Tweenager Christian

Main Truth: “Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground, you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning; just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted, you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives.” (‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭NET‬‬).

My husband and I are adamant on not getting a smartphone for our kids until they have reached the maturity level required to  handle the internet access a smartphone provides.

Recently, one of our kids was complaining that all her friends had a smartphone, and she was the only one who didn’t. I wanted to say the old adage, “if you’re friends jumped off a bridge would you?” Instead, I said, “Cool. Maybe you can live with those parents.” {Smart Alec is my second language}. And, just like her mother, my daughter responded, “Ok, then I will.”

I quickly reminded her, “If you choose to live with another parent, the benefits of our family will not apply, including all the activities you love. Also you will need to do as their family does.”

Her response - a classic roll of the eye and tightly crossed arms. I quickly became aware that this exchange is just the beginning as I venture into this new world of raising a tween, then teenager.

As Christians, our faith develops similar to that of a child. After being saved, we start as infants, then children, then adolescents. These stages all encompass a sense of awe of God and lack the maturity to understand scripture deeply. We then grow into tweens and teenagers with a better understanding, but still lack the wisdom to fully grasp God. Finally, with life experience and staying rooted in His Word, we mature into adults and soon become like parents to baby Christians helping them become raised up in their faith.

Recently I read Jeremiah and “tweenager Christian” came to mind and the smartphone argument came flooding back. Honestly, reading Jeremiah is pretty hard to read because we are reminded of the cold hard truth that sin has consequences. It is like taking that yucky medicine as a kid; you know the one you cringe at but your parent tells you it’s good for you. Jeremiah is often called the weeping prophet because of his sorrow over God’s persistent message of judgment on the nation of Judah. God’s people had turned their hearts from God, ignored His commandments, became like the Godless nations around them and they worshipped their own gods. However, they still wanted the benefits of God and came crying to Him when their ways left them desolate and desperate.

To summarize Jeremiah 2, God basically tells the people, “when will you stop running after these worthless idols, flit from here to there, looking to these idols and other people to fill your needs.”

The people of Judah were God’s chosen people, set apart from other nations to be a light to the world. Instead, they become more like the Godless nations around them.

They wanted the benefits of God, without having to follow God.

It would be like my daughter choosing to live with another family who she thinks would gladly give her a smartphone and still benefit from the family she left. In her mind, she only has limited knowledge and lacks the wisdom of the big picture. Like all kids, my daughter doesn’t understand. As her parents, our rules and decisions for her are for her benefit  and the benefit of our family. And as children of God, we often don’t understand God’s rules or decisions. But like a parent, we can trust these rules and decisions are for our benefit and that of us, His family.

Unlike most tweens, humility doesn’t come natural. To mature from an immature teenager to a wise adult, a sense of humility needs to develop.  To grasp the wisdom that God provides, we have to humble ourselves under His authority. An authority that seeks the best for His Family.

In Jeremiah, God says, “Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground, you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning; just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted, you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives.” (‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭NET‬‬).

As we mature in Christ and grow in Godly wisdom, let’s humble ourselves to the will of our Father and realize joining “another family” to get what we want is not the best choice to make.

Post written by: Samantha DeLeon

Samantha has grown up going to church, but didn't encounter Jesus until her mid-thirties.  Jesus met her on a road of anxiety and over commitment, turning her faith from a spectator sport to a team player on the field.  Samantha's mission is to encourage women like herself, "the overachiever-need to help everyone-over committed-never full" life into the abundant life Christ promises and trust Him through life's ups and downs.  Samantha is a California native, married to her high school sweetheart and they have 3 school-aged children.