When God says no

Everywhere they turn, teenagers are faced with rules, laws, and restrictions reminding them they are not yet adults. They are constantly hearing the word “no” in their fight for independence. There is often a battle between authority figures and youth who are attempting to express their individuality. When these conflicts occur, it is important to remember that the teenage years are about a long and sometimes difficult transition into adulthood. During this transition developmental changes in the brain initiate critical thinking that helps teens later become analytical adults. It is also important for teenagers to understand that, on their journey toward adulthood, authority figures are trying to provide safety along with accountability and moral order to help everyone function well in society.

God’s Laws

Some teenagers think of Christianity as nothing more than a list of do’s and don’ts. This is an extremely narrow view of who God is and the Christian lifestyle. The church has the opportunity to help younger generations shape their image of God. Many teens who would describe God as “law enforcement” need to see and experience God as a loving parent. Leaders must help students understand that the purpose of God’s laws is rooted in love. God’s laws are meant to provide safety, structure, and accountability. Without God’s commandments to follow, we would all do what is right only in our own eyes (see Judges 21:25). This type of living leads to chaos and destruction. God’s laws exist because God cares about us and wants all of humanity to live harmoniously with the Creator and one another.

Trusting the Giver of Life

Whether God says no through commandments, discipline, or answering a prayer request different from the way we want, we must trust that God’s plan is better than our own. Trusting in God’s sovereignty is often a difficult task for a Christ follower. Relying on our personal abilities instead of on an unseen God can be tempting. However, since God is the Giver of all life, we can trust that God knows what is best for us and follow Jesus’ example for our lives.

Question of the Day: What is something you recently asked your parents for and they told you no?

Scriptures: Genesis 3:20-24; Exodus 20:1-17; Mark 14:32-36.

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC here!

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