Anyone who has ever spent time with a toddler knows the importance of routines. The whole family benefits from uniform schedules for daily activities like sleeping, eating, learning, and playing. These patterns are no less important for today’s teens. Faith rituals connected to daily happenings can make a cumulative impact, offering the roots and wings they need during adolescence. Put your students’ families on a mission to remind each other of God’s presence and activity in their day-to-day lives with rituals that extend through the young adult years.
Faith rituals can include the use of the sacred: symbols, signs of the cross, Bible verses, oils, or blessing cups. They can also involve the mundane: water, candles, markers, journals, or rocks. These moments don’t have to be long and serious to be meaningful—the short and silly shout-outs to God are just as special. Families can try to:
- Trace a cross on a hand, heart, or forehead.
- Share words of hope, comfort, and God’s love and promises.
- Create a secret signal to silently communicate while across a room or on screen with each other.
- Touch foreheads, fist bump, hug, or high-five.
Invite students to examine a typical week in their household and put a pin in key moments to connect the dots between daily life and God’s role in it.
Coming and Going
Make the most of teens’ on-the-go moments by inviting families to recite a short prayer each time they climb into a vehicle, or step through the doorway of school, work, or church.
It may be at the burger drive-thru, but we often share meals with our teens. Say a blessing when you crack open a soda can or unwrap a sandwich. Raise fountain drinks in a toast of a prayer. Share the day’s bests and worsts between bites.
The washroom is prime real estate for teen rituals. Leave encouraging notes and Bible verses on the bathroom mirror. Keep a prayer list with a bath crayon on the shower wall. Mark a cross on your hands or forehead in a blessing each time you use the faucet.
Carve out time for blessing rituals at key moments in a students’ growth. Offer a blessing of the backpacks at the start of each school year. Eat cake for breakfast on baptism anniversaries. Celebrate the rites of passage for a teen: driver’s licenses, graduations, achievements, leaving home, traveling.
God is relevant and active in the busy lives of students. Take every opportunity to remind them how deeply they are loved.