Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

SAVE LIVES!
See Life 2021
Double your gift now!
Yes, I will help save babies from abortion!
$

When Teens Experience Empathy

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Ron Nickel Photography
Help teens change the way they see their place in the world and help them understand what it means to meet the needs of others so they can grow in empathy.

Two teenagers walked into an impoverished village in Peru and left without their shirts and shoes. Don’t worry. It was entirely voluntary — the result of a heartfelt expression of empathy.

I had the privilege of accompanying these two young men on a journey of service and surfing.

As California kids with dreams of becoming professional surfers, these teens had sponsors who kept them supplied with all the free clothing, shoes and gear they needed — and then some.

A teen’s perspective 

Before the trip, these young men had never encountered pervasive poverty. And they didn’t expect to be touched so deeply by people in need.

It was a beautiful moment when the boys had given away the garbage bags full of clothing they’d brought with them, only to spontaneously take off and give away the shirts and shoes they were wearing. Their smiles glowed as their bare feet scuffed the dusty road back to the bus.

That experience changed the way they saw their place in the world and helped them understand what it meant to meet the needs of others. They experienced empathy, the ability to feel and understand what someone else was going through, and they were moved to compassionate action.

If you’ve accompanied teens on a missions trip, you know this type of experience is common. The bigger challenge is practicing empathy in everyday life and relationships.

The importance of empathy

Why is empathy such a big deal?

It is central to establishing strong relationships. Right now, empathy might look like loyalty in a friendship that keeps your child from spreading malicious gossip about a classmate. In the future, it will fuel healthy communication, forgiveness, sacrifice and faithfulness — vital traits in a healthy marriage and successful family relationships.

Consider what a lack of empathy breeds. Research on anti-social behaviors such as bullying and violence has found that a teen who can’t recognize the pain of a victim will have no motivation to change his actions.

Excessive praise, the rise of a cyber-celebrity culture and the instant gratification of the information age contribute to this narcissistic mind-set. But whatever the cause, the ability to see circumstances and feel pain from another person’s viewpoint is a powerful antidote to a self-centered mentality.

How do you help instill empathy

When we consider that Scripture says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4), we recognize the importance of empathy in a biblical worldview.

And that’s where parents come in. Nothing beats modeling as a way to instill empathy in our children. Parents set the tone of a family’s values through their everyday actions.

“Parents’ attitudes and involvement in service work is crucial,” says Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute. “Research conducted by MTV on teenage ‘activists’ shows that the majority of kids who are engaged in empathetic work have parents who encourage that sort of work and model it themselves.”

With your help, your son or daughter will recognize the incredible value of empathy in their own friendships, dating relationships and eventual marriages.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Cheerful girls and boys against vibrant background.
Intentional Parenting

Nature and Nurture in Child Development

What’s interesting about nature and nurture in child development is that they are both significantly impacted by the way God made us.

see life episode 2 coming soon version

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others!