Tag: bullying

At last, a new study for teens.

Bullies are everywhere.  Nobody gets through school, especially middle school, without seeing or feeling the effects of a bully.  So many things can set us up for a rough time with the class bully.  A speech impediment, a different set of abilities, severe allergies or any other medical condition that is more than a passing illness.

Is there a story about that in the Bible?  Yes.

Hannah couldn’t have children.  She loved her husband and he loved her, but because there were no children, he took another wife.  In those days it was important for the family line to continue and the men did whatever it took.  In this case, the second wife, Penninah, had children AND a nasty attitude toward Hannah.

Hannah, Unhinged is the latest in Serving One Lord’s Character Series Bible Studies by Sherree G. Funk.  Hannah was bullied. She had a condition, childlessness, that she could not change. So what did she do?  Her story is found in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel.

First, what did she not do?  She did not retaliate.  She showed patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  It was really hard.  She accompanied her dysfunctional family on annual pilgrimages to the temple/tabernacle.  She tried to be happy when Elkanah gave her extra food.  She knew that other women of faith had faced the same issue.  She knew how they had handled childlessness.

One day, while at the temple, Hannah came unglued and poured out her heart to the Lord. As a result of that heart-wrenching prayer, the boy Samuel was born.  And with Hannah’s teaching and promise-keeping, Samuel grew up in the house of the Lord.

In spite of the unethical conduct of Eli’s sons, somehow Samuel learned to discern the voice of God and became the prophet God needed to advise Israel and anoint the first two kings.

How different would Israel’s history have been if Hannah had not offered her desperate prayer?

Tomorrow we begin this new study with a great group of girls in Pittsburgh, PA. The book will be available soon.  Keep watching this site!

The struggling teen.  What is your teenager struggling with?  Today’s teens struggle with far more than the teens of previous generations.  Our world is changing speedily in technology and communication style and information.  There are pressures from parents, peers, teachers, friends.  Expectations are hard to discern and harder to meet.  So how does this affect the self-image and emotional stability of our teens?

Eight feelings and needs of struggling teens:

  • Feeling unloved, isolated, or alone —- Needing acceptance, friends, and community
  • Feeling stressed —– Needing peace and unstructured quiet
  • Feeling angry —– Needing perspective
  • Feeling bullied —- Needing refuge
  • Feeling depressed, broken-hearted —- Needing happiness, joy, and purpose
  • Feeling guilty —- Needing forgiveness and restoration and a second chance
  • Feeling hopeless —- Needing good role models
  • Feeling inadequate —– Needing reassurance

My heart breaks for kids these days.  These are very real feelings and needs.  Often in the whirl of family life parents are not even aware of what their children are facing.  Since the world is changing so fast, the contrast with the world in which we were raised is sharper than ever, and old coping tools seem inadequate.  “Concentrate.” “Get up earlier.”  “Go to bed earlier.” “Don’t worry what others say.” “You’ll be OK.” “Just get through this year.” “Study hard so you get into a good college.”

When these old platitudes miss the mark, many teens seek out other ways to satisfy their needs, like drugs and alcohol, or violence, or gang communities or self-destructive habits.

A better way to address the needs of the struggling teen in your life is found in the Bible.  But where? (more…)