The top five commandments that I know that teens will likely struggle with (based on personal experience) are the following.:
- The Law Of Chastity
- Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
- Keep The Sabbath Day Holy
- Pray Always
- Be Not Drunk
I believe that teens struggle keeping these commandments because of the question, “Why?” And because people have not been adequately equipped to answer this question, this has been a likely reason why religious attendance has been declining throughout the world:
- From 1986 to 2016, the number of American young adults (ages 18 to 29) that were unaffiliated with religion had almost quadrupled (10% to 39%) (Riess 2016).
- 70 – 88% of children from Christian families become unaffiliated with religion by the time they end their freshman year in college (Gunn & Fernandez 2012).
- A majority of Europeans ages 16 to 29 do not affiliate with a religion (Sherwood 2018).
I hope that your teen is not as easily dissuaded about their faith as these students I’m citing. To try to help you with reasoning with your teen to help them strength their faith, I wrote a book documenting the main quantifiable academic research benefits of keeping the commandments. I also included some of the basic Christian scientific evidence of God. Jesus stated that evidence is a touchstone of Christian faith:
- “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” (John 10:37-38).
It is truly in seeing the results that we can have additional faith. So here’s some academic explanations for why your teens should keep these top 5 commandments that they likely struggle to keep, taken directly from my book “Why You Should Keep The Commandments”:
The Law Of Chastity
- Those who are chaste until marriage may be 51% more likely to be happier in marriage (Rector et al 2003) and 63 – 73% less likely of divorce (Wolfinger 2016).
- Jesus states that engaging in pornography is the same as committing adultery in their hearts, thus breaking the law of chastity (Matt. 5:27-32). Not consuming pornography may be correlated to 9-10% more relationship satisfaction (Wright et al 2017), 11% more sexual satisfaction (Wright et al 2017), 28% less risk of sexual aggression (Wright et al 2016), 24% less risk of verbal aggression (Wright et al 2016) and 20% less risk of physical aggression (Wright et al 2016).
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
- Studies found 2x less stress, fewer headaches, better sleep, fewer sore throats, and better relationships among study participants that were not allowed to lie for 10 weeks. The participants who had the most benefits were coached on how to not lie if they were in a situation when they wanted to lie, which included omitting truths, keeping secrets, or refusing to answer questions. However, the participants were not allowed to say anything they knew to be false (Kelly & Wang 2012).
Keep The Sabbath Day Holy
- Those who actively attend church may live 4.4 – 9.8 years longer on average (Kahn et al 1984; Hummer et al 1999; Enstrom & Breslow 2007; Sullivan 2010).
- Weekly church attendees may have 40% lower average blood pressure (Koenig et al 1998), 17% less risk of hypertension (Bell et al 2012) and 1.8x less risk of dying (Hummer et al 1999).
- The religious may have 24 – 65% lower mortality risk (Kark et al 1996; Oman & Reed 1998; Helm et al 2000; Rogers et al 2010; Idler et al 2017).
- Those who pray, even without attending church, may have an 11% greater sense of purpose in life (Francis & Robbins 2006).
- Those who meditate, a term often synonymous to prayer in the Bible (Gen. 24:63; Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:1-2; 5:1), may have 89-96% less anxiety (Khoury et al 2013).
- Those who pray for others or themselves while in the hospital may have 87% better overall health (Masters et al 2006).
Be Not Drunk
- Alcohol may be consumed before 18% of suicides, 18% of interpersonal violence incidents and 27% of traffic injuries (World Health Organization 2018).
- Alcohol may be responsible for 13% of epilepsy cases, 48% of liver cirrhosis cases, 26% of mouth cancer cases, 26% of pancreatitis cases, 20% of tuberculosis cases, 11% of colorectal cancer cases, 5% of breast cancer cases and 7% of hypertensive heart disease cases (World Health Organization 2018).
I hope that you may teach your teens about the benefits and evidence that God exists and that He wants what’s best for them. If you would like to learn about some more of the academic research benefits for 22 other commandments in the Bible, you can read my book: “Why You Should Keep The Commandments: Evidence Of God, The Bible And Research Benefits Of Keeping The Commandments”.