Schools have been back in session for over a month now, and that feeling of new beginnings and the upheaval of a new start is just about beginning to dwindle. The gear shift back into a school routine can be hectic, as well as exciting, but as the leaves are now beginning to carpet the ground, those routines are really starting to establish themselves.
Even with life beginning to settle down again, being back at school as a Christian teen comes with its own concerns. From trying not to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, to establishing yourself as a Christian with your peers with the corresponding values, to dealing with the mounting pressures of schoolwork. There’s definitely a lot going on! I’ve always found that the best way to deal with varying demands like these is to get advice from other people who have been where you’ve been. They understand the pressures and have something to say about how best to deal with them. Craig and Hannah Munro have taken many relevant issues that have been addressed by young people, dealing with the challenges being made to so many things that we as Christians hold dear, such as the laws of family, marriage, and gender, and put together ‘Following Christ in An Age of Confusion’. Using the light of Holy Scripture and recounts of young people’s own experiences, this book will be a great source of encouragement in your daily walk with God.
It’s incredibly important to be equipped with answers that you’re bound to encounter as you navigate through a secular school. Like, ‘explain to me, really simply, what is Christianity? – could you answer it? Could you put forward the basic elements of your faith, whilst also defending it? In the classic book, ‘Mere Christianity’, well-renowned British writer and theologian C.S. Lewis aims to help the reader better understand and articulate just that. Maybe you also have questions of your own? Questions about Jesus, the Bible, the Christian faith, and our culture today. 52 of these questions have been gathered from teenagers in fifteen countries in five different continents and answered in ‘A.S.K.' by David Robertson. If the information provided here just leads to more questions, then recommended further reading is also provided.
Whether you’re a teenager or not, the best way to start your day is through reading the Word of God. This is how I love to start each morning with a coffee and a daily devotional. Setting aside even ten minutes before work to spend this quiet time reading the Bible and a short accompanying passage is the best way for me to get myself in the right mindset to face the day. ‘Choose Kindness: 3-Minute Devotions for Teen Girls’ is ideal for busy mornings as you get ready to leave the house, with perfectly sized readings that pack a powerful dose of comfort, encouragement, and inspiration. Similarly, is ‘Men of Valor: 3-Minute Devotions’ where great men of faith are used to provide powerful lessons in courage, such as Jim Elliot, Billy Graham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and many more! If you want more devotional inspiration, check out our blog post here: https://www.ritchiechristianmedia.co.uk/blog/2021-06/how-start-your-day-right.
This last book I would recommend for all, not just for teens. They bring a peace to you as a Christian knowing that we can rest in our Saviour and God, bringing all our troubles and anxieties to Him. This is such an important reminder in today’s busy and overwhelming world, whether we are at school, in an office or through social media in our own homes. ‘Anxious for Nothing’ by Max Lucado provides a roadmap for battling with, and healing from, anxiety. According to Lucado, one psychologist reports that the average secondary school student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s. So, guided by this book, explore the much-loved verse:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
and learn how to fully rely on Him in every aspect of your life. Hopefully, some of these books will be useful to you, or maybe to a friend or teenager in your life.