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Author: Paul Masek

As a teenager, my friend Mike was at a very low point in his life – seriously considering harming himself in the most permanent way. In that moment, seemingly out of the blue, a friend reached out to him and asked if he wanted to hang out and do something. Mike said yes to his friend, and – looking back – he believes that phone call saved his life.

Parents – ever wondered what your kid actually does at youth group?

Youth ministers – ever wondered what your teens tell their parents when they get home from church?

I have experienced the ups and downs of raising teenagers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked one of my kids about school, youth group, a social event, or a retreat that they attended – and the only response I got was “good” or “fine” or “okay.” And despite my attempts to pry deeper by asking questions, I often had no idea what my kids experienced.

Through our work on The REAP Team, we receive questions from teens on a variety of topics – often about love, relationships, and faith. I’m always happy to help, if I can. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I recently received a question I’ve never been asked before: “How do you know if you’ve loved your loved ones well enough before they’re gone?”