The Teenage Years

Roger A. Rush

The teen years are usually seen as a time for young people to find themselves. They are the years of experimentation. They are the rebellious years. Thankfully, however, many teens do not view their teenage years this way. My experience with teenagers has been a very positive one. Nearly all the teenagers I have had the opportunity to know well have been outstanding young people. There have been a few exceptions, but they were just that, exceptions. I refuse to let those bad experiences sour my attitude toward all young people.

I am optimistic when I see the talent and drive of today's youth. They have goals. They understand the importance of hard work and commitment. They realize that short-term sacrifices will result in long-term rewards. They manage to juggle the demands of school, work, and extracurricular activities quite well. Those I know best have strong views regarding the direction our nation has taken in recent years and the need to get back on course. They are committed to building a better nation upon a strong moral and ethical foundation. They believe they can make a difference. They can and will!

If your experiences do not mirror my own, it may be because the teenagers I have known have come from a unique background. They are the products of Christian homes where God is respected and obedience is expected. It does make a difference.

Solomon urged: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Those who obey Christ in their teen years are putting themselves on a path that will spare them much harm and result in much good for the rest of their lives. They understand that the laws of God were designed for their welfare.

If I had one wish for the young people of this nation, it would be that they all would have the opportunity to grow up in Christian homes, to know God, and to follow Jesus early in life. I realize that a wish like that does not just happen. I may not be able to influence every home in America, but I can influence my own, and you can influence yours. We owe it to our kids.

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