Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome to The Teenage Zone

Once upon a time ( the present ), in a galaxy far, far away ( the average teenager's world ), there is a land where authority does not exists, rules are meant to be broken, and every one does that which is right in their own eyes - what is this place? The Teenage Zone, a place that most adults, for one reason or another, ignore or pretend they know nothing of. What is it about teenagers( a term that does not exist in the Bible, which may explain why they live in a society all their own - it should not exist at all ) that cause many adults such discomfort? After all, they are people just like anybody else, with the same basic needs and desires as anybody else. So why all the fear and confusion and the "well, their just a teenager, they'll grow out of it" mentality? To be honest, at times I'm scared out of my mind for my three young ones to turn thirteen, for the average adult gives an almost Jekyll and Hyde account of their young person. Does it have to be this way? Is there no hope? Well, if the Bible is our guide book, it must have something to say about the teenage years and all the trauma therein. Let's see what we find ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------hmm, strange, nothing mentioned at all. Not a single word about how to deal with teenagers. What I do find in the Word of God is by this age they were already set in their character and this was the reaping time, the harvest to be received from the previous 12 or so years of training and teaching and instructing - the preparation period. Unfortunately for most modern young people, they are not being prepared for much more than how to be social and to compromise to fit in. This is the cause of much of our struggle - parents less concerned with the outcome of a child's character than the outcome of the number of comrades their child has. If, by the age of 12-13, their desire is to have a friend at any cost as opposed to doing right at any cost, even if that means doing right alone, they will struggle under the wrong influences. Better to be alone, than in bad company. What are we preparing them for? Adulthood? Parenthood? Responsibility? It sure doesn't seem that way, when more time is spent on socializing, game-playing, sports-outings, etc. than on developing work ethic, work skills, home-making, etc. Is it any wonder that so many marriages fail so soon among the twenty-something crowd, when the only things they know are watching movies and playing video games? They have learned little to nothing of reality because they have been allowed to dwell in The Teenage Zone, which is nothing more than a cesspool of flesh-oriented activity, where boys will be boys and no one wants to grow up. And that is where the majority of Baptist youth programs center their focus on for the first 18 years. When the average Baptist young person quotes more Jim Carey than Jesus Christ, we have a problem. When we have more young men surrendering to the full-time stand up comic circuit than the full-time ministry, we have a problem. From where does it stem? The Culture of Youth. The Teenage Zone. A society that worships youth and gives it a pass on whatever it wants to do, because after 21 life is over, right? Wrong! Life just begins after 21 for those living in the real world, but to the dwellers of The Teenage Zone, you must live for today, for tomorrow we die. That was the mentality in Noah's day and we know how that ended. Parents, I challenge all of us - for what are we preparing our young people? Let's take inventory and instead of looking at the here and now, let's take a look down the road. Are we helping them prepare for the future? or are we living for today, because tomorrow we die? Don't leave your child in The Teenage Zone.