8 Strategies to Help You Stand Firm at School

Going back to school can be a difficult time of transition. The challenges, pressures, and temptations that inevitably come with every school environment can be tough to navigate. I guess that’s why one reader recently emailed me with this request:

How do I keep my faith at school, because I know how challenging it will be. Please do a blog about this.

She’s right. Standing firm in our beliefs as Christians is challenging in almost every environment. Challenging, but not impossible.

I love that we are never on our own. By God’s incredible mercy and grace, we don’t have to rely on our power, strength, and wisdom to make it through difficult circumstances. God is the one who helps us thrive at school, at work, at home—everywhere! Because of His great power in us, we can be overcomers.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).

Instead of falling into temptation and struggle this school year, look to Jesus to help you, knowing that He will provide everything you need to live the life He has called you to. Then make proactive choices that will help you stand strong during that time.

Here are eight ideas that will help you remain strong through the school year.

1. Spend time in the Word every day.

If you want your brain to still be sharp in third period, you’d better not skip breakfast, right? Well if you want your spirit to be strong as you face the challenges of the next nine months, make sure you feast on God’s Word! In the same way that you wouldn’t neglect to feed your physical self, don’t neglect to feed your spiritual self. Make spending time in God’s Word a daily priority.

Sing along with these adorable kids to help yourself remember, “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.”

2. Pray for strength.

Ask God for strength. He is the source of all power, might, courage, and everything else that you need. Turn to Him as your true and only source for the strength to stand strong.

You can pray straight from Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

3. Stay plugged into your church.

It can be easy to put church on the back burner during the school year due to busy sports and activity schedules. Don’t let that happen to you. Stay plugged into church, and strive to attend weekly and get involved. We all need the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Sports can never replace the teaching, accountability, and spiritual refreshment that church does such a great job at providing.

4. Get involved in a small group.

It’s easy to pop in and out of church without getting connected. When we do this, we miss out on one of the very best perks of the church—authentic relationships. I highly encourage you to get involved in a small group or small Bible study. Build those relationships, and find a group that can pray for you on a regular basis.

5. Get a mentor.

Having the one-on-one encouragement and accountability of a mentor is huge. Find an older woman who can meet with you, ask you questions, keep you focused, and point you in the right direction. Don’t assume that you are strong enough to make it through on your own. Find a Christian woman, ask her to mentor you, and be a faithful mentee.

(PS: You don’t have to say something official like, “Will you please mentor me?” Just ask if you can spend time with an older woman you respect and admire, and be honest about the challenges you face).

6. Make wise decisions.

It doesn’t matter what kind of school you go to, you will encounter temptations wherever you are. Guess what? Long after you graduate from school, there will still be temptations. It is part of living in a fallen world. Think ahead, plan ahead, and avoid tempting environments and people. Make wise decisions and predetermine that you will avoid going or being around people and things that will pull you down.

7. Remember where you are going.

When you are at school, you are still a child of God. Remember that no matter where you are, you are an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). Live with the future in mind, and remember that heaven is your eternal home. Make decisions that will be a blessing and not a burden to your future self.

8. Choose to be the influence.

You have a voice, so use it. Don’t sit around and quietly let the loud ones mow you over. Stand up for what you know is right, and choose to influence your peers in a good (and God-honoring) direction.

Stronger Next Year

The idea that you have to compromise your faith is a lie. When we depend on Christ and look to Him, He makes us more like Himself every day. You don’t have to look back on this school year with regret or worry that you didn’t live out your beliefs. It is possible to love God and His Word more this time next year, but it won’t happen by accident.

I’d love to hear your ideas.

How will you stand strong during this school year?
Do you have any ideas that you can share with the other readers on the blog?

About Author

Bethany Baird

After a brief experience in the modeling industry, Bethany’s eyes were opened to how self-absorbed and lost her generation of young women really are. She and her older sister were inspired to start a blog (www.GirlDefined.com) and wrote a book Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Their passion is to help young women find God’s truth about beauty and womanhood and the freedom that comes from living a radically different life for Christ.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Tera V.

    Great article. Could you do a post on how to find a mentor?

  • Mah

    There was this youth meeting at my church last week and one of the pastors talked about Samuel: “Samuel had all kinds of bad examples while he was growing up, even though he lived with a priest. He saw how Eli was unable to hear God anymore and his sons committed all kinds of sins without any reproach. Still, Samuel did not waver. The world is pressuring you, but don’t be influenced – but rather influence others. Pray so that you may be light wherever you are. God has called you to be the influence at your home, your school and your workplace. He called you because He has plans for you.”

    More than once a classmate or a friend approached me and asked if I could pray for them because they were in a difficult situation (sometimes without me ever telling them I was Christian). So, when I feel a bit out of place because I am Christian, I remember those moments. Sometimes we try to hide it, but if we are willing, at least a little bit, to serve the Lord, people will see through our thin walls because we are different. So it’s better if we just embrace it, right?

    Thank you for the tips and reminders, Bethany!

  • hannah

    I do the lywb study with my mentor she is a littel over ten years older then me. I love this blog how can i share my story with y’all?

  • Miriam

    Wonderful post Bethany!

    I attend a Christian school, so you would expect standing for God to be easy. However, even though we have amazing teachers, Bible classes, and weekly chapels, holding to my faith can be a struggle. Most of the students have grown up in Church and consider themselves Christians, but very few of them seem to have a personal relationship with Jesus. God has really opened up my eyes to the lost people at my school, and I pray that this year I can bring His light the people there.

  • Leah

    Check out the app called CYC (claim your campus)! It helps you organize and have prayer groups for your school before each day starts. Prayer is so powerful, and starting the day with fellowship in your school can be so helpful.