Is adolescence really necessary?

In this 60 minute message, Brian Watts challenges the assumption that the teenage years must inevitably be a period of conflict. The idea of adolescence is a modern invention, and is a phenomenon that does not exist in many other cultures.

If Jesus is our model for how to live life, then surely he is our model for how teenagers should live, for he also experienced the same period of growth and transition. Christian parents may expect more from their teenagers than the culture suggests. Young people do not have to be ruled by hormones but can learn from a young age to be Christ-like.

This message was given to the B.C. Christian Home Educators’ Convention in Kelowna in 2007. Brian’s desire was to allay the fears of parents dreading the nightmare of teenage years, and to show that there is a better way.

What can we expect from teenagers? Looking at Jesus as the model teenager.

1. The Origins of Adolescence

2. An Alternative Model: Sonship

Galatians 4:1-7 – Childhood is a time for listening and obeying.

Psalm 2:7,8 – “You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance.”

  1. True sons are authorized to ask
  2. True sons accept responsibility
  3. True sons are willing to wait

3. Expecting more from our teenagers

  1. What is Normal?
  2. Pre-conditions for achieving normality
  • Precondition #1:Shield from the world’s definition of expectations
  • Precondition #2: Follow the childhood/sonship pattern
  • Precondition #3: A life-changing encounter with God

4. A biblical model for expecting more from our teenagers

Proverbs:  “Train up a child…” /  “My son, hear…”

5. A relational context for expecting more from our teenagers

Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.
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