“What can you expect? They’re a teenager.”
I suppose we’ve all heard that said of one rebellious youth or another and for some reason it has always bugged me. I know that all teens struggle with authority at some point in their lives. We’re at that “in between stage” – learning how to be independent, yet still dependent on our parents. In all reality, teens (even the Christian ones) are expected to rebel.
However, did you ever stop to wonder if some of these teens aren’t simply fulfilling these expectations because the culture has placed these on them? I am in no way excusing teens from the responsibility of the choices that they make, but isn’t that what our culture is doing?
The Testimony of Teens –
Christian youth: let’s face it, people are amazed when we are different. When they expect all teens to act a certain way, they are pleasantly surprised to see God working in our lives. It is now, when people seem to have these low expectations of us, that we can make the biggest impact for our Savior. Let’s get to work and be different for Christ… only that is a difference worth while.
A Plea to the Parents –
Parents: I will admit that I am by no means a parent and won’t be for some time. I understand that lessons are best learned through experience and as I have never raised a child, I would never claim to even remotely know all there is to know about it. However, I am a teen. I’ve grown up – and continue to grow up – listening to people voice their low expectations for us.
Christians are called to be different from the rest of the world. When we are different for Christ we make a difference for Christ. All I’m asking is that you take a look at the way that you view the Christian teens that you know. Do you simply expect them to be like the rest of the world? I understand the disappointment felt when people do not fulfill your expectations, but saying that you expect nothing more of them than you do of all other teens does not show them the need for difference. I’m asking – as a teen myself – that you encourage the Christian youth around you to strive after that difference. I know you can’t expect them to always make right choices, but please be an example to them of the importance of standing out for their Savior, despite what the rest of the world is doing.