Pastor's Pen: Raising non-typical teenagers

By Layton Dutton

Associate Pastor of Youth

Calvary Baptist Church

Evart

Joseph, Samuel, Jonathan, David, Naaman’s servant, Joash, Josiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, Adbednego, Mary, and several of the Apostles. What do all these people have in common?

1. They are all listed in the Bible and they all faithfully served God in some way. But there is more in common than the great faith each one possessed.

2. They are all introduced and served God while still teenagers. Each one is first represented in the Scripture in their youth. We don’t normally think of people in the Bible as teens. We always see pictures of them as middle-aged or older men and women. But God greatly used people of all ages in Scripture, including teenagers.

This may not be your typical group of teenagers, however. These young men and women stood up for the Lord. They boldly served Him, most of them doing so when those around them would rather they just fade into the status quo. But they wouldn’t. They followed God and honored Him despite everything against them.

Often times we raise our teens as children. They can’t think for themselves. They can do little. They need entertainment. They need selfish indulgences. We raise them this way and then wonder why they become self-seeking adults only desiring what will please them. But that is the dream we placed within them. We gave them the goal of “living for the weekend” and looking forward to retirement so they can do “what they want”. Our desire is to please ourselves and we pass that same desire onto our children, but that is not God’s desire for us.

Revelation 4:11 says this, “It is fitting, O our Lord and God, That we should ascribe unto Thee the glory and the honor and the power…” (Weymouth New Testament)

“It is fitting” that we give God all the glory. It is fitting that we praise Him above all. As Psalm 150:6 states, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” (NIV)

Are you teaching your children to live their lives to the honor and glory of themselves or to the honor and glory of God? Has your teen been taught by your words and example the same faith and conviction that Daniel showed when arriving in Babylon or David when confronting Goliath? Would they stand? Read the accounts of those listed above. Then raise the young man or woman in your home to realize the biggest dream they can have is to fully and unashamedly follow Christ.