Thursday, December 13, 2012

Terrible Teens? No Way!


I often hear people complain about teenagers. I've seen families experience deep heartache when their children got to the teenage years. When our girls were young, Curt and I were told, "You just wait till they're teenagers!" We are still waiting for those dreadful days have not come.

The girls are almost 19 and 17. We haven't dealt with wide mood swings or boy-craziness. We haven't experienced rebellion or disrespect. To the contrary, the girls have embraced a life of learning to control natural impulses. They have embraced the understanding that life is not to be lived just in the natural flow of: be born, grow up, get married, have babies.... No, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and because of that our girls are pursuing the will of God as the single focus of their life. They believe that focus involves preparing themselves to be sharpened tools for His purposes. They want to offer Him the best they can give. Whatever He wants for them is what they want.

What happened to those awful teen years? Well, I'm certain there are myriad reasons we escaped them. A couple come to mind.

I sat Tuesday night to observe a rehearsal for the teen drama at our church.

Our 16-year-old, Rachelle wrote the drama this year. Months ago, she, another teen writer friend from church, and our friends, Matt and Julia (the drama coaches for our teens) brainstormed about ideas for future plays. It was Rachelle's turn to write the teen drama this year, and Matt helped her form the idea for the play she wrote. The idea was born out of our Sunday morning Bible Study of the gospel of John. At our church, the young people--about 12 and up--join the adults for Bible study. It gives us parents an awesome platform for meaningful discussion with our teenagers.

But back to the rehearsal... I sat and watched and listened. I laughed till I cried, for the drama is very funny--well, a large portion of the drama is funny. But, there comes a point when it becomes deathly serious. The effect the play had on me continues even now as I think about it.

Scene 2 Set

Here is a synopsis:

Every great story reflects the greatest story of all.

Throughout literature we read of kings coming in disguise to live among their subjects. Most of the people fail to recognize their sovereign; at best they ignore, at worst they persecute him. His commonplace appearance and their own assumptions blind them to the truth of his identity.

Such stories find their origin in John’s depiction of Christmas. While he doesn’t explicitly mention the shepherds, the Wise Men, or the birth of the Christ Child, John focuses on the most important part of the Christmas story: the incarnation of the Word of God, the advent of the promised Messiah. Yet John also pinpoints the irony of the story, reminding us that Christ came unto His own, and His own knew Him not.

Tonight we present a rather uncommon Christmas drama inspired by the Gospel of John. Nicole Pearson, an up-and-coming mystery writer, knows exactly how to run her own life... That is, until she finds herself inside her latest novel, and discovers what it’s like to be doubted—and even rejected—by her own creation.
Scene 3 set during rehearsal Tuesday night...
actually this was prayer time right after the practice.
We pray those who watch will love Jesus more
because of what they see here.

I rejoice in the creative gift our Rachelle has continued to develop which enabled her to write this meaningful play. I'm fully convinced that the more we humans tap into the wisdom of Jesus Christ, the better our lives will be. He is at the root of why we have not had those "terrible teen years."

And one more reason comes to mind... there have been numerous studies that show teachers' expectations are reflected in students' achievements. Maybe this should be considered in parenting... What do we believe teenagers are capable of? What would Jesus expect of them? What was He like at twelve? We don't know a lot about His early years, but if He is God's example of the perfect man, should we not consider what we do know about Him as a young person? Should our children not be challenged to look at Jesus as a youth? We can become so enveloped in our culture that we just blend in and expect the expected.

Terrible teens just didn't happen here. I'm forever grateful!

Thank You, Abba!