Encouragement is a key characteristic in building relationships with the kids who are involved in our ministries.
Some kids are already enveloped with encouragement they receive from their parents. Others have very little encouragement in their lives.
But no matter what the circumstances, we all need encouragement … and that includes the kids.
(Think back. Did an adult encourage you when you were a child? Do you still remember the exact words that were said? Did those words make a difference in your life?)
Sometimes we want to encourage a child, but we aren’t sure what to say. Why not share Scripture? God is the great encourager. The Bible has verse after verse of encouragement … and those verses can make a big difference in a child’s life. Yet, often a child doesn’t know the verses are there.
Here are seven encouraging verses to share.
When a child doesn’t think he’s good enough … (Our sufficiency comes from Christ.) 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 – Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.
When a child is worried about a test, a move to another town, a recital … (God is always with us. That doesn’t mean that everything will turn out exactly how we want, but He is there, giving us strength to face the tough times.) Romans 8:31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
When a child has faced or is frightened about some natural occurrence such as a flood, tornado or earthquake. (God is with us.) Psalm 46:1-3: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam,though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
When someone a child loves has died … (What you say depends on the circumstances. If you know that the person was a believer, you can give encouragement that the child will see the person again. If you don’t know – and the child asks – emphasize that only the Lord knows the person’s heart. We can’t judge.)
John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.
When a child lives in a dysfunctional home … (This child needs a boatload of encouragement. You might be the only adult who even asks how her week went, so take an interest in all the little details of her life: the science test she took, how she did at the game, if she got to go hiking with her friend.) … Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Encouragement when things go well. (Encouragement can come in the good times, too.) Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Encouragement when a child is tempted to do wrong. (Talk to her about the armor of God and how God gives us the tools to stay strong.) Ephesians 6:10-11 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Encouragement is a big part of discipling. Let us consistently pray that we find opportunities to encourage.