Living life with students is such an adventure—you get to walk with them through highs and lows. Everything from break-ups and prom dress shopping to cheering for her as she plays a sport and being there for her when she didn’t make the team. There are so many fun times but there are plenty of challenges as well. Leading a small group or being a parent of a teen can be an emotional rollercoaster. There are days when all is well and there are days that leave me heartbroken over the choices I see being made by students.
Too many times, that heartbreak and heaviness has followed me home from church, stuck with me while I’m spending time with my family, and consumed my thoughts which affects my attitude towards others. Then, God gently reminds me to surrender it to Him because He’s the One who changes hearts and homes and not me.
Do you ever feel that gut punch when your girls make unwise choices that are the opposite of the truth she’s studied in Scripture? Me too friend, me too. My heart can sink so quickly when I see my girls disregard truth but as moms and leaders, we have to remember, our job is to point girls to truth. We can’t choose truth for her.
This is so much easier said than done but our role in her life is to point her to Jesus and let Him do the work.
We can do that by remembering the following:
1. The Holy Spirit Changes Hearts
Sometimes we can get defeated by seeing our girls post, say, text or like things that are inappropriate but we must remember we are not held accountable for her actions and we can’t change her heart. Only the Holy Spirit changes hearts. You have the opportunity to pray for her to be impacted by the Holy Spirit.
Pray: Father, I love ____________ but I know You love her more. It breaks my heart to see her struggle and not walk in victory. Help me remember that you are the one who changes hearts and not me. I pray _____________ has an insatiable hunger and thirst for You and that she recognizes the power of the Holy Spirit that is within her. May she be strengthened with power in her inner being through your Spirit (Eph. 4:16).
2. Pray for Her Heart Posture
The teen girls in your life face so many things you wouldn’t have dreamed of at her age. Being a teen girl is challenging as she’s possibly working through things she may not even verbalize. She’s faced with pressure, challenges and temptation left and right. As a mom or leader, praying for the posture of her heart is vital.
Pray: God, I pray that _______________ will love you and keep your commands always (Deut. 11:1). I pray that she is bold in her faith and refuses to conform to the pattern of this world, and is transformed by the renewing of her mind (Rom. 12:2). God, as _____________ faces worldly temptations, may she remember she is rooted and firmly established in your love (Eph. 3:17) and may her actions flow from that reality.
3. Remember Your Why
Sometimes we need to think back to why we started. Odds are, you felt led to lead a small group and you followed that nudge. Obedience is what matters; there is such freedom in being obedient. Remember, you are exactly where God wants you to be! He doesn’t require you to have all the answers, to be the coolest or youngest leader – He simply desires your obedience. You aren’t solely responsible for the heart, behavior, or life change in your girls’ lives. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves as moms or leaders, so take a moment to pray about your role in your teen girl’s life.
Pray: Lord, thank you for the privilege of leading/ being a mom to ___________. It is not always easy and sometimes I wonder if I am being effective. I tend carry the burdens in her life that I should be giving to you. Help me to surrender _________ to You and help me bear with her in love and walk alongside her with humility, gentleness, patience (Eph. 4:2). I know you have placed me in her life for a reason, so help me point her to You and be confident in my ability to lead as I am completing the assignment you have given me.
Thank you for whatever role you play in a teen girl’s life. She needs you and often times as women, we like to be needed but let us remember to point to Jesus because He changes hearts and not us. Thank you for your obedience to lead and love teen girls; I pray you rest in the freedom that comes from obedience.
Nikki Tigg is an MTSU grad and currently lives in Murfreesboro, TN with her husband and son. She felt called to serve in High School Ministry in 2012 and led co-ed and girls groups. She has been Student Ministry Associate at New Vision Baptist Church since July 2017. Nikki has a passion for helping girls understand their identity in Christ and loves connecting with students, parents and leaders. She loves spending time with her family, decorating and enjoys an active lifestyle. Connect with Nikki: Instagram