Growing up can be tough, and there are a lot of challenges that teenagers face every day. Peer pressure, social media, academic pressure, family expectations, and so much more can make it difficult for young people to stay true to their faith and live a life that honors God. That’s why it’s so important for teenagers to cultivate the Fruits of the Spirit, godly qualities that will help them navigate life’s challenges with grace, love, and strength.
In Galatians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” These nine qualities are essential to a life of faith and service to God, and they can help teenagers develop into mature, responsible, and compassionate adults.
Bible Readings and Explanation For Teenagers
Love: John 15:12-13 Explanation: Love is the foundation of the Christian faith. Jesus himself said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31). Love is sacrificial, putting others’ needs above your own. As a teenager, it can be easy to focus on yourself, but cultivating love will help you to see the needs of those around you and respond with compassion and care.
Joy: Philippians 4:4 Explanation: Joy is a deep and abiding sense of contentment and gladness that comes from knowing and trusting God. It is not dependent on circumstances, but is rooted in the unchanging love of God. As a teenager, you will face many challenges and struggles, but cultivating joy will help you to persevere through them and to find hope in the midst of difficult times.
Peace: Colossians 3:15 Explanation: Peace is the calm assurance that comes from knowing that God is in control. It is the ability to trust in God’s goodness and to rest in his sovereignty, even when life is uncertain or difficult. As a teenager, it can be easy to worry and be anxious about the future, but cultivating peace will help you to trust in God’s plan for your life and to find rest in his presence.
Patience: James 1:2-4 Explanation: Patience is the ability to endure difficult circumstances without giving up or becoming discouraged. It is the willingness to wait on God’s timing and to trust in his plan, even when it doesn’t make sense to us. As a teenager, you may face disappointments and setbacks, but cultivating patience will help you to persevere through these challenges and to grow in faith and character.
Kindness: Ephesians 4:32 Explanation: Kindness is the practice of treating others with compassion, generosity, and respect. It is the willingness to go out of your way to help someone else, even if it inconveniences you. As a teenager, it can be easy to be self-focused, but cultivating kindness will help you to see the needs of those around you and to respond with generosity and care.
Goodness: Romans 12:21 Explanation: Goodness is the pursuit of moral excellence and integrity. It is the practice of doing what is right, even when it is difficult or unpopular. As a teenager, you will face many temptations and pressures to compromise your values, but cultivating goodness will help you to stand firm in your faith and to be a positive influence on those around you.
Faithfulness: Hebrews 10:23 Explanation: Faithfulness is the commitment to remain true to your word andto your faith, even when it is challenging or inconvenient. It is the practice of following through on your promises and staying faithful to God, even in the face of opposition or persecution. As a teenager, you may face peer pressure to compromise your beliefs or to conform to the world’s standards, but cultivating faithfulness will help you to remain steadfast in your commitment to God.
Gentleness: 1 Peter 3:15 Explanation: Gentleness is the practice of treating others with kindness, compassion, and humility. It is the willingness to listen to others and to respond with grace and understanding. As a teenager, it can be easy to be defensive or argumentative, but cultivating gentleness will help you to communicate effectively with others and to show the love of Christ in your interactions.
Self-Control: 1 Corinthians 9:27 Explanation: Self-control is the practice of exercising discipline over your thoughts, words, and actions. It is the ability to resist temptation and to make wise choices that honor God. As a teenager, you will face many temptations and pressures to engage in unhealthy or sinful behaviors, but cultivating self-control will help you to make wise decisions and to stay true to your faith.
Youth Group Game: Fruit Basket Upset
Divide the youth group into two teams. Each team chooses a fruit to represent them. Place a bunch of fruit (at least one for each person) in the center of the room, and have the teams stand on opposite sides of the room. When you say, “Go,” each team tries to grab as many pieces of fruit as they can and bring them back to their side of the room. The catch? They can only pick up fruit that represents their team. If they accidentally pick up a fruit from the other team, they have to put it back and start over. The team with the most fruit at the end of the game wins.
Youth Group Discussion Questions
- Which of the Fruits of the Spirit do you find easiest to cultivate? Which is the most challenging for you?
- How can cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit help you to navigate the challenges of being a teenager?
- Can you think of a time when you saw someone else display one of the Fruits of the Spirit in a powerful way? How did that impact you?
- How can you intentionally cultivate one of the Fruits of the Spirit in your life this week?
- What is one way you can show the love of Christ to someone else this week?
Dear God, we thank you for the Fruits of the Spirit and for the ways in which they help us to grow in faith and character. We pray that you would help us to cultivate these godly qualities in our lives, so that we can be a positive influence on those around us. Help us to love others sacrificially, to find joy in your presence, to trust in your sovereignty, to persevere through difficult times, to show kindness and goodness to those around us, to remain faithful to you, to communicate with gentleness and grace, and to exercise self-control over our thoughts, words, and actions. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.