1. I am more mature than my peers and don’t need adult guidance or protection.
I don’t really care how brilliant you are or what your IQ is. Teenagers still lack worldly and life experience. A wise and godly adult is always beneficial – bar none. It’s a foolish person who thinks otherwise. Stay under protection while you are still a child – and find a good adviser even as an adult! We can always learn from someone older and more godly than ourselves.
2. Life won’t be better or happier if I choose to put away this person, sin, or activity.
Bad friends, premature boyfriend/girlfriends, or sin problems – regardless of the issues that’s plaguing the teen’s life and holding them back from true righteous behavior and godly maturity, it’s often impossible to get the teenager to believe that God truly has their best in mind. A life without Friend X, love interest Y, or sinful/foolish activity Z sounds dull, empty, and heartbreaking to them. No matter what God promises or how happy and joyful their peers with a clear conscience are, it feels occasionally impossible to convince the erring teen that he should strive for the same.
3. My parents don’t understand me.
Again, even if you have a seriously old fogey set of paternals, there’s just so much more to life that they know about. If you have kind and loving parents, chances are they A. care about you, B. have gone through similar things, or C. can imagine it anyway, and D. have the answer due to a more developed brain and understanding. Give them a try. Please. You might be missing out on the best friends you ever could’ve had. I know.
4. I have feelings for this person, therefore that entitles me to have them.
Teenagers WILL have some sort of hormonal feeling at some point in these years toward the opposite sex (and we’ve got a bunch with feelings toward the same sex now too, unfortunately!) Your emotions don’t entitle you to have any part in another person’s life. It doesn’t give you the right to pursue them, it doesn’t mean you throw all wisdom to the wind and start a relationship prematurely, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can disobey God’s laws and go for your same gender. When did “I feel” come to mean, “the world owes me”? Stop and think about what is common sense, as well as what is best for that person. Most teens are not ready to get married. Therefore they’re setting themselves up for heartbreak, pre-marital intimacy, and wasted time. Avoid relationships. Pre-eighteen is a bad time in your life to be in a relationship, and for most late teens it is as well, due to college, no money, and immaturity.
5. Money grows on trees. I can waste time now and suddenly have a great job and a house and a car, be able to get married at nineteen, and live like my parents.
Think. Think. Think. Does that make any sense? Your parents worked hard to get there. They put in time and energy and more time. Save now. Think about your future, not just living for the present. Get a good job, go to school, or spend little on fun stuff. You can’t just do what you want to do as an adult without some forethought in your teen years.
6. My siblings will never be my best friends.
Maybe not. But they definitely could be. And while you’re shoving them away so you can spend more time without outside friends, you’re missing out on growing a relationship with the people that will be around your whole life. And, let me tell you, when you leave home, you’ll suddenly realize that no one quite knew and understood you like your family. They will be missed, and they are often the main people who stick by you. Give them some of your time now. You won’t regret the investment.
7. Music doesn’t affect me.
This one doesn’t just apply to teens, but to most of humanity. Music is a drug, especially to the emotionally immature, hormonal young person. WATCH what you’re listening to. Run it by that godly adult. Don’t always listen in private where no one can keep you accountable. Take out a pad of paper and write honestly every thought that comes to your mind while you listen. You might be surprised. If you’re struggling with feelings, hormones, rebellion, or arrogance, stop listening to anything that isn’t hymns straight out of the Word of God. The music will feed your obsessions, sense of empowerment, testosterone, estrogen, and whatever else is raging through you, fighting to have control. Music IS a drug. Clear your head by backing away from it often. Test it like you would an “evil spirit”. (1 John 4:1) See if it is from God or if it makes you feel happy doing wrong things. And I don’t just mean the lyrics. Test the actual music itself, which is far more intoxicating and influential than lyrics are.
8. I don’t have time to serve. I have homework, a job, and friends.
You always have time to serve. Even with school, you will never be as free as you are when you’re a teenager. Full time careers, running your own home, marriage, and, for grief’s sake: children! are time-consuming like nothing you can imagine. You have the energy and body and abilities to do much more than you will when you double your age. Service isn’t an option for the body of Christ – it’s a command. (Romans 12:11) Schedule it in. Find a shelter, go to an elderly home, pick up music for congregational worship, teach Sunday school, go on a missions trip. The possibilities are endless. Not only will it help with that experience and maturity we talked about in point #1, but it will give you a gratefulness for what you have, will put some of your free time to better use, and will be obeying God. You have no excuse not to serve. Cut out some video games or TV time to fit it in. I’m serving now more than ever as a mother of two toddlers by efficiently using my free time. I wish I did more in my angsty young adult years when I had gobs of time.
9. Everyone’s watching me and judging me, caring about my hair and clothes and shoes and bags and accessories and cell phone and car and…
No one cares. No one’s watching you that closely. They’re all busy looking in their own mirrors. It’s such a waste of time. Wear what you (modestly) want to wear. Be who you (righteously) want to be. Stop wasting emotion on something that doesn’t exist.
10. The verse on “your sin will find you out” is a trite little old wives’ tale. It’s not really literal and won’t happen to me. I can get away with this sin.
Nonsense. That verse is a promise. I guarantee it. If you are a believer, you are one of God’s children. How often do we let little children, whose deeds are so obvious, get away with the stupid or naughty things they do? We catch them because we’re bigger and smarter than they are, and it’s very apparent to us what they have done – so how much more can God see and understand? Do you really think He’s sitting watching with His hands tied? The verse, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in you” should not just encourage you. it should scare you. That’s a promise too. If there’s anything foul left in you, God vows He’s going to remove it. He’s going to complete His work. He will chastise you like a Father. He might give you mercy the first or second time you do something, hoping you’ll repent before He has to lay down the law. But, on the other hand, He might discipline firmly on time #1, and you could end up pregnant your very first try at it, for instance. Or you could be fired from your job that first occasion you view porn. Or you could be labeled forever a sexual offender, and be on every public map for the rest of your life. Which leads me to my next point:
11. The sins I do now won’t affect my life or future.
You might still legally be a child, but you’re in an adult body with some serious sins inside of you. You’ve been given a driver’s license, a job, friends, and many new avenues of freedom. That drink you take could be the trigger that makes you a raving alcoholic for years, destroying every relationship you have. The night out could put you in charge of your first child that you have to parent all alone. Getting fired from that job could set you up to never get hired by anyone again besides McDonalds. Or, let’s take something much less extreme. Let’s go a little personal here and pick on me. That one bad friendship, where you arrogantly acted foolishly, could lose you almost every other friend you have. it could come up for years afterward as something that makes people gossip about and worry about getting close to you. Your best friend could marry someone you specifically hurt, and you could sit in fear forever that she’s going to up and abandon you one day. You can’t make this stuff up some times; the ripple effect can be endless. Take sin seriously. You are not two years old stealing an extra cookie before dinner. You are stealing your own future away from yourself by these senseless, and some times spontaneous, decisions.
Even adults believe these myths some times. It’s not just you guys. Trust me, from my heart and others’ experiences, that you don’t want to be the simpleton believing these myths. You want to be the protected, wise, and armor-wearing teenager. You want to be the teen that clings to God in holy fear, praying not just to make it out alive from these worrisome years, but to have a beautiful testimony of what you did for the Lord in the process. ❤
Any myths that I’ve missed? Add them in the comments!