Summary: This series is based on the book, "Do Hard Things" by Brett and Alex Harris. It is a 7 week series that challenges teenagers to step up from the low expectations that our culture has placed on them.
The History of “teenager”
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
Illustration – the elephant and the rope
I. The history of “Teenager”
A. The term teenager has only been around for 70 years or so
1. The dictionary defines “teenager” as: “a person between the ages of 13 and 19; an adolescent.”
a. The term “adolescent” literally means “to grow up.”
b. Adolescences hold us back from:
i. What we could do
ii. What God made us to do
iii. What we would want to do
2. In the 1900s, only one out of ten American young people between fourteen and seventeen years old attended high school.
B. What does the Bible say about “teenagers” – NOTHING
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. – 1 Corinthians 13:11
1. We are children; then we are adults
2. It’s interesting to note that when we become adults, we “put away childish things.”
C. So how did “teenager” come about and why is it so negative
1. In the early 1900’s, a cascade of labor –and school– reform laws were passed in an attempt to “protect” kids from the harsh conditions in factories.
2. Once this was done, young adults became teens. Young adults became consumers instead of contributors
3. Today, society doesn’t expect much of anything from young people during their teen years.
a. Do you realize that more is expected from a toddler than a teenager?
b. We tell a child that is learning to walk to get up when they fall. Nothing is really expected from teenagers
D. Where expectations are high, we tend to rise to meet them. Where expectations are low, we tend to drop down to meet them.
II. It’s time to rebel
A. This generation is ready for change
1. “The teen years are not a vacation from responsibility; they are the training ground of future leaders who dare to be responsible now.”
a. Sometimes we like being able to do things we shouldn’t do or getting away with less than our best. We excuse our choices because that’s what teens are supposed to do or by thinking, Well, I’m not as bad as some people I know. We go with the crowd. We do what comes easily: we certainly don’t do hard things.
b. The consequences? – We waste some of the best years of our lives and never reach our full God-given potential
2. This rebellion isn’t against institutions or people. It’s against a cultural mindset that twists the purpose and potential of the teen years.
B. It’s time to rebel against low expectations
1. The teen years are the primary time God has given you for “strict training”
2. When we make this choice, we choose to:
a. Set our direction
b. Develop our character
c. Build momentum for an amazing future
III. How to rebel against low expectations
A. The five kinds of Hard
1. Things that are outside your comfort zone
2. Things that go beyond what is expected or required
3. Things that are too big to accomplish alone
4. Things that don’t earn an immediate payoff
5. Things that challenge the cultural norm
Question: Is how we’re spending our time right now preparing us for what we hope to become in the future? Are we doing things now that will equip us for greater tings God may have for us to do?
Final Thought: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” – Lamentations 3:27