The teen-age ranges from 13-19 years, in this age bracket, they are neither children nor adults and therefore a delicate/crisis group that needs attention of adults especially parents.
It is also a transition period between the childhood and adulthood and a state of discovery, so as a teenager you need to be very careful and pay attention to the character changes in you.
Teenagers are the future mothers, wives, fathers, husbands and leaders, and as such should be prepared for future roles. Physically they do not like being treated as children and once it is forced on them they can resought to rebellion.
We never get our childhood and adolescence back once we’re adults! For teens, life is not a playground, it’s a jungle. The life of a teenager is full of tough issues and life-changing decisions. So many factors can help you as a teenager learn the principles and ethics that will help reach your goals and live a successful life.
As we see that most of the teenagers are ruined during this age, this article will focus on showing you how to avoid this and also how to be more alert about your teenage life.
Follow me as I take you through the path of successful teenage life:
- “Be Born again: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you”. So says the Bible in Matt: 6:33. Being born again is the number one step towards achieving a successful teenage life. This is not only about church attendance or church doctrines, it has to do with your personal encounter with Christ, as He is the only one who can give an assured life here on earth. As a teenager, you might think that you still have many years ahead of you so you do not see reasons to live a Godly lifestyle now. How about what the Bible said in Eccl. 12:1; “Remember now your creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them”. The teenage period is a very important period in the life of every human. If you do not put your teenage period to appropriate use, you will definitely end up regretting in later years. The teenage life is the best time to serve your creator with all the liveliness and energy you still possess. It is also the period when most of the lifelong decisions are made, so take this period of your life very serious and dedicate it specially to your creator. Remember, the teenage period does not last forever, it is a temporary but critical period in life, do not wait for it to elude you before you take the right step. Seek ye the kingdom of God now for tomorrow may be too late.
- Parental involvement: Just as the Bible commands parents to train up the child in the right way, it also enjoins the children to obey their parents in the Lord, and honour them (Eph. 6:1-3). The parents are mainly the first set of tutors every child will have, a greater part of your attitude is usually determined by the impacts of your parents. For the Bible to refer teenagers to the commandments and advice of their parents, that means that parents have a great role to play in shaping the teenage life and bringing out the best out of you. Look at the life of Timothy, from 2 Timothy 1:5 we will get to understand that his successful Christian teenage life did not just emanate from nowhere, he had a mother and a grandmother who possessed a very strong and sincere faith. This set of parents/guardians played a great role in shaping the teenage life of Timothy. However, let me remind you of this, their efforts would not have yielded result if Timothy had not listened to and obeyed them. Someone like Samson was also exposed to such parental advices but chose not to listen to them; I believe you already know how the story ended. So parental involvement is a key step towards achieving an excellent teen life, but mind you, when you obey your parents it must be in line with the principles of the Almighty God.
- Have good friends: It is said that your friends can either make or mar you and just like your parents, they have a lot of impact to make in your teenage life. If you must achieve an excellent teenage life then you have to keep friends who share the same vision and Christian faith with you. According to Proverbs 13:20 ; “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms”, Peers have always contributed to the daily decisions of teenagers, keeping a wise and Godly friend will always help you in making wise and Godly decisions and vise versa. Take a moment and look at your life as a teenager, what type of friends have you surrounded yourself with, are you mostly seen around those who prefer to live in the moment and think of nothing other than gossip and relaxation. Or do you have those type of friends that will push you to always do the right thing? Let me bring to your remembrance that evil communication corrupts good manners. No matter how hardworking, innocent or seriously minded you might think you are, the truth still stands that once you join the wrong set of friends your entire lifestyle will definitely be affected negatively. Choose your friends wisely and ensure you choose the right and most appropriate set of them.
- Say no to cultism: Cultism has become one of the popular activities among youths and teenagers. Teenagers now troop into the act without thinking of its aftermath. The Bible stated in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”. You might think that cultism will give you access to protection and power but that is just a camouflage of the destruction that follows. There can never be any good thing from the devil, his only mission is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Through cultism, the devil will kill the spiritual man in you, steal your destiny and then finally destroy everything that God had in stock for you, it is either you lose your life or you end up living a life of regret. What other protection can be found in cultism that is greater than the protection that comes from Jesus Christ, no matter how they might try to beautify and polish cult activities just to attract you, always bear in mind that the devil can only present a camouflage that leads to destruction.
- Exploit your potentials wisely: The teenage period is also a time of energy and enthusiasm; it is also the time of quick learning and brain development. It is always very important to direct this enthusiasm into self-development. The things you do today, as a teenager, will make old age either stress-free or stressful. Everyone was born with a special talent, which makes you unique from others, it all lies on you to develop and exploit your potentials and talents. Proverbs 22:29, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Your business can be your education or your individual talent, and the passage stated that the gateway to achieving Excellency is by putting in diligence in whatever you do. Diligence in academics, diligence in whatever it is that you do. When you direct the energy and enthusiasm of the teenage life into your potentials and self-development, accompanying it with diligence, you will not have time to think of any negativity or activity that will militate against achieving an excellent teenage life.
- Believe in yourself: Times will always come in your life as a teenager when you will need to do something big, it might be to take a life-changing decision or carry out a task that will boost your self-worth. At times like this suggestions and advices will come from different angles, so many will say you should give up on it, some will say you cannot do it why you’ll still have those who believes in your abilities. At this point the best thing is to trust your abilities, believe in yourself, believe that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13). Do not always quit because of the fear of failure or the fear of what people may say, take every bold step with courage and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. Even in times of confusion, the best thing to do is always to pray, believe in yourself and take that bold step.
