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 looking up to the older teenage girl. I thought 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 searching for role models. They’re looking for encouragement, someone 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 for the bad.
Many of us older teens and young adults get caught up in investing in our own lives that we forget to invest in the lives of others. We need to strive to be a prime example for those who follow behind. 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 have an incredible future ahead of them–and we have the opportunity to be apart of that future.
Remember when you were young? How you 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 ones to chase God and give their lives to Him.
Here are 5 things kids notice about us that we may often forget:
The way we dress
Younger girls are looking at how the older girls dress. A few weeks ago, I was wearing a dress that was lower cut on my chest, 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. The little girl had noticed something I wouldn’t have thought anyone would have even taken the time to notice. 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 your footsteps.
The way we treat authority
Our country is breeding a generation of ungrateful, disrespectful kids. It’s becoming more and more rare to hear kids say “please” and “thank you.” Same with honoring and respecting parents and teachers. We need to be examples to those younger than us by showing respect to our authority. If we talk back to those who are in charge of us in front of younger kids, it encourages them to do the same. Respect authority, and teach those who are younger than you to do the same!
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 who are younger than you. Ask them about their life, then listen. Tell them that Christ loves them and listens to their prayers. Show them that you care!
How we act around our friends
If you ignore a child, then get excited when you see your friends, it hurts them. They feel neglected and overshadowed. Treat those who are younger than you the same as you’d treat your best friend. Get excited when you see them and 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 distrusting.
Who you truly love – God or the world
The most important thing you can do for those who are younger than you is to stay faithful to God. Walk close to Him. Kids are watching 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!
Brittney Johnson is an ordinary girl serving her extraordinary Saviour. She lives in a small town in the beautiful state of Kentucky where she reads, writes, and stays busy being involved in her church. She is a missionary’s daughter and loves traveling the world. She’s a very social person, who loves meeting new people, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.