Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What is a Teenager? (Teens; Part 1)

Mar. 28, 2007

What words do you think of when you say 'teenager'? Punk, Emo, Goth? Young lady, young man, both? Dating, high school, extreme sports? What are the 'teenage years'? Are they simply a time between childhood and adulthood, or does the name teenager pertain only to a group of people between young and old? We are young adults, almost ready to face an uncertain world, and with God's help, you and I must discover who we are.

Many jokes are made about these years, parents say them in front of their kids, pastors say them from the pulpit, and many teens even laugh at the jokes themselves, but what is it that makes these jokes funny? Is it reality, or is it a disappointing system? Really, they are insults. Why should someone assume that because I'm 14 I disrespect my parents? The reason, simply put, is that the stereotypical 'teenager' has become a disrespectful, un-thoughtful, disobedient, dull, un-interested person, dressed in drab colours with hair hanging in their face and underwear hanging out of pants that--depending on gender--are falling off, or are much too tight. Why? Wait around to watch the majority of kids come out of the high school at lunch time, and just watch for a few minutes. It's sickening.

We must raise the bar, and step out from the rest of our generation. Unfortunately, that means separating ourselves from those who we often consider 'friends'. When we spend time with stereotypical teens, it rubs off on us. Now, that does not mean in any way that we shouldn't ever spend time with non-Christian youths, after all, we must shine as a witness of Christs's love and forgiveness. If the school and their families don't inform them of God's glorious grace, who will? You! It's a tough thing to do, staying away from the cliques and trends. Watching others be accepted for their immodest clothes can easily lead one to believe that that is what I should do. After all, everyone wants love! What I have been learning of late, however, is that God loves me, and accepts me, and I don't need the affection of dull teenagers to have a wonderful life.

Let us take a couple examples from God's Word of young people who were not afraid to do hard things.
Genesis 29:20
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.

Jacob, though faced with awful dissapointment at the end, was willing to work for 7 years to recieve a beautiful wife. How many of us would be willing to do so? We want everything immediately and as easily as possible, but we seldom end up with a worthwhile prize. Being a seemingly long time, 7 years of working would not be welcomed heartily by many youngsters now. Pursue the difficult, and reach high goals!

Psalm 119:9
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word.

Ouch! That's a tough one, and it's not just aimed at young men. In this context, 'young man' means 'young person'. I often find things in God's word that I do not live according to. As set-apart young people, we need to try to step up to that level of life. As we desire physical purity, so we must also strive for spiritual purity, and we see in this verse that we must live according to His word to attain that. This, beloved, is who we are: Young people dedicated to a purposeful, pure life, by doing hard things, and living in accordance with the Bible.If we can strive to go against our culture's expectations of teenagers, we can shine like 'a light set on a hill', and glorify our heavenly Father in so doing. Do we not want to join forces and be Christ's hands? Let us put aside the stereotypes, and be teenagers who are willing to be a rising generation that God can use!


No comments: