Friday, May 02, 2008

This Is Huge - Teens Drive to Connect

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to fit in. We can put a negative slant on the idea of fitting, but ultimately, fitting in is synonymous with having friends. A teenager has to ask herself some serious questions if she is remaking herself in unChrist-like fashion in order to fit in. But a teen also has to ask himself some serious questions if he doesn’t have any friends. Look in the lists of virtues in scripture. Loneliness is not in any of them. When a young person wants to fit in, he is sensing something from deep inside his DNA. He is sensing that he was created for relationships. She knows that much of who she is involves interaction with other people.

In teenagers, the drive to connect with others is especially strong. Even young people who are shy, still have a powerful force inside them to make friends – and it’s incredible how shy people find each other. The drive is so strong, young people do boneheaded things, things out of character for them, in order to make the connection.

It’s important for us, teens and not-so-teen people, to understand this drive and the impact it has on choices. Many of the poor decisions that young people make are not thoughtless. They are not “unencumbered by the though process.” The consideration of right or wrong and the reflection on potential consequence may have been short; but it was usually there. Teens don’t mess things up because they are idiots; they aren’t. Their drive to connect is just often stronger than their sensibilities.

For guys, Chris Cagle’s song “Chicks Dig It” has a lot of meaning:

Just throw caution to the wind my friend
And then sit back and watch your life begin, cause;
Scars heal... glory fades;
And all we’re left with are the memories made.
Pain hurts, but only for a minute.
Yeah, life is short so go on and live it
Cause the chicks dig it.

Connection is Huge for teenagers! Christian teens have to remember the command from Paul to refuse to conform to the world, experiencing instead a transformation to being like Christ through a renewing of the mind (Romans 12:1-2). Christian teens have to know about the real Jesus so that friendship and connection with him is priority #1! Christian teens also need to make strong connections with other teens of faith, for their own benefit and for the benefit of the other teens.

This is huge for teens, so it is huge for all of us! That’s Life at Work!

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