If a student knows the Lord and goes to a public (or even a private) High School then the following is probably true: They will be under tremendous pressure to conform to the image of the crowd. That crowd typically does not value a passionate relationship with Jesus…(duh!) Any High School will likely have it’s share of good kids, promiscuous kids, angry kids, drunk kids, church kids, gang members, druggies, jocks, musicians etc…. most of whom will pressure each other to “conform” to whatever “image” they see fit.
MY POINT: If we can get our teens to “make friends with loneliness” instead of fear it, they will be much more able to resist the pressure to “conform” to the image of the school they attend and more likely to conform to the image of our Lord. (Romans 8:29, 12:2)
SO HOW? I’m glad you asked:
- Help em see that it is PART OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH to be alone. I know many kids (adults too) that feel slighted and forgotten by God because they have listened to some “knuckle-headed, health/wealth” preacher who promised that God is here for our comfort. So if we are “uncomfortable” (lonely) then we must not be in God’s will. Nothing could be further from the truth. (2 Timothy 4:9-10, Phil.3:8)
- Help em EXPECT IT! When we stand for anything we alienate a certain group of people. It can be an innocuous as choosing a favorite sports team. Somebody will not be happy and you may actually end up with a strained relationship. (I speak as a Yankee Fan with some experience in this area) or as serious as standing for your faith when no one else does. If you do not follow the crowd you will very likely experience times when you are lonely.
- Help em see that GOD OFTEN WORKS MOST FREELY in our lives when we are lonely! He has our attention when we are hurting. He will also change our need for others into a desire for Himself. When we realize the reality of an all-sufficient God and the closeness we can have with Him.
- GIVE EM A PLACE TO COME HOME TO where they are not alone. I mean make your home a place where they can be with you. If you are like us things are “crazy busy”. Especially when our kids hit the teenage years we were all going in different directions! I am haunted by my son’s words after what was a rare dinner all together…”I really like it when we are all together”. Later when I tucked him in I asked him about it. He said…” yea, I just don’t feel as alone when we are all together”. OUCH!
- TAKE ABOUT IT… A LOT … Empathize, console and encourage your teenager if they are lonely but assure them that they are not alone!