21st century challenges of teenagers and way forward by Adetula Blessing

Teenage is known to be one of the most sensitive periods of a man's life, it's the stage of transition from childhood to adulthood.

 At this stage the teenager is trying to balance his/her internal change with the environment, the teenager sees everything in a new way and is curious about almost everything, rather than accepting every instruction and norm, the teenager becomes inquisitive to know why things should be done this way, rather than that way.

Many of man's biggest mistakes happen during teenage, this is most likely the age you decide to follow a passion, study a course, do one thing or the other.

Challenges that 21st-century teenager faces are a result of the switch from being a child to becoming an adult. An adult is more aware, more informed, but a teenager is most likely confused, because the teenager is informed, but doesn't understand,  a teenager is not clear or sure of what life is all about or what to expect from it.

This age seems to make everything difficult, once you have little adult features, like the beard, the thick voice, breast and all as the case may be, the world and your mind make you feel like you have become an adult, expectations arise, the teenager doesn't step back to understand, but just plays along and acts as an expert in the field of being an adult.

I spoke with a number of teenagers and asked them about the biggest issues they had since their teenage. Not surprised it ranged from pressure, lack of direction, low self-esteem/self-worth, identity crisis, purpose definition, stability.

The truth is not all teenagers will open up, they build walls easily, they observe and generalize, and whoever they confide in good/bad will, in turn, influence them, because at this stage they're like wet clay, very pliable and whatever you mold them to can stand for ages. Parents and guardians have a role to play, but the teenager has to be informed and clear their minds of confusion to make them focused.

So why wait till teenage to combat the challenges that come with that age range?

That's like preparing for war on the war front.

2Tim.3.15 - And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

From childhood, he was been prepared for Wisdom and this Wisdom can only be found in Christ Jesus.

This challenge teenagers face is more of an internal pressure a change in view of things and development arising from within, which to a great extent is complexities from external pressure, as well as spiritual warfare: Satan's way of keeping them in the dark( this is the major cause of all other reactions to the teenage period):  it starts from the mind, things like; Identity crisis, low self-esteem, lack of self-worth, poor emotional intelligence, confusion, violent thoughts, doubting thoughts.

The Bible in many instances emphasizes knowing God from one's youth, the truth is knowledge is the solution to all these challenges, and to be specific; the Knowledge of God, which is Christ Jesus.

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 Eccl.12.1 - Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

The creator is God, he alone can determine your identity. Imagine if I am a potter and I made a vessel for water, definitely I'm the one in the position to state the purpose of the vessel. Likewise, the only way to know your true identity is by knowing your creator..God.

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The only way one can know God is through Jesus His son, from believing to receiving Jesus. We were all alienated from who we were meant to be because of sin, we were dead in our trespasses and were in darkness but receiving the light which is Jesus, I was transformed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Light( God's dear son).

Col 1.13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

The love of God is calling you ...John.3.16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Rom.10.9 - That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Christ Jesus came, he dwelt among us (John 1:14), he suffered and was nailed to the cross, he became sin for us. 2Corr 5.21. For he hath made him be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  He took away our sins, he died, was buried, and he resurrected that we might be saved.

This is the very first step to overcoming 21st-century challenges as a teenager.

We'll continue in the next blog. Thank you

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