Teen Behavior

A recent article in USA Today entitled, "Expert: Risky teen behavior is all in the brain" asserts that "Adolescents are at an age where they do not have full capacity to control themselves," and that we as adults need to do a better job of controlling their actions. It goes on to state that we are wasting billions of dollars on education and intervention programs to dissuade teens from risky behavior simply because their brains have not yet developed to the point in which they can avoid such risky behaviors on their own.

While I agree with the neurological research that has been done that shows that the human brain is not yet fully developed by the teenage years I am left wondering how scriptures like 2 Corinthians 10:5 that tells us to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." factor in. What about the words of 2 Peter 1:5-7, "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."?

Yes I agree, it is important for adults to stand with teens and help them navigate the difficult pressures of life. That is what I have given my life to. I also believe that we need to believe in them a little more, and believe that they have the ability to allow God to transform their lives and form them into the people He desires them to be. I believe students have the ability to "not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of their minds, so that they will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

What do you think?


Michael Rew said...

"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Proverbs 29:15 KJV).

The second part of this Proverb largely defines American culture: a child left to himself. And too many trusted caretakers of children are hirelings, not shepherds (John 10:11-13). I also wonder what Paul had in mind when he instructed different age levels in the epistle to Titus: "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded" (Titus 2:6 KVJ). He had detailed instructions for the others, the aged men and women, the young women. But the young men? It almost sounds like an afterthought. Perhaps it is hard enough just to keep young men soberminded! But consider what may be one of the hardest Scriptures in the Word of God to tell young men and women:

"The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. For the Lord will not cast off for ever: but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, to turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, to subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not" (Lamentations 3:24-36 KJV).

The earlier part of this Scripture sounds like a recipe for geekdom: silence, aloneness, mouth in the dust, letting oneself be smitten, filled with reproach. The latter part sounds, to young ears, hardly like the kind of reward one wants for being a total dork.

Well, you asked what I think.

Aaron Geist said...

While the research is probably correct, how in the world did the teenagers of yesteryear live in their world in spite of their brain functions?

Anonymous said...

the thing my thoughts keep going to - man God sure expected a lot from teens...Mary, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Joseph
must be a reason

Tony Myles said...

While I admit to having seen lots of examples of teens whose behavior leads me to say, "What were you thinking?", I cannot ignore that many adults have caused me to say the same thing.


Fight the good fight in this generation, brutha.

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