|Week 1 | Galatians 5:1|
Jesus wants us to be free people
|Week 2 | Galatians 1:10, 6:4-5|
Free people live for Him, not them.
|Week 3 | Galatians 6:7-9|
Free people know their now affects their later
|Week 4 | Galatians 5:13-15|
Free people put others first.
|Week 5 | Galatians 5:22-23, John 15:5|
Free people stay close to the Source of their freedom.
Talk about this:
It’s easy to feel like Christianity is based on lots of dos and don’ts, and that our relationship with God is at stake if we mess up. But the truth is, our relationship with God is never on the line when we mess up. This week, remind your teen that your relationship with them works the same way. When they mess up, your relationship with them is never at stake. You love them no matter what.
We all want people to like us, and that’s not a bad thing. However, issues arise when we find ourselves controlled by the desire for someone else to like and approve of us. This week, share with your teen a time you found yourself consumed with getting someone to like you. Then, (if your teen seems receptive) ask if they’ve ever felt that same pressure at school, on the field, or even at home.
Our decisions NOW affect our LATER. This week, think back to when you were in high school and share with your teen about a time when you made a decision—good or bad—that impacted your future. Then, focusing on the positive side of this principle, ask your teen if they can think of any decisions they’re making now that are setting them up for an exciting future later.
We’re all naturally inclined to put ourselves first. Ironically, the more we try to prioritize our own needs and wants, the more it seems to lead to stress. This week, ask your teen if there are any relationships stressing them out right now (like a friend, teammate, or sibling). If appropriate, help them see how putting the other person first might actually reduce the stress of the situation.
Ever noticed that when you spend a lot of time with someone, you pick up some of their mannerisms and habits? Ask your teen if they’ve ever watched a friend change just because of who they spent time with. Remind them that the same is true with God: The more we hang out with Him, the more we’ll become like Him. Then, if they go to church, tell them you’re proud of them for spending time with God.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Galatians 5:22-23a NLT
Morning can be one of the busiest times of the day. Pick one morning this week to intentionally connect with your student. Ask them what they have going on that day—maybe it’s something they’re concerned about or something they’re excited about. No matter what it is, set a reminder in your phone to text them later in the day to see how it went.
Everyone has fears and concerns, but sharing those concerns with others can make them feel a little less scary. During a meal this week, share with your teen one thing you’re currently worried about. Talk to them honestly (if appropriate) about why you have this concern. If your teen seems open, shift the conversation and ask if they have any fears or concerns currently weighing on them.
Summer is a great time to connect with your teen by doing something they really like to do. Whether it’s going to the pool, seeing a movie, or working out at the gym, look for an opportunity to jump into your teen’s world this week. Before you do though, ask them if it’s okay with them if you tag along. Try not to impose; instead, let them invite you into their world!
The end of the day, right before bed, is a surprisingly vulnerable time for a lot of people—including teenagers. One night this week, stop by your teen’s room and ask them if they have anything going on that you can be praying for. If they say, “Nope,” that’s ok. If they do share, know that you don’t have to pray right then—just make a mental note to pray later and maybe even tell them you did.