Teenage rebellion is not inevitable. Most of the teens in my life honor their parents and love the Lord. Their hearts are not set on rebellion at all. In our culture, we have set ourselves up for teenage rebellion by believing a lie! Self-centered, selfish, spoiled children grow up to be rebellious teenagers. Disciplined, godly children grow up to be disciplined godly teenagers.
Sometime before or during the teen years, their bodies begin to change from children to adults. This is accomplished by friendly hormones that send a message to important places in their bodies. "Grow, change, and become adults!" the hormones shout! Along with this wonderful transition, comes increased emotions and a new sexual drive. Yikes!
The teenage years are a time of transition between childhood and adulthood. Sometimes, teens want the freedom of an adult with the responsibilities of a child. The opposite is the best way to go! Increase responsibilities and when the teen demonstrates faithfulness in these new responsibilities, you can give more freedom!
What a wonderful gifts these years are as an opportunity to grow in the Lord and serve Him with all of their passionate hearts! Teens can accomplish mighty exploits for God! The single years (including the teen years) are a special gift for living a life of undivided devotion to the Lord. Lead your teen on exploits for GOD! Serve the poor and needy. Reach out to the lost. Build up the Body of Christ.
Paul told Timothy to flee the evil desires of youth and to pursue the things of God. But Paul also commanded Timothy to pursue the things of God with others who were calling on God out of a pure heart. Teens need to run after God with a passion! Alongside other passionate Christians! Some of these passionate Christians will be you and your other family members. Some will be teens who love Jesus too! Don't take your teen to a youth group where the other children are not on fire for the Lord. I have seen teenagers destroyed under these conditions! Search for other teens in your church, homeschool support group, or other places where Christians congregate. Your teens don't need TONS of friends, just a few. A few good teens on fire for God, is better than a group filled with mediocre Christians.
More than any time in their lives, teens need the love and stability of a family! Friendship with Mom and Dad is so important. Don"t let their "squirrely-ness" keep you from spending lots of time with these wonderful young men and women. Now is the time to enjoy what you have sown into their lives. And if there are problems, it is not too late to rebuild.
Rules without relationship breeds rebellion, so take time to invest in your relationship with your teen. That way your young adult knows that you are for him/her and want only what is best. He/she can trust you to protect and guide!
Home is the best place for a teen to be educated! In the family, there is the security of love and acceptance. Teen are testing their wings! Make sure that you are there to cheer them on and send them soaring.
© 2008 Meredith Curtis (from Homeschooling High School to the Glory of God)