Today I’ll be addressing the High School students at Tri-City Christian School. On a bookshelf in front of me is a copy of Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. It was written by a couple of teenager. It was written for teenagers. It understands know what teenagers are faced with and makes it clear with these opening words: “Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last.”
We live a culture, both secular and ecclesiastical, that has very low expectations. This applies across the board, but is especially evident in how we treat high school students and teenagers in general.
In his fascinating book The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager, Thomas Hine writes this from a secular perspective, “Teenagers occupy a special place in the society. They are envied and sold to, studied and deplored. They are expected to break some rules, but there are other restrictions that apply only to them. They are at a golden moment in life–and not to be trusted.”
Again he writes: “We love the idea of youth, but are prone to panic about the young. The very qualities that adults find exciting and attractive about teenagers are entangled with those we find terrifying. Their energy threatens anarchy. Their physical beauty and budding sexuality menaces moral standards. Their assertion of physical and intellectual power makes their parents at once proud and painfully aware of their own mortality.”
If both these statements are true, then we have our work cut our for us. We need to reconstruct a proper set of exceptions for the most energetic, attractive, powerful, and potentially world changing generation currently roaming the earth. This starts in the home, is reenforced in the church, and sets the tone in a school. Lord willing, this years theme verse will be a start.
1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise you for your youth,
but set the believers an example