Jaquelle Crowe – The Greatest Gift a Mom Can Give Her Daughter

The Importance of Mother-Daughter Relationships

I’m 20, and my mom is one of my best friends. She’s my safe space, my closest counselor, and my biggest supporter. And it’s been like this for as long as I can remember.

Somehow my relationship with my mom didn’t just survive my teen years; it flourished during them. My teen years are what formed the bond we have now.

But how did that happen?

The Start of One-on-One Discipleship

All my life, my parents have been intentional about cultivating family discipleship. We did family worship each night. My brother and I were homeschooled, and my parents were diligent about worldview training.

But when I was 12, they became intentional about one-on-one discipleship, and I believe it was this that contributed so significantly to building a relationship with my mom.

To continue reading Jaquelle Crowe’s article, click here.

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Jaquelle Crowe – Seven Habits to Help You Fight Comparison

“If only” are two of the deadliest words in a Christian’s vocabulary. If only I looked like her. If only I had as much money as him. If only my kids were as well-behaved as theirs. If only I could speak, work, cook, travel, think, do, be like someone else.

We are plagued by comparison.

We compare our bodies, our jobs, our families, our skills, our stuff, our intellects, in an ever-increasing desire for complete satisfaction. We want to be attractive, successful, and happy. So we measure ourselves against the people around us. But instead of resulting in contentment, our comparison delivers compulsive jealousy, pride, and shame.

We envy those who are “better” than us, and we look down on those who are “worse” than us. And once we’ve started comparing ourselves, we slide into a bitterly insatiable cycle. The more we compare ourselves, the more we need to compare ourselves. It’s an addiction. We’re on a quest for acceptance and joy, but are paralyzed by the pressure to look, do, and be better than the people around us.

Because of this, we are distracted from our purpose, mission, and need to pursue holiness. This is why comparison is so deadly.

To continue reading Jaquelle Crowe’s article, click here.

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Jaquelle Crowe – Ashamed of My Body: Six Truths for Struggling Teens

I don’t remember the first time I hated my body, but I remember how much it hurt. I looked in the mirror and realized that my body was not perfect, not flawless, and not like it “should” be. I can remember feeling sick with shame.

Becoming a teenager brings terrific joys, but it also brings many new difficulties. One of the most pervasive and crippling is body shame. We live a precious, precarious time in our childhood when we lack shame for our bodies. We view them as our machines, tools for communication and self-expression, the catalyst for our play, perfectly acceptable to us in their functionality. We are self-aware, but not self-conscious.

Then we get older and something happens (or maybe much happens), and cultural messages start to seep into our minds and pollute our perceptions. And one day we realize that beauty is more important than function, and our body is not beautiful. We’re left asking ourselves, How did I never realize how ugly I am, how fat I am, how awkward I am, how (fill in your word of shame) I am?

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Jaquelle Crowe – 5 Ways Teenagers Often Waste Their Time

Jonathan Edwards had an intense fear of wasting time. Like, scary intense. Reading his resolutions always sobers me. I mean, what 19-year-old writes, “Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump”?

But Edwards grasped something we too often don’t. He grasped that life is short and only meaningful if lived for God’s glory. He understood that wasting time is a symptom of taking our eyes off the gospel.

The problem is that we do take our eyes off the gospel, and that means we do waste time—especially us teenagers. Every day, in fact, we waste time. There are even certain time traps teens (even and especially Christian teens) fall into again and again. Let me show you five.

1. We waste time when we don’t do the things we should do.

As Christians, we’re called to a life of hard work and good deeds, but we’re tempted to neglect responsibility. Every day there are a thousand things we should do. From the mundane to the momentous, we have chores, homework, and jobs, as well as opportunities to read, play with our siblings, treasure a sunset, wash the dishes, pray, write, exercise, pick up milk at the store, and pursue the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23).

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Jaquelle Crowe – How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years

A Life Transformed

The gospel changes everything. To live a life transformed by the gospel means that everything in life changes.

The first thing is our identity; who we are as people. We’re no longer teenagers defined by the world’s standards. We’re no longer defined by sin, by what we once wanted to do, but we are defined by the gospel, by God—our identity as children of God in Christ. That means the entire narrative of our lives is changed, so we are part now of the greatest, biggest story ever told. We’re actually a part of the story of the gospel, and of God’s people. We get to live in this story, which means everything in our lives and our circumstances changes.

It also changes our community, who we spend time with. It changes our love for God’s people, and makes us want to be a part of a local community of God’s people. It changes how we act, what we find funny, what we post on social media, what we read. Prior to the gospel, we thought a certain way, we acted a certain way, we had this ideology that directed us, and the gospel just flips it on its head and revolutionizes everything.

It means that our entire lives are now about the gospel and about Jesus — not about us, not about what we want to do, but about Jesus and what would honor and glorify him. How can I act today and tomorrow, and how can I plan my future, with the gospel in mind? How can I go to school, how can I read, how can I watch TV in a way that brings honor to Jesus, instead of me?

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Book Review – This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years

For quite some time I have anxiously awaited a book to be released in the Christian publishing genre geared towards teenagers and the plethora of issues they deal with on a daily basis. There are certainly many books on the market regarding issues such as dating for example, but few if any that explore in a manner accessible to teenagers how the message of the gospel and its application to their lives is nothing short of transformative. Such a book has arrived on the scene, that of Jaquelle Crowe’s This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years. This is a book written by a teen (well okay a 19 year old) for teens.