- Set your limits: The level of decadence in the present day society has become so alarming; a lot of immoral activities have become the order of the day among youths and teenagers. Smoking/drug abuse, sexual immorality and other social vices have become a daily lifestyle, we no longer see the wrong part of them, and we take them all to be part of life. As a teenager who aims at achieving excellence, you must distance yourself from such ungodly acts, set limits to the activities you engage yourself in, make your friends know what you can and cannot do, not just by saying it, but also by being strict with your limits. They might say you are outdated and refer to you with so many names, but that should not make you move your grounds, always stand by what is right. The fact that everyone does it does not mean that it is right, Choose this Day Whom You Will Serve. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). Take the step that Joshua took in the passage above; even if it comes to you standing alone, as long as you are standing for the right thing always stand firm.
- Know when to say no: A lot of teenagers don’t know the right time to say NO or YES. You do not always have to agree to what people say or tell you to do just to gain favour or answer a good name. Always say no to every wrong instruction no matter the type of threat that might come with it. No threat can be bigger than a lake of fire, which was placed before Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3:16-28, yet they stood their ground. They were governors who were expected to always agree to the king’s decree, yet they knew the right time to say no, not only were they going to lose their positions but they were also going to lose their lives in a burning lake of fire. They knew the right thing and they stood by it. If you must achieve a bright and excellent teenage life, then you have to learn the right time to say no. Men will come with a lot of enticing promises just to gain access to your body, as a teenage girl aiming for excellence you have to always say no and not fall to such temptations.
- Get a mentor: A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser. Someone who you can look up to in time of confusion and is always ready to give helpful advice. The teenage life may not always be straight forward, times of difficulty will come, times of confusion, dejection and critical thinking, at such times it might be difficult to know the difference between the right and wrong decisions, and this is usually such a time when the services of a mentor will be of great help. Remember a mentor must be of higher experience, so in such cases he/she provides advises from experiences or observation. Mentors play great role in shaping your life as a teenager, we have examples in pairs like Elijah/Elisha, Paul/Timothy, Moses/Joshua, and so many others in the Bible. Joshua may not have gained the necessary knowledge and wisdom that he needed in leading the Israelites if he didn’t have a mentor like Moses, even Elisha needed an Elijah to attain the level of anointing with which he operated. Paul was another great mentor in the Bible who helped to shape the life of so many Christians, even up to this day his mentorship role still continues even in his absence (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 4:9a). To live an excellent teenage life, you need the services of a mentor, whom you can always run to for advice and counselling. Nevertheless, you must be careful in making your choice of a mentor, before you chose a mentor, you must have known his/her spiritual background, it is also advisable to have a mentor of the same gender and also someone you and your parents can trust very well.
- Prayer: You can easily say that life of responsibility starts at the teenage level, and in everything you do, it is necessary to start and end with prayer. Even Jesus, though being 100% man and 100% spirit still had to start His ministry with prayers, in everything He did He never left prayer out. He always sought the face of God through prayers and that helped him to achieve an excellent mission here on earth.A successful teenage life requires a serious prayer life, prayer has and will always remain the key to success. Even in times of confusion and decision-making, the best person to talk to is always God, and that can only be done through prayers. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
- Discover what you love doing: What you love doing might be different from your potential; this might be like your hobby. It is always good to try out new and worthwhile things, as long as it is not contrary to the will of God. It could be reading, drawing, sports, singing, writing, cooking, etc. According to Prov. 16:27; “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece”, having a hobby that gives you joy will always keep you occupied and give you no time to think of ungodly or destiny-destroying acts. Discovering and doing that which gives you joy also contributes to a memorable teenage life.
- Education: One of the trending ideologies is that “school is scam”. This is not true, education remains one of the destiny builders, and it is an essential step in achieving an excellent teenage life. Proverbs 16:16 says, “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”. Nice and expensive items can be enjoyable, but there are very few things in life that can never be taken away, will never go out of style, and that truly make you a better person. An education is one of those things. It enriches your mind and opens the door to new people, places, and ways of thinking. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells you that you should study to show yourself approved. This verse refers to knowing God’s word and being able to point out false teachings and philosophies, but it applies to education as well. As a student, you should indulge yourself in your work and be the best you can be. Take your classes seriously by preparing for them and staying a step ahead in your work. School sets you up on the right track! No matter how boring it is now, education will help you be a productive member in society. Strive for excellence in school; try your best, listen to the teachers, do your homework, study, and get good grades.
- Always be yourself: You were created for a purpose and it is best for you to stay true to who you really are. Sometimes we tend to imitate other people’s lifestyle forgetting our own purpose. Having a role model is awesome and perfect but that doesn’t mean you should put aside your own purpose on earth. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”. The passage above was God speaking to Jeremiah in Jer. 1:5. God says He knew you and what you were meant to be in life even before you were born. He has already consecrated and specially prepared you for a particular purpose here on earth. Being yourself makes you more comfortable and courageous; it builds confidence in your heart and soul. Don’t forget to always be yourself for that is the best thing you can be on earth.
Achieving an excellent and successful teen life should be the wish and prayer of every child and I believe this article has done a lot in opening your teenage eye towards excellence. The future will be better if you make your teenage life a success. More of His Grace in your daily endeavors.
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