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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Teenage Trap

      Sometimes we teenagers can fall into the “trap.” That is, the trap of neglecting wise counsel from our parents. The desires for worldly pleasures and material possessions are constantly facing us each day wherever we go. This makes life and making decisions very hard. An incredible amount of opportunities await us; opportunities that could lead to our downfall. That is why parental guidance is exceedingly important.

      People may say about teenagers, “They should have the right to make their own choices” or “Their parents are holding them back from being who they really are. They are being too ‘sheltered .’” This mindset can unintentionally be used to cause us to fall into “the trap.” For instance, our parents have lived longer than we have and therefore have encountered more than us. They have probably either seen or experienced heartaches and failures in their teen years that we haven’t been confronted with yet. Their eyes have been opened to better ways! Our best interest is (likely) their number one priority. If our parents are following Christ, then they are striving to make us better than they were at our age and to help us learn from their mistakes. No, our parents are not perfect, but no one is! Their mission is to point us to the only One who ever is truly perfect— Jesus Christ.

     We cannot be left to make all of our decisions on our own. Even adults are wise to heed godly instruction. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15). Although there is a time when parents should permit their children to decide for themselves what they should do to encourage responsibility, often we children are careless in making our decisions. Our emotions and desires run away with us and we start heading in a direction we think is right “but in the end leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12). We need direction!

    Whether it is how we dress, what friends we have, the places we go, activities we do, or even whom we court or date; our parents have the right to object or permit. We might not always think so, but our parents usually know what is best. Our job is to submit and honor them whatever the circumstance. God will do the rest!

     Furthermore, listening and submitting to the discipline of our parents is Biblical and wise. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you…” (Deuteronomy 5:16). “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.’” (Proverbs 4:1-5). Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all you desire cannot compare with her.” (Proverbs 8:10-11)

     It is imperative for this generation of teenagers to grasp the necessity of listening to and obeying our parents. Without their instruction, we will be swept away by the deceitfulness of pleasures and the desires of this life. Instead of finding righteousness and peace, we will find ourselves sinking in the calamity that will befall us. “Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you…” (Proverbs 1:24-26). So what will you do? Will you start trusting God to lead your parents so that they, in turn, can lead you; or will you still choose your own way ? Maybe you can’t obey you parents because you have never trusted the only One who can enable you to obey them. If that is the case, I say, along with the apostle Paul “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2Corinthians 5:20-21). Run to Christ! Turn away from your sin and cling to Him, and He will save you!

Hebrews 12:11— “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”



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