The teenage girl of today is a beautiful thing. Usually, we’re smart, clever, and can hold a conversation with anyone, at any time, on any subject. We’re encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports and band, and we excel at these. We are creative and see beauty in color in everything, which leads to most of us being artists, dreamers, and creators of lovely things. Sadly, this energy and talent is a resource not usually used by the members of the church, and this is to its loss. The blessing of speech bestowed upon younger girls is allowed to be used for gossip and drama, and instead of chasing their Father with all of their might, they spend their time primping, curling, and dressing to look gorgeous for the boy they’re currently pursuing. Most of the time, one can see a gaggle of girls sitting in the pews or walking the halls after worship, or lounging around tables and doorways after a meal or a ladies’ day, doing nothing but talking and laughing.
Please, don’t get me wrong. Talking to friends is nothing to be ashamed of, and trying to look pretty isn’t a sin. But, when that’s all you do, and all that concerns you, then it becomes a problem. But, to tell the truth, the teenager has been allowed to become lazy, and the promising potential of each young girl is allowed to wither and crumble while the older women do all of the work.
I don’t think this is very fair to my generation at all. If we were encouraged and given the chance to prove ourselves willing and qualified servants for Christ every once in a while, we would most definitely step up to the plate and be a working, thriving limb on the body of Christ. By not showing us the way to do important things like how to teach a Bible class, prepare a congregational meal, or even write thank you cards to friends, the older women are doing us a disservice. How are we supposed to do these things once we’re on our own if nobody will help us now?
To the women who are no longer teenagers
Titus 2:3-5 commands you to teach the younger women; not suggests, not advises, COMMANDS. If you aren’t helping a young girl at your congregation through her Christian walk, why aren’t you? I know several women older than me who have greatly encouraged and stirred me up to great works. Some of them are the reason I want to be a teacher and a missionary when I finish college, and they’ve instilled this want to do big things inside of me just from a few kind words of encouragement and kindness. You have no idea how big of an impact a tiny word or card or gift can mean, especially when kindness is a rare and dying gesture today.
Titus 2:3-5 commands you to teach the younger women; not suggests, not advises, COMMANDS. If you aren’t helping a young girl at your congregation through her Christian walk, why aren’t you? -Sarah Smith
This verse, Titus 2:3-5, says to “teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Obviously, a teenage girl is probably not going to have her own husband and children, but purity, submission, and self-control are attributes and traits that you personally can help refine in the younger generation of women. Who knows? You may be the reason someone becomes a mother, a missionary, a saver of souls. You may even save her soul with your words of encouragement!
To my fellow teenager
These years of your life are important, and to waste them on unimportant things like gossip, drama amongst friends, and the boy on whom you have a crush is a disservice to you, your future self, and your soul. Ecclesiastes 12:1 tells you to “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’”
Right now, when you are young, is the best time to start a relationship with your God and Father, to start healthy Bible study and prayer habits, to make your faith your own. When else will you have the time? When else is there going to be a better time? To tell the truth, there isn’t. So get off of your sofa, or your cell phone, or Facebook (I just trod on my own toes there…) and get busy doing what God enabled you to do: great things for Him.
Here is a list of some of the many things that older women can do to help get the young girls involved in serving the Lord, the church, and its members, and just make them feel special:
- Ask the teens to help plan a ladies’ day or a purity day
- Ask someone to help in the Bible class you teach or the nursery you supervise on Sunday or Wednesday
- Start a Secret Sister club: an older woman and a younger woman anonymously leave small gifts and notes for each other in a mailbox
- Tell them they’re beautiful
- Compliment them on something they’re good at, such as their friendliness, their ability to communicate, or their knowledge of the Bible
- Teach a teen girls’ class over books such as G.I.F.T.S. by Hannah Colley, God’s Girls by Theresa Hampton, or Pure on Purpose by Cindy and Hannah Colley
- After a luncheon or meal, ask them to help you gather salt and pepper shakers, or sweep or do the dishes, but don’t make it sound like a chore. Sing, or talk and laugh while you work; make it fun!
- Send them birthday cards and just because cards
- Get to know all of the girls at your congregation
- Ask them to sit with you sometimes during worship
- Teach them one of your special skills or crafts, like crocheting, knitting, baking, or drawing
- Encourage them to be teachers, keepers at home, and Bible scholars when they grow up
For the teenage girl, here’s a list of suggestions to help you brainstorm some ideas on how to serve God in your youth:
- Help clean up after meals at the building
- Bake something for a potluck
- Get to know the older women–such as the widows and the elders’ wives–better. You’d be surprised at how many lifelong friends you can make!
- Invite the little kids to sit with you
- Send cards to the sick, shut-ins, and hospitalized
- Make a gift for a widow
- Never let someone remain left out or alone; always invite someone to sit with you, eat with you, come spend the night with you and your friends, etc.
- Volunteer to help with the church nursery or Bible class
- If possible, teach a Bible class
- Baby sit for free for someone
- Learn a craft and give away some of your projects
- Introduce yourself to a visitor your age or younger, and try your best to make them feel welcome
- Don’t ever say anything unkind about anyone to anyone, ever.
This is by no means an exhaustive list for either generation, but I just wanted to give you some ideas as to the abilities of which you, personally, are capable. God has given you so much talent and potential, both to the older and younger women, and nobody should have any excuses with Him on your side. It’s never too early or too late to start serving the Lord. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”