Your body is behaving strangely and you have outgrown the cute stage. You are too fat or too skinny, taller than everyone else or shorter, too loud for the adults in your life, but too quiet to suit your peers. Your hair is too curly or too straight for the current style, and you never know what sort of face will greet you in the mirror each morning.
You begin to feel a need to embrace ideals but you are not sure which ones or why. The ones your peers embrace, even as they strive to rebel from the norm, seem just a little too empty and too “popular.” Where is the individuality they say they crave? The ones many teachers press on you seem to come with agendas attached. Do they teach these because they believe them and think they will help you, or because they want disciples?
But the thing we need to think about today is, what about us as parents? Of all people, we should be teaching ideals that will make our children’s lives better and their souls secure, but sometimes the things we do make that difficult for a child to see, especially one already confused by his mind and body, and the mixed signals he receives from everyone around him.
Help him out. Live by the ideals you teach. We tell him nothing is more important than his soul, but does he see that in us, or does he see far more time and money given to recreation and status-building than to the Lord, to worthy causes, to needy souls and spiritual pursuits? We tell him his eternal destiny is more important than physical wealth and security, but does he see us sacrifice spiritual matters for those very things time and time again? Does he ever see us engaged in personal Bible study or is the TV on 24 hours a day? Does he hear us preach honesty then hear us brag about cheating the tax man? Does he hear us talk about setting priorities, about being at the meetinghouse every time the door is open, while remembering that you have not spent any time with him, one on one, talking about spiritual things in the past six months or even longer? As young as he is, he understands that there is more to Christianity than sitting on a pew.
Adolescent rebellion is not unusual. It is part of discovering who you are—considering ideas, then rejecting them or accepting them. Don’t give your children an easy—and far more obvious reason than you would like to believe—to reject yours.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:14,15.