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Faithlife Corporation

Power of Blessing wk 4

Notes & Transcripts

Introduction:

How many of us can remember the wonderful years of adolescence?  How many of you remember them as “wonderful?”

The period known as the teenage years are often very turbulent times as we struggle to deal with the many changes brought on by the changes in our physical body.

Someone who obviously experienced a challenging time growing up said it this way, “You don’t have to suffer to be a poet! Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone!”

 

Well, adolescence can be a pretty scary time for young people but they aren’t the only ones who are scared by it. Parents are often just as frightened by it.

I’m sure you’ve heard such things as:

“Raising my teenage son or taming a lion.. hmm, I’ll take the lion any day!’

Or maybe this one,

A parent points to his or her Graying hair and says,  I didn’t have any of this until my kids hit their teens!

Or

A father pointing to his balding head says,  I used to have hair until my kids became teenagers!

These and many other phrases that I am sure you are familiar with all indicate that our general disposition and concept of parenting children through their adolescent years is “You better hold on because here comes a Hurricane – The Hurricane of Adolescence!”

We have all heard countless stories of children that seemed to be well behaved as a pre-teen who suddenly became rebellious, sink into depression or have thrown their parents values away?  Why do these things happen?

Well if your experience was somewhat of a challenge going through your adolescence or parenting an adolescent then you are in good company.

Let’s turn to the scriptures this morning and read about an incident in the life of one family between an adolescent son and his parents. Turn with me to Luke 2: 41-52

41.Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." 49. "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50. But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

1. Major Life Question of Adolescence is

Do I have what it takes to make it in an adult world?

Children who are transitioning from childhood into adulthood struggle with this question?  “This question requires affirmation that too often is missing in the teen’s own home?

Let’s consider the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus for a moment.

Joseph and his family had gone to Jerusalem to keep the Passover.  This was nothing new as they did this every year. They travelled the three day journey to Jerusalem and would undoubtedly meet with other family members along the way.  You can almost hear Mary and Joseph saying “Ok, you can go play with your cousins”

When the Passover was finished everyone packed up and began the trip home. The scripture says, his mom and dad thought he was with them.  They probably thought he was walking along with his cousins or another family member. But Jesus stayed behind.

Realizing by the end of the day that Jesus was nowhere to be found they “immediately” left for Jerusalem to find him. They faced every parent’s worst nightmare – a missing child. You can almost here the panic in Mary’s voice as she visits the places they had been in Jerusalem.  Have you seen my son? His name is Jesus.  He’s about so high with black hair.  He 12 years old. They went from shop to shop, door to door to find him. 

The scripture says, “After 3 days they found him… in the temple courts sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (vs.46)

Now what transpires is very interesting.  The scripture says that when they saw him they were astonished and His mother said to him “Son why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

Would you mind if I paraphrased this for you this morning.

“After looking everywhere for three days they looked inside the church and were shocked to see Jesus there, talking with the elders.  Immediately Mary interrupted the discussions and said to her Son…. “Where have you been young man? Do you realize what you’ve put us through? Your father and I have been going crazy looking for you?”

That is more likely what it sounded like!

To which Jesus responds, “Why were you looking for me, didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Now listen carefully to the next line speaking about his parents “But they did not understand what he was saying!”

Listen, if Jesus’ parents didn’t understand him, then I guess it is alright for us to admit that as parents sometimes we don’t get it either.

It is common knowledge that Billy Graham’s Son – Franklin  went through a significant period of rebellion in his teen and young adult years.

Maybe you are saying, “If Billy Graham’s son went through this, what hope is there for my family?” Well we know that there was a happy ending to the story of the Graham’s family.  Franklin Graham today carries on the legacy of his father and is the founder of Samaritan’s Purse which has reached millions of families with the gospel giving Christmas presents to poor and needy children.

But what is the root  of “so called rebellion” and why does this perios of parenting so often have conflict?

While you cannot blame parents for every action of their children, frequently the source of conflict has to do with parents failing to notice changes in their emerging teen and to understand the major life question that is driving their teen.  It appears as though this also happened in the life of Jesus

Let’s consider the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus for a moment.

Joseph and his family had gone to Jerusalem to keep the Passover.  This was nothing new as they did this every year. They travelled the three day journey to Jerusalem and would undoubtedly meet with other family members along the way.  You can almost hear Mary and Joseph saying “Ok, you can go play with your cousins”

When the Passover was finished everyone packed up and began the trip home. The scripture says, his mom and dad thought he was with them.  They probably thought he was walking along with his cousins or another family member. But Jesus stayed behind.

