Faith in God is a marginalized and overlooked force in your teen’s life.
In today’s post, I use my personal experience with teens at Shepherds Hill Academy (SHA) to highlight the practical result of your teen having faith in God.
Shepherds Hill Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for teens in crisis. Here, our team leverages a myriad of therapeutic strategies to help teens overcome their particular challenges.
Lasting Change Starts in the Heart
As with any therapeutic boarding school, therapeutic strategies help a troubled teen maintain better behaviors and proper thinking. However, a teen’s adjustment in behavior is not enough to sustain a lasting change in his or her character. There has to be a change in their heart to affect lasting change in their lives now and in the future.
A heart change transcends the mechanical and measurable strategies that can’t be calculated by science. That’s why faith is so often marginalized, not by the science itself, but by the people who put their faith solely in science. Honest scientists know the power of faith.
Without a supernatural spiritual connection to God, a person’s faith might be entirely in science, or therapy, or religion, or self. However, when faith is steered toward the One Entity Who can supernaturally motivate an individual toward proper thinking and living, then something happens that cannot be empirically measured or proven, yet it is observed nonetheless.
It’s called a transformed life. “I once was blind, but now I see.” That’s what our kids and parents are experiencing here at SHA. But, these kids have an entire year insulated from the noise and rush of our depraved culture to determine for themselves if this Jesus Christ fellow really is Who He claims to be.
The Problem with Religion
Faith should never be forced down anyone’s throat. That’s what religious fanatics can too often be guilty of doing. But, religion—as so many people now think of it—is not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a relationship with the God of the universe. He is the ultimate agent of change in these kids here at SHA. These kids are having the soil of their hearts cultivated, so that the seed of God’s Holy Spirit has a place to take root and bear fruit. It’s that supernatural power of “faith in God” that transcends the mere mechanical therapeutic strategies that so many mental health professionals—and too many Christian parents—are putting their faith in today.
The kids at SHA have been given a chance at becoming lighthouses not only to to their families, but to our entire culture. So, we’re not seeing more lukewarm microcosms of our culture, but change agents to it. In Matthew 28, Jesus told us to make disciples—not converts. That is the great commission.
Picture provided by: Hamed Al-Raisi