rebelling against low expectations

6 Things Every Teen Needs to Be When They Grow Up


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That’s one of many important questions that you’re supposed to find the answers to during your teen years.

At 21, I still haven’t figured out the vocational answer that people are looking for. Many of us teens and young adults have no idea what we’re going to do tomorrow, let alone for the rest of our lives. But as young people whose identities are rooted in Christ, we have some guidelines for what we need to be.

Be a Christian

I mean “Christian” in the simplest sense of the word—Christ follower. Give him everything you are and everything you have. Love him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. The more you know him, the more your desires will be shaped to his desires, until you can’t help but glorify him. Seek to know him and make him known, even if it costs you everything, because he is better than life itself.

Be a Warrior

Life is sometimes amazing and sometimes amazingly horrible. But God is always amazing. In those horrible times, you will have to fight with everything in you just to remember that he is good. Satan would love nothing better than for you to give up and sink into a pit of depression, fear, and sin.

Don’t let him win.

Keep holding onto the promises of God, even when you can’t feel him at all. You will get through. You’ll be stronger, and his love will be sweeter. Just. Don’t. Give. Up.

Be a Servant

Only in Christ can you be a bold warrior and a humble servant at the same time. Always be on the lookout for ways to serve, even if no one expects you to. Don’t just do your personal chores; do extra work to take some of the load off your parents. Don’t just be civil to your siblings; look for every opportunity to put their needs first, and to teach them how to love like Jesus. Don’t just have fun with your friends; pray for them and think about how you can help them.

Be a Student

No, I don’t just mean doing well in school, although that’s important too. I’m talking about lifelong learning.

Read good books. Listen to podcasts. Find mentors who are further along in whatever vocation you’re interested in and try to learn about everything they’re doing. Try things that are too hard for you and learn from doing them wrong. Learn to study well—not so that you can do well on tests, but so that you can dive deeper into God’s Word and find the truth in it.

Be an Adventurer

We all love books and movies about magical worlds with fearsome monsters and brave people that fight them. But we don’t always realize how much truth these stories contain. Although you may never find a forest in a wardrobe, many of the forests and mountains in this world are just as beautiful if you see them with adventurer’s eyes. You may never fight a sea monster, but you’ll fight plenty of other monsters that are just as terrifying.

Whether you feel like life is too quiet and mundane, or too crazy and busy, there’s always an adventure to be found if you’re willing to look for it.

Be a Kid

Being all of the above things requires a lot of maturity and responsibility. You’re not too young to start being mature and responsible, yet don’t forget to be a kid sometimes too. You’re going to mess up, and sometimes you might feel like a failure, but you have a lot of time to keep trying.

You don’t have to do everything and be everything right away. Share on X

You don’t have to do everything and be everything right away. Sometimes you just have to humbly admit that you don’t quite have enough life experience to accomplish certain things. Sometimes God will accomplish those things through you anyway.

Although some of these things seem like they’ll only matter while you’re a teenager, you’re practicing them now because they’ll be just as important when you’re an adult. Be a student even when you’re out of school, because there will always be new things to learn. Be an adventurer, who sees the joy and excitement in life even when you’re busy with a serious career. And don’t ever stop being a kid, because you will always be a child of God who needs your Father.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Marli Scarborough

is a 21 year old homeschool graduate who lives and writes in South Dakota. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, or drinking coffee. Her passion is to use her writing to help others love and enjoy Jesus more. To read about her adventures in exploring city life after growing up on a ranch, you can follow her blog at or on Facebook at

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By Marli Scarborough
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →