Combating Shame - Youth
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
We’re talking this month about combating shame. This month’s class provides you with some encouragement to pray and ask the Spirit to guide you as you uncover what is going on in your tween or teenager’s heart and mind to help them deal with shame. We encourage you not to sweep the issue under the carpet, but rather help your teen put to words what they are feeling.
Here are a few more suggestions to help your tween or teenager deal with the potential shame they may be feeling:
Listen empathetically to your teenager. Work hard to create a safe environment for your teenager where they are free to share their feelings and needs with both you and other family members.
Talk honestly about personal failures and struggles with shame. Sharing with your teenager how you manage shame will let them know you are not perfect and are working on the same things they are. Doing so will communicate to your teenager that you do not expect them to be perfect.
Identify shaming behavior other members of the family may be using. Sarcasm, belittling, ignoring, name-calling, discounting successes, interrupting, and demeaning are behaviours that can create feelings of shame in a teenager. If you see this type of behaviour going on with a sibling or even a distant family member, nip it in the bud.
Almost every teenager will experience shame, even if they aren’t able to communicate that is what is happening.
Shame is not from God but from the enemy. John 8:44 says there is no truth in the devil, who “is a liar and the father of lies.” When your teen communicates untruths about who they are as a child of God, combat those lies with Scripture. The best way you can help your teen fight the battle of shame is to use the only plumb line for truth—the Word of God.
Here are just a few verses (paraphrased) to better equip you to do this:
1. You are God’s child. —John 1:12 2. You are accepted in Christ to bring praise to God. — Romans 15:7 3. You are made in God’s image. — Genesis 1:27 4. God knew you before you were formed in the womb! — Jeremiah 1:5 5. You are loved. — 1 John 4:10 6. You are one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a Spiritual house. — 1 Peter 2:5 7. You are a son of light and not of darkness. — 1 Thessalonians 5:5
I know this is a hard subject, and many of you are concerned about your tween or teenager’s psychological well-being—and rightly so. Press on! I’ve got many resources available if you need more information. firstname.lastname@example.org