TEEN PAIN - TEEN RAGE
He had nowhere to sleep. He roamed from street to street dozing in ally corners unseen. His life in the city jungle met with starvation today, a hot meal from a church tomorrow. As each day passed, he kept murmuring deep inside why he existed at all. Why would his parents leave him to folks who didn't have a heart for him? How long did they search for him after he ran away? Yeah, he remembers how he strutted round that house insulting and cursing screaming for his adopted parents to pay attention. "Pay attention to what?" he now asks himself, eating an already half-eaten sandwich he found.
Teens experience pain sometimes when they wake up to what’s “real” in their lives. Caring parents diligently work to create loving homes for their children and a world free of darkness. Children are to grow up in happy homes with loving families. Many children do grow up this way and should be grateful for the love their parents--whether biological, step, or adopted--have showered on them. Other children, however, do not know what love is and struggle to find identity and hope where there is no light to guide them.
Realities of life can be seen either through eyes of hope or through eyes of despair. The optimistic seer views life with eyes that search for the 'good' in everyone and in everything. They create their reality by channeling their focus on things positive. The pessimistic seer views life through shaded lens seeing only what is 'dark' in everyone and in everything. They are eager to point out what is 'wrong' with the world and complain bitterly about it.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (Ephesians 4:31).
As our children grow, they begin to see 'flaws' or imperfections in the adults who raise them, teach them, mentor them, or whom they meet for a mere moment passing by. They are critical because they are searching to find who they are by the examples set before them: "I want to be like my . . ." is the mantra ringing in their minds as they construct an image for themselves. When they can't piece together what or who is a 'perfect' being, doubts seep into their stream of conscious, "Then who am I supposed to be?"
"Who is God? and where is He now when I need Him most?" Today's generation know there is a God, but many have put God away as they look for answers through shaded lenses. Shaded lenses make the eyes comfortable, making them veer away from looking so keenly for what is good or right. "God is a big mysterious invisible being who can't be reached and who definitely can't understand how I feel. This leaves me with no choice but to go out and find myself in this dark world." God is put away in a little box at the corner of young peoples' minds as a judgmental being who will send you to hell if you commit one little act of disobedience. Many reason He is without mercy or understanding of what it's like to be an adolescent experiencing life today; that God is not relevant now and the Bible, too, what's the use?
Teenagers who have difficulty creating an identity to satisfy the question, "Who am I?" often lash out their frustration in torrents of verbal and physical attacks or in passive inner boiling anger through deafening cold silence and isolation. Both channels of dealing with "Who am I?" can lead to young people running to peers to get a sense of belonging, of 'loving'. Girls often take boyfriends. Boys take girlfriends. Some teens join dangerous gangs risking their lives in brutal initiation rites that give them membership. Others take to drugs and alcohol, or promiscuous sex with anyone or anything.
Teen pain-teen rage cheapens the way we should value our bodies. Because God is often moved out of the way, there is a void left to fill a troubled soul. That void is often filled with fornication--the spirit of lust and lewdness befriend the one open to welcome it. And once in, acts out in perverse ways to get attention. Homosexuality is not a person. Licentiousness is not a person. God is merciful and loves His creation—male and female. Like a father holding His arms open wide, He waits for His creation to return to Him, trusting Him to forgive and to restore them to who they were originally—wonderfully made in His image and likeness.
Let's not point the finger at one particular class or race of people. Teen pain-teen rage has no class or race. It affects every teenager. Why would the young man above find himself on the streets? After all, he came from a very wealthy home. His adoptive parents gave him everything he could ask for. What was his cursing and screaming, his ranting and raving all about?
As the changes in your body occur, the need to express yourself and be accepted are so important, dear adolescent. You want to be appreciated for your looks as well as for your opinions. Well, guess what? Your parents and teachers and mentors and any adult who cares about you want the same thing. We may not express it as perfectly as you'd like it, but we are all routing for your best outcome.
You do not have to be anyone else, but you. You are fearfully (extraordinarily outstanding) and wonderfully made, and deep down your soul knows that very well (Psalm 139:14-17). Your body is a masterpiece divinely crafted by God who wants to live inside it and to steer it in the direction toward His glory, the everlasting light.
Do we point our fingers at parents whose teens go off the narrow way? Many pastor's homes, especially, are afflicted by the ravenous roaring devil who wants to devour the children of men and women who have given their lives to the service of the Lord God Almighty. Was he not standing before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born? (Revelation 12:4). Parents, who are close to God, who know how perfectly relevant He is always pray, walk with them into the church, fellowship and share the scriptures. Parents who love and trust in God, our Creator, love their children with all their hearts. They love so much that they can also bring other children into their homes adopting them as their very own.
Then they go out--to school, to market, to media--out of the caring environment created for their well-being. With their lack of maturity to handle the responsibilities of adulthood, they force themselves to be like adults, to do what adults do. They want to "figure things out on my own." Some end up on the streets; others in houses of prostitution or other 'strange' houses. They run away from who they truly are and can't hear that hungry roaring devouring lion.
But God is a Mighty God. The Lion of Judah is His name. He shall not close His ears to the ones who know Him and call on His name. If you are reading this blog today, your message is this: Do not give up on your children, parents. Do not give up on yourself, teenager. Pray! with all your strength. God is a loving and merciful God. He cares and when you run to Him, He will turn your tears to joy, exchange your ashes for beauty, and bring His children back home—embraced in His loving arms. Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.
© 2021 by Patience Osei-Anyamesem. All rights reserved. Published by The Light In Me Enterprise. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews or other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Unless otherwise stated, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.