith.

My husband and I are extremely passionate for Christ as far as our studying and praying. Yes, we attend church too on a regular basis, but we just love to study the Word and love fellowshipping over the Word as well out of our home. We have many studies in our home and have for as long as the girls have been born. My love for Jesus has grown tremendously, and my understanding of His love for me as well.

We homeschool our girls and they have Bible. We also have them on a Bible reading schedule. We do family devotions (can improve on that consistency) and often talk about what God is teaching us.

My favorite question to ask any sister or brother is, What is God teaching you these days.

BUT, when I ask my girls about their talks with their friends from church and if they bring God up at all or if they tell their friends they are praying for them, they say - "Oh that's just you mommy. We are just kids."

That's kind of their excuse for not reading their Bible on their own, too. So that is specifically what I'm wondering about. Them seeking out the Lord on their own and even talking about God with their friends. Their friends even know that that's my favorite question b/c I ask their friends that too.

That's what I wondered if it is reasonable to expect of an 11 and 13-year-old 2nd generation Christian.

I will add your headache(s?) to my prayers for you and His continued leading as you write for Him and helping The Body.

Thank you and God's richest blessings in all that you are doing.

Reasonable Expectations Of Christian Teens
by: Angie

Hi BB,
It sounds like we are truly kindred spirits! Thanks for the prayers. I had a headache-free day today and counting it as a great blessing. It's amazing how much better it makes the day and how much more I can accomplish when I can think clearly. :)

I'm glad any of my words could be helpful to you. I'm getting a clearer picture of you and your family. It sounds as though you just need to keep doing what you are doing.

In some ways, though, I understand what your girls are saying. It isn't necessarily natural for children to be consumed with wanting to talk about the things of God and the Bible with their peers. Remember

1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:..."

I would be much less concerned about their desire to discuss the truths of God with others and more focused on whether they are living the truths of God.

Are they exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit in their lives? If they are sweet, kind, obedient, and loving girls, developing self-control and keeping a good attitude, they are on the right path.

There is always a risk that you can make the Christian life appear grievous to them if you are not careful.

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous," 1 John 5:3.

I'm not suggesting that you are doing that; just a reminder to be cautious not to require more of them than God does at their age.

Okay, keeping this short tonight. I have a few more items to tick off my list before I call it a night.


God is SO GOOD!
by: BB

Thank you, God, for Angie!

You hit the nail on the head. Honestly, it's been about 1-2 months probably that I've been asking this question in my head and asking who to ask it.

Your words and your use of The Word have truly ministered to my heart. And I'm soaking it up. Thank you sooooooooooo much!!!!

And Praise the Lord that your headache is gone. And look how you ended - "hugs". Anyone that knows me knows I'm a hugger so again, the Lord used you to give me just want I need. He is so good that way!

Love and blessings,

God Guides and Directs - He leads. We follow.
by: Angie

I'm always amazed at how God leads and directs my life to put me in the path of people that help me when needed and/or that I can be a help to when needed.

That is the essence of true Christianity. I think of Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." and Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

I praise the Lord that He has used me in some small way to help and encourage you. Your words have blessed me in return.


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