The Teen Age

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The Teen Age

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Imagine a world that didn't market to adolescents. What would it be like? What would young people be expected to do? How would youth culture change?

That world existed not long ago. Take a moment to ask your grandparents or great-grandparents what their lives were like as young people. They probably grew up in an age when the modern notion of "teenagers" was just developing. They faced many of the same feelings and pressures that teens experience today, but were expected to move quickly into adulthood.

imageToday's concept of teenage society wasn't commonly adopted until the 1940s and '50s, but it's been a hallmark of Western culture ever since. It was primarily a tool of advertising and marketing. After World War II a large group of adolescents came of age in an era of increasing wealth. Their parents were able to spend more money on them than had any parental generation in history.

Businesses saw a great opportunity to make some serious money, so they did. On the newly invented television they aimed much of their advertising at children and teens.  Manipulative marketing funneled young people toward the stores to buy their favorite records, celebrity-styled clothes, snack foods and an endless list of other items.

Has this phenomenon affected modern teenage culture for the good or the bad? Both. Teens are increasingly highly connected via technology (an inroad for more marketing), and they are curious and interested in life and the world around them. On the down side, like any generational grouping, they tend to cut themselves off from those around them. Without the steadying influence of parents, siblings and elderly people, teens can get stuck in a youth society that isn't always positive.

How to balance being a teen with becoming an adult? The adolescent years are a changing time, both physically and mentally. Hormones and emotions are shifting rapidly, and this is exactly the time to seek God for help. He provides direction on how to have a positive "teenage-hood" and move gracefully into adulthood.

Read the Bible. It's the basis of God's instruction, and He planned His way of life to apply to young and old. Learning, living and internalizing those principles needs to be a primary goal during the teenage years.

Pray to God for guidance in great things and small. I remember praying for help in school, on virtually every test I took. The result was that I was able to achieve good marks, sometimes beyond my own abilities.

Keep God's law and encourage your friends to do likewise. It is easier and more fun to do what is right when many people are doing it, than it is to go it alone (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Read "Friends Don't Let Friends…" by Vertical Thought editor David Treybig about how to strengthen each other.

Seek those of like mind and steer clear of ideologies that focus on darkness. God's way is light-filled, positive and produces harmony. Analyzing everything that goes in your mind by way of video, music or reading is a primary defense against the false values that the devil spreads in this world.

Above all, like Jesus Christ said, seek first the Kingdom of God, the plan of eternal life and perfect justice that puts our lives in perspective and helps guide the climb from teenager to adult (Matthew 6:33).

Let's redefine the "Teen Age"—for the better! VT


  • Cjwilson15
    I have been having a lot of anxiety in my life, and not able to eat much, and worrying too much, pray for me please that I will get better and become more fixated on my faith, rather than, worrying.
  • Tom Disher

    Thanks for the article. It is good advice for those entering that age.

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