Monday, February 10, 2014

Do You Love Teenagers?

Shrieks of laughter.  Endless hours of guitar playing and singing.  Aggressive games of Phase 10 and Skip-bo.  Challenging words.  "Not so healthy" food.  No sleep.

That describes my weekend away at Teen Chill 2014.  Emily and another girl from our church went, along with teens from all around our district - 100 in all this weekend and there will be another group going next weekend.  Both myself and Emily were reunited with teens from our last church and that was wonderful!

I loved every, single second of it and even survived the lack of sleep.  Teenagers are invigorating, challenging, energetic and encouraging.  Yet, not everyone sees them that way.

Many look at the exterior and make judgements about them based on their speech, their activities, and their behavior.  They view them as an annoyance or as troublemakers.  They avoid them at all costs.
Yet, if we would look past the behaviors, the words, and the attitudes many times we would find hurting people. 

► The girl who runs from inappropriate relationship to inappropriate relationship perhaps may be trying to fill a void left there by her parents.

► The teen with the "keep away" attitude, is holding others at arms length so he won't be hurt again.

► The loud, obnoxious teen?  Perhaps he is trying to get the attention he never had.

► The clingy, needy teen?  Looking for someone to love her as she is.

► The uninterested looking teen?  So self-conscious that they can't participate in anything without feeling intimidated.
Look past the behavior and love them.  Look past the attitude and love them.  Look past the crude words and love them.  Show these young adults how much God cares about them and the wonderful plan He has for them.

Am I tired?  Yes.  Did I have moments of wanting to get away somewhere quiet?  Yes!  Was I encouraged?  Yes!  Did I have God moments?   Absolutely!  How could I not with 100 teens, lifting their voices in worship?  And I'm sure that was a very sweet sound in God's ears!

I love teens.  How about you?