I have a teenage daughter. As a teenager myself in the distant past, I can relate to the struggles she faces. While technological advances have increased over the years, teenagers face the same array of problems I faced at that age – peer pressure, understanding the need for your relationship with God to not just be your parent’s religion, the complicated struggle between a desire to be a child and enjoy the teenage years and the urge to want to be an adult, just to name a few. What is often forgotten is Scripture speaks to all these issues. Furthermore, the truth of the gospel can and must transform how teens approach those matters.

Jaquelle saliently engages vital topics such as forming a biblical identity, grasping how our story fits into the larger gospel story, matters of community, dealing with sin, spiritual disciples, spiritual growth, time management, and building godly relationships. At the conclusion of each chapter, she provides three discussion questions that will help the reader apply the information learned.

This is a book we are currently using as part of our homeschool curriculum, both as part of Bible class and as part of our daughter’s reading assignment. We have allowed her to select one of the discussion questions and to write a response to that question, being sure to personalize the answer rather than merely regurgitating the facts presented by the author. I can relay that some valuable discussions have taken place as a result of our child journeying through this book.

Teenagers do not spend a good deal of effort pondering their worldview. While they certainly form one, often as a result of peer pressure or perhaps by embracing their parent’s perspective on life on a surface level, truly grasping a biblical worldview is often lost among so many other attention grabbers in their lives. For that matter, spending time assessing spiritual disciples or time management at this age is also something that more often than not does not take place, let alone how the gospel speaks to all these life issues.

This is why a book such as This Changes Everything is so helpful. A book written from the perspective of a teenager for teenagers, is a massive help for parents. So many times parents get the rolling of the eyes when they try and share about the matters addressed by Jaquelle Crowe in her book. Hearing what parents are hopefully trying so hard to get across from the point of view of an age peer, is of great value and will go a long way to supporting, promoting, and strengthening the efforts of parents.

Furthermore, I see great value in this book being used in youth groups, specifically in a small group setting where the questions can be asked and explored in more detail than perhaps could take place in a larger group setting. Given the immense importance of the subject matter and again the fact this book is written by an age peer, I highly encourage youth leaders to consider using this as a teaching tool.

It has been a long time coming in my opinion for a book that will be of tremendous help to teenagers, parents, and youth leaders. Jaquelle Crowe has done a marvelous job of engaging teenagers in a way they can understand and of bringing to bear gospel truth to issues our young people are facing and which they need to ponder at this formative stage of their life. I recommend picking up a copy and I highly recommend checking out the videos Crossway has been sharing on their website of late in support of this book.

This book is available for purchase from Crossway Books by clicking here.

I received this book for free from Crossway Books and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jaquelle Crowe – 7 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Teens

What Just Happened?

I hadn’t seen my friend McKenzie in months. Now we sat together in a coffee shop downtown, two teens sipping mugs of hot tea and catching up on life. A lot had happened, and conversation flowed freely. Except for one problem—my stomach was in knots. McKenzie was not a Christian, and I felt desperately like I needed share the gospel with her.

Yet there seemed to be a disconnect between my brain and my mouth. The words just weren’t coming out. I felt embarrassed. Dumb. Inadequate. Doubtful. And then suddenly, the conversation was over, we were saying goodbye, and I was walking out of the coffee shop wondering, what just happened?

Immediately I felt discouraged and bruised by my failure. But as I considered this missed opportunity, I became motivated to not miss the next one.

I began to realize how many unique opportunities and practical ways teens can share the gospel. So, as you wonder how to equip teens to evangelize more effectively and ultimately how to reach my generation, I want to share these seven ways that teens can share the gospel.

1. Know how to share the gospel.

Before teens can actually explain the gospel, they must first know it themselves. Then they must know how to articulate it. It seems obvious, but it’s important. Have you equipped them to do this? Helped them practice saying it? Get them confident in their ability to proclaim it first.

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Jaquelle Crowe – 5 Reasons Why Teenagers Need Theology

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The world can be really confusing for teenagers. We’re coming of age in a shifting moral landscape, where the most pressing challenges and culture’s loudest critics are ever changing and perpetually conflicting. We see scandals and soundbytes, terrorism and Trump, new sexual ethics and harsh racial tensions, and we wonder, “How am I supposed to think about all this?”

Secular society throws its own answers our way, but they’re never compatible with a Christian worldview.

I see a better tool to meet the questions of Christ-following teenagers like me: theology.

Why Theology for Teens?

I’m pretty sure you know what theology is. But sometimes people have such nuanced and experiential conceptions of what a word means that they obscure its plain definition. I want you to know I’m talking about the plainest definition of theology there is: the study of God.

As a Jesus-following teenager, I believe studying God’s character is what teenagers need in order to face our terribly complicated world. It’s what will give us lasting hope to face our future with a firm commitment to God’s truth.

Let me explain how theology answers our biggest questions and meets our greatest needs. Of course, this is only the briefest beginning, but it gets us started.

1. Studying God’s justice equips us to do what’s right.

In God’s Word we discover that God hates evil (Zech. 8:16–17) and loves truth. He cares about the oppressed and outcast, and he values all life.

Knowing this gives teenagers the drive to care about justice too. It pushes us to stand up for the oppressed and voiceless, and speak out against the injustice we see. It shows us the importance of submitting to God-given authorities—our parents, pastors, teachers, and government. And it fuels our obedience to God’s Word as the ultimate standard of justice.

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