Educators, psychologists and other proponents of adolescence have managed to convince the world that teenagers are unable to make good decisions and if not closely supervised would live irresponsible undisciplined lives.  Sigmund Freud wrote this in an essay he published; “adolescence is a period of emotional upheaval, inconsistent behavior, and vulnerability to deviant and criminal activity caused by psychosexual conflicts.”

Well, to that I reply, “the wisdom of man is but foolishness to God.”  I have never read anything about adolescence in the bible but I have read much about God’s opinion of the human philosophy of this world.  The belief in the lie of adolescence becomes a self fulfilling prophesy within the family.  We have in essence given our children permission and willingly accepted the fact that they are going to act irresponsibility between the ages of 13 and 21.  We are by silent consent giving them permission to experiment and do what is often referred to as, “discovering themselves.”  We are setting them up to waste and entire decade convinced that they are neither children nor adults.

Pr 29:18 says in the King James, “Where there is no vision, the people perish;” and in the New King James, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;” When we leave our children without vision and purpose, allowing them to “discover themselves,” they easily become unrestrained.  Their deep desire and need to accomplish something of value is replaced with the pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment of the flesh.

Make no mistake, young men and women do have a very deep desire to make their life count.  They not only have a desire but they also have the capability if we will help them prepare.  John Quincy Adams, who would one day become President, left his father and traveled to Holland to attend Leyden University.  At 14, he was made secretary and French interpreter for Francis Dana, the American Ambassador to Russia.  He traveled the continent alone, through numerous European nations, overcoming many language and culture barriers.  At 15 he returned from St. Petersburg, Russia, to The Hague which entailed an overland journey of six months.  At 16, he was made the Secretary to the American commissioners in France negotiating the peace treaty with Great Britain to end the revolution.  At 17, he returned to the United States to begin studies at Harvard, his second university.

Louisa May Alcott who lived from 1832 – 1888 was an author and teacher.  She was writing poetry at the age of 8, with her mother telling her that “if she kept on in this hopeful way, she might be a second Shakespeare in time.”  Only 5 years later, when 13, she wrote a famous poem, My Kingdom.  At 16, she wrote a book, Flower Fables; at 18, she wrote the novel, Moods; and at 19, her stories were being published in magazines across the country.

William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody, became a paid cowhand at 9.   At 11, he was making long cattle drives and by 12 he had become a trapper and woodsman.  At 13, he became a Pony Express rider.  At 15, he was riding military dispatches, and at 16 he was a guide and scout for the military.  He eventually became a Medal of Honor winner.

James Iredell, lived from 1751 – 1799.  He was a Government Financial Officer; Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; and a Ratifier of the U.S. constitution.  At 17, he was the comptroller of the customs House in Edenton, North Carolina.  Buy the time he was 23, his political writing in favor of America had made him the most influential political writer in North Carolina.

Maria Mitchell an astronomer and teacher lived from 1818 – 1889.  At 11, she became a teaching assistant while at the same time studying astronomy; at 12, she helped calculate the exact time of a forthcoming total solar eclipse, quite a feat in her time, and at 17, she was the head of her own academy.

These are just of few examples and there are literally thousands of other young people with great accomplishments.  As a whole the myth of adolescence has almost single handedly destroyed the acceptance of their capabilities and lowered our expectations for the young people in our society.   It doesn’t have to be that way with your children.

pg. 82-83 “Contending for the Heart”

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