Gospel-Centered Teens

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You’ve got to deal w/ school, clothes, facial blem­ishes, girls, high school sports, girls, learn­ing to drive, girls, uncon­trol­lable appetites for junk food…

by Jason Cornwell

Being a teenager is tough. I remem­ber, even though it’s almost been 10 years ago. You’ve got to deal w/ school, clothes, facial blem­ishes, girls, high school sports, girls, learn­ing to drive, girls, uncon­trol­lable appetites for junk food, & then to top it all off, you have to worry about dat­ing girls. Oh, and there’s one other thing: Par­ents (rents for short).

Does the Gospel relate to how a teenager deals with his par­ents? You bet­ter believe it! You’ve heard the typ­i­cal com­plaints from teens about their par­ents. They’re too old, too strict, too slow, too hard & they just don’t get it. Well, since the Gospel speaks so much to our iden­tity, I think it would be good to see a cou­ple of areas where the Gospel affects teens and their rela­tion­ship with their parents.

a) The Gospel allows me to forgive.

Let’s face it. We’ve all been wronged by our par­ents at some point. They’ve got­ten angry or been unjust or just been, well, human. But the Gospel speaks to that. The Gospel says that I’ve been for­given infi­nite sin against an infi­nite God. Why? Because the wrath for me has been spent on Jesus & His blood is cleans­ing me from sin. My record is now clean because of Christ. The cross is where “Your bound­less love con­quered my bound­less sin.” So since I’ve been for­given infi­nitely, I can for­give a finite sin against me. And I can do it again & again because, NEWS FLASH…parents are flesh & blood & they’ll keep sin­ning. So for­give because you’ve been for­given much.

b) The Gospel allows me to submit.

We all know that we’ve each had the mean­est par­ents in the world. And soon we’ll grow to be the mean­est par­ents in the world. We all remem­ber rebelling against our par­ents. But the rea­son I rebel is because I think, “I’m my own per­son; my iden­tity is wrapped up in what I want to do.” This could be clothes, music, atti­tude, stan­dards, etc. But the Gospel says that my iden­tity is secure in Christ. Because of Christ, I’m accepted and loved for­ever. I don’t have to buy into the world’s phi­los­o­phy that says I must rebel against my par­ents to be my own per­son. I can sub­mit just like God intends because my iden­tity is not wrapped up in being my own per­son apart from my godly sub­mis­sion to my parents.

So the Gospel is that great! It trans­forms rela­tion­ships w/ parents!


Jason Corn­well is a friend of mine from col­lege. He is cur­rently fin­ish­ing up his Mas­ter of Divin­ity Degree in North Carolina.

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