Realizing by the end of the day that Jesus was nowhere to be found they “immediately” left for Jerusalem to find him. They faced every parent’s worst nightmare – a missing child. You can almost here the panic in Mary’s voice as she visits the places they had been in Jerusalem.  Have you seen my son? His name is Jesus.  He’s about so high with black hair.  He 12 years old. They went from shop to shop, door to door to find him. 

The scripture says, “After 3 days they found him… in the temple courts sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (vs.46)

Now what transpires is very interesting.  The scripture says that when they saw him they were astonished and His mother said to him “Son why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

Would you mind if I paraphrased this for you this morning.

“After looking everywhere for three days they looked inside the church and were shocked to see Jesus there, talking with the elders.  Immediately Mary interrupted the discussions and said to her Son…. “Where have you been young man? Do you realize what you’ve put us through? Your father and I have been going crazy looking for you?”

That is more likely what it sounded like!

To which Jesus responds, “Why were you looking for me, didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Now listen carefully to the next line speaking about his parents “But they did not understand what he was saying!”

Let’s consider some key points in this story that might assist us in understanding our own experiences growing up as a teen or in raising our own teenagers.

Five Areas of Failure to Recognize MLQ

 

1.    Experimentation Mistaken for Rebellion

a.    Jesus was practicing his Adult identity and not rebelling against his parents or their authority

                                          i.    He is in the temple(Father’s house)

                                        ii.    Discussing the Word (Father’s business)

                                       iii.    He does not argue or resist but returns with his parents

2.    The Urgent takes Precedence over the Important

a.    Mary and Joseph were too preoccupied with family events to notice the changes in their budding teenager

b.    (relate story of William’s football desires if appropriate)

3.    His Emerging Identity Is Recognized by Others Before being Recognized by His Parents

a.    The scripture say’s everyone that heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers

b.    Everyone except Mary and Joseph

c.    Often easier for others to see because as parents we get caught up in the routines of daily life and fail to see the subtle changes that are taking place

4.    Young Person Criticized instead of being Blessed

a.    Mary was too upset, she just blurted out a rebuke to Jesus in public

b.    Instead, she should have praised her son agreeing with everyone who were amazed at his ability,  and then privately on the way home discussed the matter by asking him why he had stayed behind and first listening to his reasons before  trying to correct him.

5.    Father is Uninvolved

a.    Joseph is silent in this story

b.    As a father he should have calmed Mary (understanding she was emotional at the time – what mother wouldn’t have been) but try and help her to have a different perspective so as to prevent her from launching into a public chastisement of her son.

What Went Wrong?

Joseph and Mary failed to notice their son was reacting to the puberty stage and as a result a new agenda was appearing in his life.  They forgot his “Emerging Adult Identity” and were treating him like their little boy.

As a result they were not in a position to coach or cheer him on towards his destiny.

Listen, if Jesus’ parents didn’t understand him, then I guess it is alright for us to admit that as parents sometimes we have failed to understand this.

2. Every Teen Needs A Life Coach

One of the most important border crossings in life is the transition that is made during the teen years.  All through this stage they are struggling with the major life question over and over and over… “Do I have what it takes to make it in this world?”

 

Someone jokingly said, “Adolescence is being and adult less sence.”  While this may seem humorous it is very erroneous and can also be very damaging.

Teenagers going into adulthood are not less intelligent than the adults they strive to emulate in their lives.  They are merely lacking experience.

So don’t treat them like children who can’t understand.

We should treat adolescence as “Apprenticeship” for adulthood.

As parents we must be prepared to change roles (Especially the fathers) from the ones who make the decisions for our children, to the coach who instructs them on how to make decisions and then allows them to practice under supervision.

(Explain how apprentices work under a master to learn the trade. He shows them how, and then allows them to practice.  He allows them to make some mistakes so they can learn and intervenes only when needed to prevent serious injury.)

Your teens need a life coach and God intended you to be it.

(Relate how my cross country coach placed team members at specific places in the course (creek and steep incline) where it was most challenging.  They would be there to cheer me on!  Every time I heard them shouting and cheering me it gave me the added boost I needed and I would try all the harder)

Crossing the border between childhood and Adulthood is about wide a stream and as steep a hill as you can find. They need you to be there for them

Parents sometimes wonder, Why is it that teenagers are so self absorbed spending hours infront of the mirror, or on the phone talking with their friends about their own issues?  Sometimes parents become so frustrated and say, “Why are they so self-centered?”

Short answer – because the major question facing them every waking moment of this stage of life is about them. Do I have what it takes?  They are driven to answer this question.

Perhaps you don’t think this is really all that important.

