Rebel is not a synonym for teenager.
I’m fifTEEN years old. A teenager. But I’m no rebel.
(Okay, so maybe I do occasionally enter through the EXIT at Walmart. But that is beside the point.)
Just because I’m between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, doesn’t mean I disagree with my parents every chance I get, try hard to do the opposite of whatever wise people tell me to, or compromise the beliefs that I grew up holding fast to.
Society would tell people like me me, “You, girl, are insane. Live a little. You are young and free. Party all you want. For this fleeting moment, life is all about fun, of course. Don’t heed advice, all those old folks have no idea what they’re talking about. Experience life for yourself. Make your own choices. Be free to ‘be yourself.’ And you’ll be happy.”
Um, no, actually. I’ll keep my head square on my shoulders, thank you very much.
Not only is this view unwise, but it leads to trouble. And frankly, I have no desire to live wastefully.
But you, reader, may be thinking, “Why is she so different?” Well, I’m glad you ask.
My Faith Is My Own.
I made a decision at a young age to become a Christian. As Jonathan Edwards once said, “Resolved I will live for God. And if no one else does, I still will.” I don’t live for God because my parents force me to, or because an author wrote it in a book that I should. This is my own choice, and no matter how hard I am pulled, I will not be torn away from my foundation that I have built my life upon. The Lord has revealed Himself to me, and I can not deny it. I will not compromise because I am pressured to. I will hold firm because I know the Truth, and it has set me free.
By Obeying Authority, I Am Obeying God.
It’s already been established that my faith is my own. I’m not a brainwashed religious freak. I have fallen in love with my Savior. The authority that humans rebel against is much bigger than parents, or the police, or even the President. If I am to disobey anyone in authority (unless it goes against the Bible), I am disobeying God.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
If God says to do something, and I do not do it, then not only am I showing disrespect to those whom I am not heeding, but I’m deliberately rebelling against the Creator of the universe, who also happens to be my Heavenly Father.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
When I do not conform to the patterns to just about every other teen on the planet, I am being obedient to God. And by doing this, I can discern His will. Is that not awesome?
The Teen Years Are Preparation For The Rest Of My Life.
Right now, I am getting ready to live the rest of my life. If I want to live wisely in ten years, how will that happen if I do not live wisely right here and now?
I’m not going to waste these precious seven years so that I can have temporary (and harmful) fun now. What’s the point?
And seriously. How many adults actually look back on their high school and college years and say, “I am so glad that I partied, did just what I wanted to, and ignored my parents because I knew better than them. It really helped me in the life that was ahead of me.”
Seriously? We are smarter than this.
I’m Not A Child Anymore, Even Though I’m Still Not An Adult.
It doesn’t make any logical sense to behave recklessly like a child and yet demand to be treated like an adult. By doing this, we prove to the world that we are immature and not ready for actual responsibility.
When I was five years old, my parents sat down with me and we had a talk. The main point was, “With age comes responsibility.” (This meant that I had to start emptying the dishwasher every day before I could watch Caillou.) If, for instance, I were to refuse to accept my responsibility, I would not prove to be mature enough for more privileges. The older I became, the more responsibility I was given, and in turn, the more freedom I was given.
Come on, guys. We can act like adults (in the way that we accept responsibility) and so prove that we are ready to be adults. If we act like foolish children, we won’t be ready for everything that life throws our way. So let’s “man up” (or “woman up,” if you prefer) and be wise. I’m not an adult yet, but that doesn’t mean I can start preparing to be one.
Yes, I am a teenager. But I’m not a rebel.
I never had the place to be rebellious anyway. So Why should I? Where is the real and true benefit?
God gave us authorities for the reason of keeping order in this world, for He knew that we all have a sin nature that wants to run rampant inside of us. But as a Christian teenager, I give no authority to my sin.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I do not live for my rebellious self anymore, but for my Savior.
And I do not let “rebel” be a synonym for “teenager”.
Note to Parents:
I’m not a parent, so I cannot guarantee to you that your kid is going to obey you or listen to you. But as for me, I have made my faith my own. I desire to heed authority, for I know it is good. Not because Mom and Dad forced me to follow a set list of dos and don’ts, but because my relationship with my Savior is the most important thing in the world to me. It’s my own choice. And it is the best choice I’ve ever made.