1 Timothy 4:12 - Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
When I was younger I remember always looking up to the older teenage girl. I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if I’ll be like her when I’m older.” or “I hope I become as pretty as she is.” or the one that I often thought the most, “I wish she didn’t ignore me. I wish she’d talk to me. I wish she’d be my friend.” Kids and young teens are looking for role models. They’re looking for encouragement - they’re looking for someone who they can follow. You see, we all have people watching us. Every new generation is a direct product of the generation before them. We affect those younger than us. You have the chance to change a young person’s life- for the good or the bad. Or you can be like most young people of today - you won’t impact them at all.
So many of us older teens and young adults get so caught up investing in our own lives that we forget to invest in other people’s lives as well. We need to strive to be prime examples for those following behind us. We need to reach out to those younger than us. Don’t overlook them, don’t push them aside. Those kids are our next teachers, preachers, doctors, or missionaries. They all have an incredible future ahead of them - and we have the opportunity to be a part of that future. Remember when you were young. How you just wanted someone to talk to you- to make you feel special. Be the girl who makes everyone feel welcome and loved - be the girl who encourages the younger to follow God and give their lives to Him. Be an example.
Here are 5 things kids notice about us that we may often forget.
- The way we dress
Younger girls are always looking at how the older girls dress. A few weeks ago I was wearing a dress on my bus that was lower cut - so I wore a cami underneath to provide extra coverage. One of the girls (she’s 10 years old) looked at me and said, “I know why you wore that under your dress. You did it so you could be modest, right?” That comment touched my heart. That little girl noticed something that I would have never thought anyone would have even taken the time to realize. Now, can you imagine if it went the other way around- if I didn’t cover my body? I would have lost an incredible opportunity to encourage younger girls to be modest.
Dress modestly! You have girls watching you and following in your footsteps.
2. The way we treat authority
Our Country is breeding a generation of ungrateful and unrespectful kids. No longer do you hear kids say “Please” or “thank you.” No longer do you see kids honoring and respecting their parents. We need to be examples to those younger than us by respecting authority. If we talk back to those in charge of us in front of a younger kids it encourages them to do the same. Respect authority, and teach those younger than you to do the same!
3. If we listen to them
Kids know when you really care about them. They know when you’re really listening to them. Talk to those girls that are younger than you. Ask them about their life and listen to them. Tell them that Christ loves them and listens to their prayers. Show them you care!
4. How we act around our friends
If you ignore a child and then get excited when you see your friends it hurts them. They feel neglected and overshadowed. Treat those younger than you like you would your best friend. Get excited when you see them, give them a hug. Reach out! And when you start to act interested in their lives don’t leave them! This will cause them to feel insecure, unwanted, and untrusting.
5. Who you truly love - God or the world
The most important thing you can do for those younger than you is to stay faithful to God. Walk close to Him. Kids watch you. Their eyes are on you. Are you being a Godly example? Are you impacting their lives? You have the opportunity to change little lives. You have the chance to impact a life forever.
Reach out and be an example for Christ!
This will be featured in PURSUE magazine this month. Go check out the website and subscribe!
Keep shining bright