Why do you think there are so many teenage suicides?

Because if at this stage they begin to truly believe they don’t have what it takes, then why continue on to the next stage of life?

Parents need to LISTEN, To listen to the heart is to give honor.

 

A survey of tens revealed that their number one desire is for “Someone to listen to me without judging me!”

Too often as parents we are concerned about having our children behave right that we give lots of correction without sufficient amount of affirmation. But remember what the major life question of teens is, “Can I make it?”  That question demands tons of “AFFIRMATION!”

This is where Dads come in.

Fathers have a spiritual authority given by God to call forth their young teens into maturity, to the destiny God has prepared them for.

Single mom’s (Hannah’s story of Samuel – not single but gives Samuel to the temple to serve the Lord) Eli serves as a “Stand-in Father” to Samuel

(If time permits tell story of Samuel with Eli the prophet – Eli discerned)

Take Home Points

1.    Parents

a.    Remember – Without affirmation correction becomes rejection

b.    Why not sit and write out a blessing from what  you are learning and speak it to your teen

                                          i.    Look for things in their life that are worthy of praise

                                        ii.    Look for hidden gifts /talents that you can affirm or call forth

c.    Your teen needs you to be his number one fan, his coach

d.    Be quick to listen and slow to speak

2.    Teens (Don’t fall into the trap of the devil)

a.    Even though his parents dishonored his true identity, young Jesus didn’t rebel.

b.    At 12 he was more aware of what God was doing in his life that they were

c.    What did Jesus do?

                                          i.    He explained himself to his parents

                                        ii.    He enlightened them

                                       iii.    But he did it respectfully w/o rebellion

d.    Don’t take the worlds value system

                                          i.    Don’t answer your major life question by comparing yourself with sports heroes or celebrities who often don’t have what it takes in many areas – just a whole lot of talent in one area

                                        ii.    Britney Speers and other had great success before they properly answered the MLQ of Do I have what it takes to make it?  Then they have a melt down in life.

                                       iii.    Do yourself a favor. God has created you with an identity and a destiny. Discover his purpose for your life!

Close with Prayer

-       Teens with parents

-       If no parent is present have an adult stand in

Adolescence

Sermon Series: 40 Days of Blessing – Message 4

I.   Major Life Question of Adolescence is “Do I have what it takes to make it?”

 

Five Areas of Failure to Recognize MLQ

1.     Experimentation Mistaken for Rebellion

2.     The Urgent takes Precedent over the Important

3.     Emerging Identity recognized by others before it is recognized by Parents

4.     Young person is Criticized instead of being Blessed

5.     Father is Uninvolved

II.   Every Teen needs a Life Coach

1.     Treat adolescence as “Apprenticeship” for adulthood

2.     Parents need to Listen – To listen is to give honor

3.     Fathers have a spiritual authority to call forth their young teens into maturity.

 

III  Take Home Points

1.    Parents

a.     Remember – without affirmation correction become rejection

b.    Write out a blessing. Look for things worthy of praise.  Look for hidden gifts/talents that you can affirm or call forth

2.     Teens - Don’t fall into the devil’s trap

a.     Jesus didn’t Rebel

                                          i.     Jesus Explained himself to his parents, respectfully without rebellion

                                         ii.     Don’t take the Worlds value system by comparing yourself with sports heroes or celebrities

                                        iii.     God has created you with an identity and  a destiny. Discover his purpose for your life

Adolescence

Sermon Series: 40 Days of Blessing – Message 4

I.   Major Life Question of Adolescence is “Do I have _______________________?”

 

Five Areas of Failure to Recognize MLQ

6.     _______________ Mistaken for Rebellion

7.     The ________ takes Precedent over the ____________

8.     Emerging Identity recognized by ______ before it is recognized by ________

9.     Young person is ________ instead of being _________

10.  Father is __________

II.   Every _____ needs a Life _________

4.     Treat adolescence as “_____________” for adulthood

5.     Parents need to ______ – To _______ is to give ______

6.     ________ have a spiritual authority to ___________their young teens into maturity.

 

III  Take Home Points

3.    Parents

a.     Remember – without __________ correction become ___________

b.    Write out a blessing. Look for things worthy of _______. Look for ____________ that you can affirm or call forth

4.     Teens - Don’t fall into the ___________________

a.     Jesus didn’t _______

                                          i.     Jesus _________ himself to his parents, respectfully without rebellion

                                         ii.     Don’t take the Worlds value system by comparing yourself with sports heroes or celebrities

                                        iii.     God has created you with an ________ and  _________Discover his ________   for your life

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