What's Wrong With These Teenagers Today?
by Pastor Art Kohl

Teenagers take a bad rap today! They are NOT all bad! We cannot categorize them all in one bunch. That's not fair, nor right.

Of course teens today in general have problems. They always have. Today's seem to be more complex and severe than ever. As a result, many are troubled by things adults never had to relate to. The solution doesn't seem easy to come by. Understanding the world they grow up in will help us to see where they are coming from.

Why am I This Way?

EVERYONE IS A PRODUCT OF THEIR INFLUENCES; including teens. An old proverb says, "You will be the person you are today, a year from now, except for the people you meet and the books you read." However, today there are many more influences besides people and books that mold people's character.

Understanding the major influences of a teenager's life will help us to understand why some act the way they do. Whatever you can do to change those influences will help produce the desired effect we would like to see in them.

Consider these illustrations:

1. The One-Eyed Monster

That's what my dad used to call the TV. Our black and white TV broke down when I was very young. My dad never fixed it and never got a new one till I was grown up and joined the Army. It didn't hurt me not having one.

I heard one preacher call it "hellivision" instead of "television"! Maybe he had something there!

Six hours a day for the average American makes it a major influence! What is it teaching our character? Can you deny it: violence, drunkenness, sex outside of marriage, etc. For example, by a teenager's 16th birthday they will have seen 24,000 episodes depicting fornication and adultery, better known as "bedroom scenes." Do we wonder why they try to live this out as normal behavior? Teen pregnancy, unwed mothers, VD, AIDS, abortion are household words in America because of the influence of TV.

2. The Beat of Their Drummer

Every human being on the face of the earth enjoys some type of music. They have been trained to like some kind, or it has been dictated to them by society.

Plato said, "The introduction of a new type of music into society should be shunned as periling the state." I wish we'd have listened to him back in the 1950's and 60's. I have never found one honest person who will deny that the major themes of rock-n-roll music are: rebellion against authority, drugs, alcohol, Satan worship, sex outside of marriage and suicide. Not one person has ever denied that and can prove it! The Bible says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

3. Where's the Leadership?

Everybody is following somebody. There really is no such thing as an individual. Again, each one of us is a product of our influences.

As long as I've lived, I've read and listened to the media of our country destroy our faith in our leadership. Every president has been shredded in pieces regardless of their political party or where they stand in the philosophical spectrum.

By listening to many news commentators today, you would thing that the President is the worst thing that has ever happened to our country (not saying it is good either), even before he became President! I've got news for you: If you keep listening to them, the next president, no matter who he is, will be just as bad!

Faith in leadership, the foundation for a strong country, has been destroyed. Young people have not had the privilege of having heroes. Political and military men are depicted as dishonest people who can't be trusted. Sports stars are shown as beer drinkers and coke snorters. Religious leaders are decimated by 1 or 2 sex scandals and are categorized as dishonest crooks.

Who can teens have for heroes today? How about Motley Crue, Prince, LL Cool J. etc? It's too bad.

4. Where's Mom and Dad?

Out working. Earning money. Fixing up the yard. Partying. Boating. Camping. Watching TV. Important things? "I don't understand it, I gave him everything he ever wanted!" parents say, EXCEPT YOURSELF!

5. The Great Religion

Humanism is the greatest religion in the world today. Its churches are in session Monday through Friday each week. Humanism in a nutshell is the "me, myself and I" religion. No God, no authority to submit to, just me, myself and I. For over 30 years, the Bible and prayer have been eliminated from public education, shortly after the Ten Commandments were removed. The epitome of censorship! Christianity, which made America great, is not allowed to be taught. In its place, atheistic evolution is taught, (as fact, no less), instructing teenagers that there is no God or authority they must answer to. Leadership has been destroyed. Mom and Dad don't have time for me, guess I'll do whatever I please. Result: No fear and a life full of trouble.

How Can I Help Teenagers?

First, don't put them all in the "bad" category! They detest this, because it's not true. There are many good teenagers.

Second, work to change their influences as much as possible. Eliminate TV or keep an extremely tight lock on it.

Discourage rock-n-roll music from being played in your home. Build up leadership, don't cut them down. Explain to your young people the age old fact that nobody is perfect. Leadership is not perfect, but we still live in the greatest country on earth.

Teach them to look up to the President, teachers, policemen, Pastors, Judges, etc. Not with blind faith, but with admirable respect for their position and the value of leadership. Spend time with your teens. Do things together as a family. Encourage them and direct personal attention to them as individuals. Discourage them from a "me, myself and I" life-style by your example of living for others, starting with them. Teach them that they are not the only ones on earth and not just to make decisions based on what "I" am going to get out of it!

Good influences will create good teens, just as much as bad influences create bad teens.


The only one that can change a person's nature permanently is Jesus Christ! So many can testify today, including myself, of how Christ has changed our lives and our natures. God accepts us just the way we are, but we must come to Him to be saved. When we are saved we become "new creatures" according to II Corinthians 5:17. So many teenagers can also testify today of how Christ has helped them, changed their lives, given them something worth living for and given victory over temptations.

Reader, are you saved? "Saved" is a Bible word used throughout Scripture. You either are or you are not. Bible salvation is through Jesus Christ only. Not through any particular church, code of morals one must follow, or personal good works.

Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is their salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."

Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross as our substitute for our sins. He shed His blood, was buried and rose again that we might have eternal life. Not to set up a religion, but to enable us to have a relationship with God.

Have you received Christ as your Saviour? Life starts there. Do it right now. Bow your head wherever you are right now and ask Jesus Christ to be your Saviour. Confess your sins to Him, for only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7). Ask Him to come into your heart and life and help you today. HE WILL! TRUST HIM! Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Click here to read our message: You Can Know For Sure That You Are Going To Heaven!

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