“Dear teenage girl, Congratulations, you’re dysfunctional!”
Since before I can remember, I’ve been going to church. I was a PK (pastor’s kid) since the day I was born to the day I got married. I know what it’s like to have your life on constant view and scrutiny. I attended the same Christian school K-12, went to every summer camp and liked sticking to the rules. The “Christian bubble,” as I like to call it, was all I knew. Outside the bubble was a really, really scary place and it was practically impossible to function outside the bubble. I mean telling your neighbors that your family goes to church three times a week and talking to your “Christian” friends about spiritual things is hard – like, shaking-in-your-culottes, hard!
Unless you’re just way mature and ahead of the game, you, too, are dysfunctional. Now don’t get upset with me for calling you dysfunctional. I know you think that you’re different or the exception to the rule (or that I was just uniquely strange as a teenager). The word dysfunction simply means “unable to function normally as a result of disease or impairment.” The disease is sin and the impairment is immaturity; two things teens (and we all) suffer from.
By now, you’re probably really good at being a kid. You get your homework done, finish your chores, and put your ice cream bowl in the dishwasher. The truth is that the world is full of people who were great kids, but are lame adults. Why? Because we’re all sinners and thereby dysfunctional.
Now as girls, we want to be thought of as “more mature than the boys.” And in some cases girls do mature faster than guys (although in reality, girls just desire to be mature sooner than guys, but it doesn’t mean they actually do mature sooner). Turning eighteen means you can drive, vote, stay out late, and tell your younger siblings what to do. The world says that you’re a grown-up and mature!
Who cares what the world says – it’s just full of sinful, immature people who haven’t found a cure for their dysfunction! Who wants to be like that? Solomon put it perfectly when he said, “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.” (Ecc. 12:1)
You are the youth. Remember God. Don’t ignore Him during the most important time of your life! Now are the days you have the most time, the most energy, the most excitement and zeal. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6) and He wants to make your teen years into adulthood a success. Just think of the life God can give you – confidence in who you are instead of whom your friends want you to be, enjoying school, having normal relationships with both girls and guys, and being a blessing to everyone around you instead of a pain.
Most of you are also in the “Church bubble.” You’re scared of the world yet you secretly desire the world. You shy away from “God-talk” because you’re ashamed of the Person who saved your soul. Now does that sound like a person who’s functional, or dysfunctional? Want to be a good kid AND a good future adult? Recognize your dysfunction; keep your heart clean and undefiled. You will have no pleasure (only dysfunction) when you fill your days with TV, movies, Facebook, Teen Vogue, idleness, and gossip.
Jackie had the privilege of being raised in a pastor’s home where she was personally mentored by her mother. She has a passion for teaching and encouraging young ladies throughout their teenage years.
She and her husband, Chris, serve the Lord together at LVBC and currently have four children, Robby, Lauren, Daniel and Matthew.