Raising Successful Teens

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading


It’s All About Me

You probably have watched your teen stop everything in order to capture a flawless selfie. Mobile devices with vastly improved cameras have changed how teens perceive themselves and elevated their concern over how others perceive them.

My daughter Brynnan explained that everyone wants to be in the “one-hundred-likes club.” This refers to attaining a minimum of one hundred likes with each Instagram post. Here’s what’s alarming: selfies aren’t merely snapshots of how our teens are living; they are demonstrations of teens’ obsession with getting the perfect selfie, which has changed how they live. 

For some teens it may be less about social media, snaps, and selfies and more about something equally important to them in their state of self-obsession. I recently prayed with a locker room full of high school football players before they took the field. Gabe, a wide receiver, explained his and his teammates’ obsession with having perfect bodies. “All of us guys are completely consumed with our bodies. We see NFL players who are cut and are amazing athletes. We all want to have amazing bodies. I guess you could say it’s our obsession.” 

Whether it involves selfies, a perfect body, money, the right clothes, the latest gadget, or a jacked-up truck, this generation has grown up embracing the slogan “I have to have the best, be the best, and look the best.” 

Satan is winning in this arena. In what appears to be merely innocent tweets, posts, and snaps, the Enemy is working to instill in young people the idea of “It’s my life, and I can live as I please and post as I live.” 

Obviously, Jesus never commented specifically on social media, but He knew the effect it would have on this generation. John the Baptist—who attracted crowds with his preaching, baptizing, and proclamation of the coming Messiah—pointed out in John 3 that his own fame was not the goal.

In order for our teens to honor God with their lives, they must be less concerned with themselves and far more focused on God’s plan and purpose for them. Satan wants the opposite. As your teen becomes more self-absorbed, Satan wants her to grow less and less spiritually engaged with Jesus Christ. 

Lord, I want [teen’s name] to want Your approval more than anyone else’s. Help me know how to teach her what this looks like every day. Amen.