David, Josiah and Mary

20 My son, keep your
father’s commands
       and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

21 Bind them upon your
heart forever;
       fasten them around your neck.

22 When you walk, they
will guide you;
       when you sleep, they will watch over you;
       when you awake, they will speak to you.

23 For these commands are
a lamp,
       this teaching is a light,
       and the corrections of discipline
       are the way to life,

24 keeping you from the
immoral woman,
       from the smooth tongue of the wayward

As we finish this series of posts on Proverbs 6, I want to
focus again on verse 22. In the last post I linked to the Rebelution website authored by Alex and Brett Harris,
two teenagers who demonstrate the active presence of the Word that verse 22
talks about. They have written a book, titled Do Hard Things; Tim Challies has written a review
of the book. This book is helpful for both teenagers and parents.  The Harris brothers are convinced that the
expectations we have for what teenagers can accomplish is too low. The negative
consequence of setting low expectations is low performance. In other words, if
you don’t expect much, you won’t get much. I agree.


Scripture provides examples of teenagers who accomplished
great things for God. We recognize their achievements, but we tend to forget
they were teens. Let’s take a brief look at three of them.

David, as a teenager, was outraged
that the honor of God’s
name was challenged by an uncircumcised Philistine. His God was being
disrespected and his ability to protect Israel was openly challenged.
That was all David David needed. This blasphemy against God had to
stop! While others in
Israel may have felt as David did, he was the only one willing to take
Why? Because the one making theses challenges was Goliath, a
killing machine. The Israelites were quaking in their boots. David saw
only a
man who was trashing his God, the God who cared for him , who was with
him as
he protected his sheep from the lion and the bear. He was only a man
who was
taunting his God. And David’s God was Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Defeating Goliath would be no problem for God and his servant. Others
looked at
a huge man and cowered in fear. David looked at an even bigger God and
responded in courage. He was a teenager who cared more about God than

Josiah began to seek the God of his father, David, when he
was sixteen (2 Chronicles 34:3). He then launched a drive to purge idolatry
from Judah, idolatry that had persisted for centuries. He was guided by a
fierce determination to restore God’s honor.
He did what was right in the eyes of the
LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right
or to the left (34:2).
He is the only King to receive this praise – not turning aside to the right or left. Again,
we see the passion of a teenager who was not awed or intimated by hundreds of
years of tradition and accommodation with the enemies of God. This love for God
stayed with him well beyond his teen years.

Mary was confronted as a young girl with the prospect of
social disgrace and condemnation. Who would believe the wild story that she was
a virgin who was carrying a child? Who would believe that she was a person of
honor and virtue? In her culture such a prospect meant being an outcast, not a
pleasant thing for anyone, let alone a teenage girl. Yet her response to God
was simply this – May it be to me as you
have said.
Truly amazing! Another teenager who cared more about God than
the world around her.

What sort of expectations do you have for your teenagers?
Are you raising your young children in the hopes that somehow they will avoid
sex, drinking and drugs? Or are you raising them with the expectation that they
will be able to do great things for God? May we raise our children to become
teenagers who live for the glory of God with passion for his Name.  May we see our teenagers with eyes of faith –
that they too, can do great things for God.

Shepherd Press