I played sports my whole life up until college, and even in parts of college I played intramural sports. Sports were my life. I played golf, soccer, football, basketball, and wrestling. You pretty much name it and I played it except for track and field. That’s just because I never understood running just to run. In high school though is when I really fell in love with football. You know the old adage eat, sleep, and breath football. Well that adage embodied my lifestyle towards football.
I got the football bug and there was no looking back. I spent my summers training to prepare for the season, and I spent extra time during the season making sure I was ready to play. There was just one problem. Ok actually there were multiple problems with my “football career.”
- I weighed 140! Needless to say if I stood sideways behind a pole you wouldn’t be able to see me. That’s how skinny I was.
- My talent did not match my passion. It did not matter how much I wanted to be good. I just wasn’t good.
So it was after my junior season I finally realized, I’m not very good at this. I actually had to admit those words to myself. “I’m not very good!” As an adult those words are not very hard to admit, but when you have to admit you aren’t very good at the thing you love the most as a teenager, it’s crushing.
You feel like a failure.
Teenagers are walking into our homes and our churches every single week feeling like failures. They may never admit it to us, and we may never know. But it still hurts and they are still hurting. This is where God has called the church and the family to intervene. Not to remove the pain but to guide teens through the pain in Jesus name.
During my time of feeling like a failure, I was always able to go back and remind myself of some truths my parents had spoken into my life since as long as I could remember. At the end of every game I ever played, my mom and dad would always say the same words to me.
“We are proud of you son.”
After losing a football game those were the last words on earth I wanted to hear, but in my darkest hours those were the words I held onto with an iron grip. Solomon would describe what my parents did as this, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 My parents words took a wounded soul and provided healing.
When our teens are struggling, they will run back to words that small group leaders and pastors and parents have repeatedly told them. These words can either be positive or negative. What words are you speaking into your teens lives? Are they words they can anchor their souls too during times of great storms or have your words been tearing them down and providing them a foundation of sinking sand?
Over the next few posts we will address words of life that….
- parents can speak into their children.
- Small group leaders can speak into their students lives.
- Pastors need to be sharing.
Your words matter even if you don’t see it, and I want to help you make the most of the words you are using.