Pursuing a Heart of Wisdom

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Author: John C. Kwasny


Counseling Teenagers Biblically

A healthy body. A strong mind. A good academic record. Success in every extra–curricular activity. A bright future. Out of all the qualities and successes adults desire to see in the lives of teens, a wise and understanding heart should at the top of the list. Grounded in the fear of the Lord, godly wisdom is essential to navigate the minefield of the teenage years. Far too often, it is assumed by many that adolescents are destined to be foolish—hopefully, outgrowing such foolishness by adulthood. Sadly, many teens are left to themselves during these years, dealing with the temptations and the struggles of their hearts and minds all on their own. Yet, all through the Book of Proverbs, young people are taught to gain wisdom through listening to and obeying their parents and other wise adults. If teenagers are to listen and learn wisdom, then parents and other mature adults are to speak wisdom and live wisely before them! To put it in today’s terms, all teens need Biblical counseling in order to pursue a heart of wisdom—and God calls parents and youth ministry leaders to offer them Biblical counsel.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Preparing to Counsel Teens Biblically
1 Planting Firmly in Biblical Presuppositions 
2 Practicing a Biblical Counseling Process 
3 Partnering Together in Community 
Part 2: Biblical Counseling Principles for Typical Teenage
4 Anger and Bitterness 
5 Anxiety, Fear and Worry
6 Depression 
7 Drugs and Alcohol 
8 Eating Disorders
9 Guilt and Shame 
10 Homosexuality and SSA 
11 Identity, Gender and Self Problems 
12 Pornography
13 Premarital Sex 
14 Rebellion 
15 Self-Harm and Cutting&nbsp
16 Suicide
17 Technology and Media
18 Unmotivated Teens
Closing Remarks 
Helpful Resources
Scripture Index 


About the author:

Dr. John C. Kwasny is the Director of Discipleship Ministries at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He is a Biblical counselor, an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, and Director of One Story Ministries—authoring a complete discipleship curriculum for the church, home, and school (children and youth).


… not only provides us with practical tools but also trains us in the theological foundation needed to broach these hard topics with our students! Dr. Kwasny is thoughtfully clear in his words and faithful to Scripture in his counsel, but more importantly, he takes us to our resting place that is only found in the Great Counselor, the person and work of Jesus Christ. … fills a needed gap in our ministry to teenagers!  ~Sonny & Morgan Walker, Biblical Counselors & Director of Student Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Rome, GA

Having done scores of both parents’ seminars and youthworker seminars over the years, I can promise that in this book, parents and youthworkers will find the thoughtful, thorough guide we need – no dodging hard questions, no ducking controversial topics, no easy answers. And how refreshing to read a book that invites us to reframe these discussions using the biblical language of wisdom, not by shrinking down the complexity of real psychological problems, but by focusing on the sufficiency of biblical insight.  ~Duffy Robbins, Professor of Christian Ministry, Grove City College, Pennsylvania

It is not often I get the privilege to read a book deeply committed to a thoughtful, biblical approach to counseling teens. It is for the parent, the youth worker, the caring adult who wants to think well and wisely about the culture of our young people. If you want to understand the struggles teens are facing, the importance of a strong theological perspective and godly influences in their lives, read this book.  ~Julie Lowe, Counselor and Play Therapist, Faculty Member at CCEF

There are few people who are as qualified as John Kwasny to write this kind of guide for those who counsel and disciple teenagers. John writes as someone who knows teenagers well, having raised teens himself and also counseling them over his many years in the church. Whether you need an overall orientation to counseling teens or need help dealing with the details of particular issues, this book offers quality biblical wisdom that you will not find anywhere else. I am especially thankful for how practical this guide is, being rich with case studies, questions to ask, and “pointers” for counselors. Most of all, I am thankful that he is tackling very difficult, complex issues in a way that never compromises the gospel of Jesus Christ.  ~Chase Maxey, Executive Director and Counselor, Biblical Counseling & Training Ministries

As he examines common issues facing parents and youth today, John Kwasny combines the Word of God with practical insight to illumine the path to wisdom (Psalm 119:105). This book will work to strengthen your ministry of discipleship by providing a measure of confidence as you help God’s people walk with Christ in the midst of the daily struggle with our fallen nature.  ~Dr. Stephen Estock, Coordinator, PCA Discipleship Ministries