For eight years my husband and I led the senior high group at our church. This was before we had our own children. We poured our lives into those kids, even buying our first home because it had a big backyard and pool. Senior high pool parties were so much fun!!!
One of the things we learned from those kids was that sincerity counts. Kids understand what it feels like to fall short. They know what it's like to have the best intentions, but to trip up now and then. So when they look at adults, they "get" mistakes. They get when an adult has a minor tantrum, they get when an adult forgets to record a cash withdrawal and bounces a check. They get it, because their teenage minds and actions aren't always consistent either.
What they don't "get" is hypocrisy. I don't think a kid ever understand when a person says one thing with conviction, but lives another thing. That's the type of behavior that erodes trust and respect.
But a quiet, sincere life is something else. Sincerity may not look cool (or "sick" as my kids say) at the time, but it is seriously impactful to a young person. Teenagers are watching to see if your life lines up with your words. When it does, it's like a brand on their memory.
Simplicity, sincerity, honesty. What an amazing way to make an impact on the next generation. And it doesn't cost money!
Grace & peace,
P.S. Check in tomorrow for another great thing we learned from teenagers.