Raising Teens in Digital Age: A Guide For Christian Homes by Christine Carter

Are you raising a Christian teen?

If so, I’m betting your child has a phone and probably spends a TON of time on it. Whether your teens use their phones to engage on social media or they spend their time surfing the web for entertainment and information, their screen time makes up a huge part of their lives.  

So how can we help them apply all the Biblical values we have taught them to their activity online?

How can we be assured that they will honor their faith in what they post and how they interact with others?

How can we trust that they will make wise decisions that keep them safe when they are surfing the web?

How can we teach them what it means to truly follow Jesus in this area of their lives that gives them ample opportunity for them to practice what we preach?

Their phones are an open bridge to the land of the unknown, full of dangerous people and ideas that can have a powerful impact on their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The endless web can either open up a world of dark passageways for them to follow and trenches for them to fall into, or it can present a vast mission field where they can be ambassadors for Christ. The internet can be a perilous place for our kids to roam, but it can also be full of opportunities to practice their Christian principles and grow in their faith!  

Most Christian teens are still in the process of developing a strong foundation in their faith and learning what it means to follow Jesus. The digital world, is an entirely new element to teen lives that needs attention.

-Christine Carter

How do we teach our teens how to navigate the online world as a Christian?

How do we help them apply their Christian values to what they do and see on their screens?

Here’s the problem…

It’s impossible to follow their every move online. We can talk to them, pray with them, disciple them, and try to trust that they are transferring all the lessons they learn through their fingers and onto those screens.

We can try to supervise their activity on social media and intervene when necessary. We can certainly monitor their phone time and set up endless apps to control as much as we can, when it comes to their internet use. All of which are important steps to take when parenting our teens. But still, we don’t have full control of their online lives and that can be worrisome for us parents.

Our Christian teens need a resource that can help them understand the basic principles of their faith and learn how to apply them to everything they do online. We need to ensure that the groundwork of their faith is strong enough to truly Follow Jesus every time their fingers touch those screens.

Do our Christian teens know what it means to Follow Jesus when they engage on social media or surf the web for information or entertainment? My guess is that most do not.

It’s critical for our teens to learn how to manage their screen time with diligence and wisdom, grounded in the essential biblical truths of the Christian faith.

That is why I created a resource that will do just that. Click to BUY

Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World will address eight essential biblical principles of the Christin faith and help your teen apply them to the online world.

Each lesson will include:

-A detailed description of each Christian value

-Pertinent scripture to study

-Online goal-setting worksheets

-Personal behavior checklists

-Important talking tips for discussion

-Suggested applicable prayers

I truly believe this resource will build a strong foundation of faith that will equip your teen to practice Christian love, grace, humility, compassion, truth, wisdom, integrity, and faithfulness every time their fingers touch those screens.  

5 TIPS TO HELP CHRISTIAN PARENTS RAISE TEENS IN A SCREENDRIVEN WORLD

Strong Faith Foundation. I can’t think of a better way to feel assured in my own teens’ safety and security as a Christian, than building a strong faith foundation in who they are in Christ. Continual discipling of our kids is essential, as well as close monitoring and supervision. They are still kids, after all. They need us to walk them through difficult decisions and encourage them to remain faithful in a world where most do not.

Pray for Your Parenting and for Teen. We can pray for God’s guidance and tender care in helping us raise our Christian teens and trusting that His plan for our kids is in place. We can pray for our kid’s hearts to be open to believing in God’s promises and allowing Him to minister to their hearts as they grow in their faith. We can pray for our kids to truly understand His Word and practice discernment in making mindful decisions online. We can pray for our kids to feel His presence alongside them as they take bold steps to reflect the heart of Christ in how they live their lives. And we can ultimately surrender our children into the Almighty’s hands, allowing His work to be done in and through us and our kids.

Raising teens is an incredible journey where the roadmap can twist and turn and re-route us through valleys we didn’t predict. It can also lead us to experience mountaintops of triumphant victories where our kids develop a personal relationship with Jesus and learn how to truly follow Him.

Give Your loving Support. Please remember that this season of their lives is full of discovering new ideas and new opinions within who they are, while positioning their place in a world that is expanding before them. They will make bad choices, they will fall, they will stumble on uncertainties, and they will surely have doubts, questions, and possibly even stray from their faith.

It’s during these critical years where they need to create their own identity and independence. Respect their journey, while you graciously love them through every step. It may be difficult, but it can also be a growing experience in your faith just as much as your child’s.

Raise Your Teens With Compassion. Be merciful and patient with your growing teen and make sure your teen knows that open and honest conversations can happen with you. If he or she feels they can’t approach you with their questions, issues, or problems- you have lost the ability to walk alongside them as they grow and learn ways to manage what can often be a difficult faith walk through these years. They need to believe that no matter how far they fall, you will always be there for them, loving them unconditionally.

Remember that you are called to escort your child through the valleys and the mountaintops of their life with the mission of teaching them what it truly means to follow Jesus. What a budding testimony you have on your hands as you delicately nurture the soul of your child!

Live out your Christian Faith. I believe the greatest gift you can offer your child is living out our Christian values in your own lives, so they witness what it truly means to follow Jesus. I challenge YOU to be vigilant in how you follow Jesus, as you parent your kids through their own self-discovery and growing identity in Christ. You can be their greatest influence in showing them the unfailing, ever-present love of Christ.

May you bless your child with modeling the love, grace, compassion, humility, truth, wisdom, integrity, and faithfulness that this workbook details in your own lives and in your own homes.

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. You can also find her work on Your Teen for Parents, Moms of Tweens and Teens, Parenting Teens and Tweens, Scary Mommy, Motherly, For Every Mom, and Her View from Home. She is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” And“Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World”. Both sold on Amazon.

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