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Village Blog

What's Your Worth?

Posted by Mario Arindaeng on

Articles

Our society has a warped view of what’s valuable. That makes it especially difficult for adolescents to keep a proper perspective on their true worth in God’s eyes. God, our Creator, puts an infinite value on each of us. In fact, he loves us so much he was willing to sacrifice his own Son for our salvation.

Thankfully, our worth isn’t based on our behavior or our circumstances. Although we can’t do anything to earn God’s favor and grace, there also isn’t anything we can do that will make him give up on us. Parents need to tell teenagers that their value in God’s eyes never changes.

But there’s more to it than that, according to Walt Mueller, author of Understanding Today’s Youth Culture (Tyndale House). “Parents need to become the hands and feet of Jesus,” he writes. “If we knock our children down through our ignorance, absence, or cutting remarks, we will create in them a deeper desire and passion for peer group acceptance and approval.” Mueller emphasizes that parents must communicate that their kids’ value and worth doesn’t hinge on their looks, clothes, or performance. Parents also shouldn’t stop reaffirming kids’ value when efforts are met with disbelief or resistance. “They need to hear it now more than ever,” Mueller writes. “In hindsight, they will thank you for the God-centered self-image that you worked hard to instill in them.”

Tips

A Bible lesson in Guy Talk, Girl Talk (Simply Youth Ministry) explores what your value has to do with God’s plan for your life:

    • You are important enough to matter to the Creator. What happens to you today matters to God. He cares about your feelings and your worries. He’s intimately involved in your life and yet is keeping the whole universe in action. Remember that you are a child of the one true King.
    • You are significant enough to be part of God’s plans. Not only does God care about the details of your life, he has a plan for it. Everything that happens to you is part of that plan. You have enough significant value to do something more than just live day to day. You can actually participate in God’s plan.
    • You are gifted enough to play a role in the work God is doing on earth. God doesn’t need your help; after all, he is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. But he does use you. He created you with value, and that means you’re perfectly equipped to fit into his plan.
    • Your heart was created for good and has great potential. Although sin entered the world and affected us all, God can heal you and allow you to live the way he intended. A proper sense of self-worth enables you to believe what God says about you and to share that message with others.

The View

    • In a survey of 26,000 teenagers, 90% said they agree with this statement: “I’m fully convinced that God has created me for a particular purpose in life that will bring glory to him.” — Group magazine
    • Numerous studies have found that participation in religious activity has a strong influence on teenagers’ self-esteem.
    • Contrary to popular opinion, teenagers want to spend time with their parents—and their self-worth and happiness levels benefit as a result. — news.health.com

Questions to Ask

    • Who or what determines how you feel about yourself, and why?
    • What message would you most like your teenagers to know about their value and worth?
    • What purpose and plan do you think God has in mind for you? for your kids? for your family?

Power Under Control

Expert Insights for Parents of Teenagers | By Dan Webster

A Miracle, Not a Mess

Once teenagers have embraced Jesus’ outrageous love and are living in it, their great quest is to discover the truth of their unique identity. The pursuit of that truth is all about helping kids get a lasting taste of who they are, what they should do with their life, and how their talents can find their sweet spot out in the real world.

Begin with the end in mind. As a parent, you want teenagers to:

    • feel loved and know they matter because you’ve paid acute attention to them;
    • experience a boost in self-esteem as they’re reminded they’re a miracle, not a mess;
    • learn more deeply how to respect themselves and others;
    • discover their talents and strengths by launching into new opportunities;
    • learn to both appreciate and live into their true self;
    • identify “what’s right” about them instead of “what’s wrong” about them; and
    • learn to receive God’s help because they’ve learned to listen to his voice.

Parents can turn these dreams for their teenagers into expected outcomes. You must commit to going “all-in” to unlock your kids’ value and true identity. Don’t hold back in cautious safety as God directs you to move. Intentionally pursue your teenagers’ true identity, ponder it, and share as God leads.

I recommend the Four-Window Model of intense observation, exploration, affirmation, and revelation (seeking help from God). Parents can help teenagers experience the transforming power of God, who knows them better and loves them deeper than we ever could.

King David had an important moment of revelation in Psalm 139:14 (see below).
In his soul, David knew who he was and what God’s will was for his life—he knew it “full well.” Parents long for their kids to know what David knew, and God will make that happen. — Group magazine

Bible Focus | Psalm 139:14 ESV

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Media Reviews

MAINSTREAM MUSIC

The Lonely Island

The Lonely Island

Background

This comedy troupe has made a name writing often-vulgar songs. Andy Samberg was on Saturday Night Live, and Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone were writers on the show. The popularity of their songs rose due to exposure on SNL. Titles include “D--- in a Box” and “I F----- My Aunt.” The video for “I Just Had Sex” has more than 195 million hits on YouTube. The Lonely Island is like a hipper version of Tenacious D. Keep your kids far away.

Albums

The Wack Album (2013), Turtleneck & Chain (2011), Incredibad (2009)

What The Lonely Island Says

About their hit “YOLO,” Samberg says, “I have no problem with the idea behind YOLO [You Only Live Once]—that you should live your life and do things you want to do. But it got so co-opted and homogenized and boring.”

Explore

Their music is available on Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, and other music services.

Disclaimer: This review is not intended to endorse this artist, but rather to keep parents informed. 

CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Building 429

Building 429

Background

This Christian rock band, which has been around for 14 years, gets its name from Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Their sound is fairly standard CCM rock, but they’re earnest and talented. In 2005, the band won the New Artist of the Year Dove Award. 

Albums

We Won’t Be Shaken (2013), Listen to the Sound (2011)

What Building 429 Says

Lead singer Jason Roy says he wants to write songs that empower people. “You have two options in this life,” he says. “You can believe what everybody tells you or you can believe what you believe about yourself internally, and then you can make that happen.”

Explore

Their music is available on services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play.

POPULAR MOVIE

Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Genre: Action, Adventure  

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: An only son is sent to Earth to be a shining light in our darkness. To be an all-powerful savior devoted to truth and justice. And to stick it to General Zod!

Our Take: Man of Steel certainly doesn't skimp when it comes to all things flying faster than speeding bullets. Its pace is quick, even frantic at times, and its CGI spectacle is brain-rattling. The sheer destruction wreaked upon Metropolis alone—with brawling supers and alien spacecraft bulldozing skyscrapers into dust while earthling multitudes scamper and run and, surely, perish by the thousands in the rubble—out-whiz-bangs even Marvel's The Avengers. (And that's not entirely a compliment; you can think of large portions of this film as Transformers: Dark of Krypton.)

But then we come to what Snyder calls Superman's "inherent goodness." The director says, "If you really think about it, you still want him to be right and to make the right choices and to do the right thing. I think that we all hope for that in ourselves, and I think that's what always has made him a very interesting character. He's a Christ-like figure. There's no two ways about it."

And Snyder leaves that inherent goodness and Christ-likeness in his film for all to see. (Through the cascades of sci-fi dust and debris, of course.)

Read the Full Review

HOST A MOVIE NIGHT

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Sky Captain

A Movie Night is a golden opportunity for parents and children to have a meaningful, biblically based discussion about one of the better films coming out of Hollywood. It's also the term used for the downloadable curricula PluggedIn Online has created to help you accomplish that.

"Movie Nights for Teens," encourages parents and adolescents to explore deeper issues with the help of more challenging, mature-minded films. These Movie Nights are more dialogue-oriented and intended for older children (13 and up), but the goals remain the same: Have fun, enrich the parent/child relationship and help children learn to analyze media from a Christian perspective. 

Download Movie Night PDF

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