In today’s world EVERY single youth is involved in a battle each and every single day! Yes every day, they face challenges on some level that is just as overwhelming to their young lives as an actual war.
What do they battle?
Some battle with their own family, they face the battle of poverty, even homelessness, they battle bullying, they battle drugs, they battle abuse (mental, physical and sexual) often by someone they once trusted. Their battle even lies within their own thoughts, their self-esteem, their over loaded schedules, they battle with their peers, they battle with fear and mistrust, they battle against lies, they battle their beliefs, or even battle over popularity or social labels. they battle media, they battle grades, they battle with feeling lonely, they battle divorce or separation of family members, they battle with identity, they battle illness, they battle with depression, they battle with a lack of direction or boundaries, they battle conflicting messages of race or culture, they face battles over faith, their belief system and religion or lack of, and sadly they can even battle with suicidal thoughts or have lost someone who gave up their battle to suicide.
Whatever the battle may be labeled, it is so important to know that the battle is real and the cost can be great.
These young hearts often believe there is no hope beyond the battle.
When a youth encounters a “battle,” they feel overwhelmed and lost, so they often turn to people or things that only worsen the effects of battle. The destruction that ensues is not only damaging to their thoughts, but can hinder any real chance of emotional or spiritual growth, which in turn leads them to hopelessness.
As parents, caretakers or mentors we have to take a stand with them and against the things they battle. Often when a youth is going through a battle they can be distant, angry, disrespectful and frankly hard to love, but they need you to stick with them. They cannot manage this battle alone. Let them know that they are loved, and that you are there for them, especially when things are difficult. Share a trial that you have overcome and how you are stronger for facing that battle.
Pray for them and pray with them so that they can see where (or to whom) you turn to when you face your own battles, God.
Share scripture with the struggling youth. Through God’s word they will hear that God loves them, and that His word offers strength even in the midst of the most difficult battles.
Shinning the light of truth (God’s word) on a darkened and war torn heart is exactly what the youth of today need the most. Hearing Gods word may be a difficult concept for an embattled youth to believe or even accept as something that will help them. Be encouraged that your part is to share Gods word and show them the love that Christ has shown you. Your efforts may not produce instant results, but the seed of hope is planted in their young minds.
Scriptures for facing battles:
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. “Philippians 4:13
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” Deuteronomy 20:4
“The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19
The Lords words to the people facing battles in Judah and Jerusalem in 2 Chronicles 20:17,
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10