There is HOPE!

Of course, there is the hope of Christ Jesus being our Lord and Savior.  And the acceptance of His lifestyle and heartstyle will surely save us. 

But, I’m really talking about teenagers.  I am the father of 1 teenager, an almost 17 year old.  We have our days with her where we scratch our heads and say…HUH???

Then, there are other days, she just absolutely makes us proud.  I hear about all these other teenage girls out there sowing their oats and sleeping around, partying, and just letting it all hang out.  The media would have you believe that ALL teenage girls are like this.

I work in a retail establishment, and in the summer time we have some scantily clad women, but oddly enough, many of the teens are modestly dressed, and covered without sacrificing comfort.

Let me go a step further…. I am co-Youth leader with my wife Darlene.  We have had our share of teenage girls AND boys coming in and out of our youth group.  Some we’ve had discussions with about appropriate dress and what is okay to wear to youth group.

There are still those others that have opened up to us about other stuff.  The awesome thing is, that they could be out “destroying the world”, hanging out partying all the time, but they come to Wednesday night youth group to hear the word of God and sing praise and worship music!

So, I kind of resent the insinuations that ALL teenagers are dredges to society and we should “watch out for them”

My daughter has had a couple guy issues that were not favorable to me.  Our teens at youth have, at one time or another, slipped and fell off the wagon.  Whether it was to let a cuss word slip out, try a drink, say a judgmental word, or turn their back on a friend. But when have WE ADULTS not done that?  So, we are going to judge a teenager for doing something, when as an adult, we are supposed to be an example.  We are one up, if our teen chooses Christ over the world, but what if they don’t? 

I am in the midst of between 10 – 20 teenagers every week.  Sometimes twice a week.  I socialize with them, I love on them, they talk, I listen… but most of all, they are awesome!  They have idea’s, plans, dreams, and pretty much a good head on their shoulders.  Out of our pretty substantial group, there might be 1 or 2 that have major issues that they have dealt with but CHOSE to take the high road and be an example to others. 1 Timothy 4:12 is our mission statement.  It says, “Don’t let anyone make fun of you, just because you are young. Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity.”

Oh…they aren’t perfect.  But are any of us?  I can say without any damage to my conscience that, overall, every teenager I know is an awesome kid.  Oh sure, we have self-image issues, bullying in school, we have ones with anger issues, adhd, some are downright loud and obnoxious, but each and every single one of them is lovable.  You give them respect, they respect you.  You love them, they love you back.  There is not one teenager (or young adult) that I haven’t showed love to that hasn’t returned it back.

So, be careful judging these young people.  They are not a majority.  And yes, there are ones out there that are horrible, evil people, and we don’t know what brought them there… but I’ll go out on a limb and just say that at the root of that anger is a child that was abused by their parent.  Bullied at school.  Beaten to a pulp by a loved one, or sexually molested… and sure, we can’t just let our issues define us.  I certainly didn’t let my childhood define me.  If I did, I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

I met this one teenage boy a few years ago, that had so much hatred.  He got what he could out of us and he never talked to us again.  Then out of the blue, through our continual love and prayers, he came back (much like the prodigal son in Luke 15).  His apology and heart-felt remorse was heart shattering..  He appreciated our continual love and that’s what brought him back.

They may go off the wheels for a minute because they have to experience life.  That’s human nature, but if you pray and love, with the love only God can give.  Even the worst teenager ever will come to their senses.

Darlene and I are abundantly blessed being surrounded by probably hundreds of teenagers and young adults.  And OUR majority proves that they are ALL children of God and they all have potential… especially if someone takes the time to love them and guide them.

So, the next time you see a teenager getting bent out of shape and decide to write them all off, think, “am I the problem, or do I want to be a part of the solution?”

My teenage daughter has all the makings of a kid that has grown up on the wrong side of the tracks… but she has FOUR parents, a zillion grandparents and pastor’s and other adults that just love her to pieces… and KNOWING THAT, her responses are filled with love and potential.  She could be one of the statistics..but she is my child, I have proud of her and I love her.  And she knows that. 

Hope this helps someone out.  I felt the urge and the pull to write this for whatever reason, so I pray that the reader will be blessed and I pray in the name of Jesus that their lives will be filled with peace, and that the chaos that only the enemy brings will be squashed and they will have a God-filled, blessed, peaceful existence until the day of “His Coming”

Peace, Mike