There’s no doubt that our culture’s assault on innocence is being engineered by Satan. The apostle Peter says that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). If you have a strong-willed teen under your roof, he or she could very well be Satan’s next target.
When a lion approaches a buffalo herd with the intent to kill, he typically avoids the healthiest members of the herd; rather, he spends his time scouting for a sick, injured, or elderly member to attack. Your strong-willed teen is like a vulnerable buffalo in some ways. Those who suffer from low self-esteem are more likely to fall under the influence of peers than their more confident siblings. Like the lion, the devil may very well single out your vulnerable son or daughter to attack with weapons such as drugs, alcohol, or sexual temptation.
To hold back the enemy, we suggest that you keep your strong-willed teen involved in healthy activities. Though constant busyness and overstimulation are equally harmful to any child, large quantities of unstructured time can be devastating for the naturally rebellious teen. Get him or her involved in the best church youth program you can find, and encourage participation in athletics, music, part-time work, and other activities. Scripture warns that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” That can certainly apply to your strong-willed son or daughter.
Approach your kids’ adolescent years as a wonderful and exciting time to be enjoyed, but also recognize that it poses many risks and challenges to their spiritual and physical health. Do whatever you can during this brief period to get them through the minefield of evil through which they must walk. There is greater safety in the early twenties, when judgment and confidence will develop in your kids. Until then, invest yourselves in their welfare, and above all—stay on your knees!