Why Do Teenagers Rebel? (And a Few Thoughts From One Who Didn't)

When I was a teenager, if you asked me what my greatest fear in life was, my answer would probably surprise you. While most of my friends were worried about school and girls and their cars, I was most worried about something way off in the future: my own kids. Even as a teenager, I was worried that one day my kids would walk away from God. Yeah, I was a bit odd.

I still worry about that today. I desperately want the generations that follow me to know the God that I know. And I want them to gladly choose to trust Him and His ways.

Every parent wants their kids to turn out right. We want our kids to make wise choices, gladly submit to authority, walk intimately with God, and to enter adulthood without significant emotional baggage from their teenage years.

Unfortunately, there are no magic formulas that will guarantee that will happen for our kids. In fact, there are few 100% guarantees in the Christian life. Sure, we can look to God and His Word for His promises (and He is ALWAYS reliable), but it will rarely look the way we think it will.

What we can do as parents is create an environment where God is free to move in our kids' lives. We can take steps to build a culture in our families where we give our kids very little to rebel against. We can provide a framework of unconditional love and grace (and even fun) that makes what we are trying to teach our kids more attractive to them than the alternative that the world offers.

I want to invite you to read a perspective of this from someone who is very credible: a 19-year- old young woman who chose NOT to rebel. She is the daughter of author, speaker, and blogger Sheila Wray Gregoire. In her post (that went a bit viral last week....over a quarter million views and counting), Rebecca explains that she's not a particularly compliant kid, but that her parents created an environment in their home that fostered a love for the values that were cherished there. This is something that every parent can do. 

You can read what this articulate 19-year-old says here. I guarantee you can learn something!

*Check out my brand new book: The Talk(s): A Parent's Guide to Talking about Sex, Dating, and Other Unmentionables. It has been developed to assist parents as they help their kids navigate our hyper-sexualized culture. Whether your kids are 6 or 16, it provides practical help to help your kids to make wise choices in a messed-up world.

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