The Invention of YOU

DID YOU KNOW that there was a time not too long ago when teenagers didn’t even exist?

That’s right.  All throughout history prior to the early twentieth century people were classified as either children or adults.  In fact, the first documented use of the word teenager was not until 1941.

In the 1800’s YOU were a part of the full-time work force in community and family.  At age fifteen girls were marriageable; boys could join the military and enter university or a full-time profession.  Only one in ten of YOU attended high school in the early 1900’s.

What changed?  Child labor laws, though well-meaning, inadvertently ripped YOU from the work force and added years to your childhood.   That is when YOU were invented.  Teenager – a young person with most of the desires and abilities of an adult but few of the expectations or responsibilities.

Unfortunately, society has set an insultingly low bar for YOU, and sadly we rarely achieve more than what is expected of us.  YOU are considered a child when YOU are capable of acting as an adult. Sadder still, often YOU accept the degrading sentiment of the day like a muscle-bound Olympiad sulking in self-pity because someone has repeatedly told him he is too weak to run or jump or flip.  Society has inadvertently shackled YOU with this misconception.

So, what do YOU do?  Reach down to your shin level, and grab hold of the bar, and lift it up as far as you can!  Take responsibility for your actions.  Expect yourself to act respectably.  Become who God knows YOU are capable of being (Col. 3:23).  YOU can do it.  Teenagers, I mean adults, have been doing it for years!  It’s time for YOU to reinvent the teenager.

Sources:  Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, Life Quest by Cary Schmidt

3 Responses

  1. Thank you Pastor Irving! This is uplifting and challenging. I look forward to your ministry here, and working alongside of you. The Lord has a great work to be done by our children. They cannot allow themselves to be shackled by society. There is a depth of character in them which needs to be “stirred up”.

  2. WOW, Pastor Irving!! I don’t even have teenagers, but I sure do LOVE this message! That is great! Thanks so much for giving us “Future-parents-of-teens” one heaping load of insight. I’m going to have to save this post for those teen-years. Thanks again!

  3. This is a message that more “teenagers” and young adults need to hear. I just finished reading “Life Quest” (Cary Schmidt) and it was a huge blessing!
    I wish that book could be made a requirement for ALL youth groups and College&Career groups in Bible-believing churches across the world!
    Thank you for your post.

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