Summary: This message focuses on 7 needs evry teen faces and how the church can address these.
“The 7 Cries of Youth”
We are continuing in our series called desperate households. I think for those of us who are parents that we have all had ideas about what we think will work as far as parenting is concerned We think about how we will handle discipline, how can we help our kids maintain sexual purity, help them reach their goals and help them learn how to enter the world so that they can be responsible young adults.
..unfortunately there are no classes...we don’t learn about it in school and we find ourselves often at a loss as to how to be an effective parent. When our children are very young there are challenges we face that seem difficult at the time and caring for preschoolers can be. We then find out that those concerns are relatively small in light of what we see in their later years. We try to teach them to love God, to love their family and to love other people. But if we were honest today, every parent here would admit that we haven’t been completely successful. In some ways we all miss the mark.
3 men in the Bible who all had a tremendous amount of wisdom had these words to share with us:
Solomon: Proverbs 1:8-9
Jesus: John 15:17
I remember reading about a multi million dollar space probe-unmanned-that was launched from Cape Canaveral to do research on the surface of the planet Mars. They had all the latest scientific gadgets-all the right equipment to gather more information about the planet. Unfortunately, just after the space probe started it’s descent to the surface it abruptly stopped sending information back to the earth. It was as though the spacecraft was suddenly gone. It had crashed into the side of one of the mountains on Mars.
When an investigation was done scientists discovered that the crash was caused by a communication problem between the probe and NASA. We are told that Houston was speaking to the spaceship in terms of meters but the space craft was programmed in terms of yards or feet. In other words someone forgot to tell the programmers to use the metric system and as a result millions of dollars and years of research were wasted.
I remind you of that story today because I believe that teenagers today are headed for a similar fate and for the same basic reason. Many of the teenagers today are on a collision course with some mountain as well-some problem they cannot seem to move beyond-and on the other side parents are unable to COMMUNICATE with them in terms they understand.
So what is it today that our youth need more than anything else? Dr. Timothy Smith tells us that there are 7 things every teenager is desperately crying out for. Here they are:
1. There is a cry for TRUST. Actually there is a cry for trust in all of us. But for many teens today who find ourselves in a family that is dysfunctional this cry for trust is especially present. We know that there are at least 3 characteristics of a family that is dysfunctional. (1) Don’t TALK. (2) Don’t TRUST. (3) Don’t FEEL. Now here is what that means. In a family that is dysfunctional there is some overwhelming problem that is present...it could include any of the following....alcohol or drug abuse, physical or sexual abuse or if the parents are too rigid. All rules, no love. Very distant. Because of one or more of these things being present the child is forced to keep a secret; they are told do not talk about this to anyone...they are not allowed to express their feelings and the end result is that they grow up believing that they have in fact done something wrong and that they cannot trust anyone. Children in these homes often become very lonely and have a strong sense of failure.
In the gospel of John Jesus was speaking to His disciples...they were no doubt very troubled over the news they were hearing that Jesus was going away. What would it mean for them? The one person who had come along and had helped them find real security was now leaving. Realizing this Jesus came to them and said these words: do not let your hears be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. What does this say to us? In the midst of a world where many of our youth are troubled and don’t know who to trust they must understand that Jesus is the person who always be there.
2. There is a cry for LOVE. In surveys that have been done through the years one of the things we have learned about teens today is that even though parents may say i love you or give them hugs many young people still do not feel loved. Teenagers crave for someone who will listen to them, who will try to understand their feelings, preferably this will come from their parents but if they do not get it from their parents they will go somewhere else!