Generation Cedar

As we spend our days raising men and women, we need to help our children rebel against the low expectations culture has put on teenagers. Teens will only rise to the challenges they are given. And honestly, culture doesn’t expect much of them. But they are capable of great things!

I think the creation of a “teenage” period was a mistake. For all of time before now, children grew into adults. There was a period of “youth” recognized, but it was treated differently. It was the time when a person faced responsibility and challenges that would soon be meeting him as an adult. It was the time when he started growing up. When a child was born, parents knew their job lay in equipping that child to become a responsible, hard-working adult. That would be key to his success.

To abdicate that task would be cruel to a child, ill-preparing him for the future.

Somewhere around the age of the Industrial Revolution, in a reaction to the harsh child-labor practices along with major shifts in society, we carved out a “holding pattern” in the life of a child. Then somehow, over time, the age from roughly 13-18 became simply a time of entertainment, leisure and fun.

These once contributors to society now became consumers, and the trend intensifies all the time.

It is no wonder now why the large family is foreign and misunderstood. People don’t see children as assets but drains on the family economy. And some are aghast at the idea that children should have to take on a certain level of healthy responsibility, unable to see the harmful results of NOT requiring it.

The work force is desperate for “a few good men”…employees who have solid work-ethic, who are honest, courteous and understand that they are not the center of the universe.

And not only that, teens seem to be so easily swept away by the opinions of pop culture instead of being grounded as believers in Christ, able to discern what is noble and true.

It begins with a society of parents who love their children enough to raise the bar–to expect maturity and capability, parents who believe their children were created to glorify God with their gifts and abilities, and push them to do hard things. It might just be that catering to a teen’s every whim, cushioning his every fall and giving him his every want might not be the best thing for him.

Note to the disillusioned parent:

(By the way, some teens, regardless of how faithfully they were taught, will still brush that teaching aside. I want to offer that for hurting parents whose children may be living a life different from what they had hoped. Nevertheless, it is our job to be faithful both in practice and in prayer over our children.)

You’ve probably heard of Josh and Brett Harris and their ministry–“The Rebelution.  I’ve been reading this each morning to my children and it is such a good read and a fantastic challenge for our kids to “do hard things.”

Below is a summary of their mission, and their book that embodies it, Do Hard Things.  (<— Click the link to buy it.)

“The battle cry of The Rebelution is just three words, but it’s an explosive concept: Do Hard Things. That’s it. And “do hard things” is a mentality. It’s a mentality that flies right in the face of our culture’s low expectations. The world says, “You’re young, have fun!” It tells us to “obey your thirst” and “just do it.” Or it tells us, “You’re great! You don’t need to exert yourself.” But those kinds of mindsets sabotage biblical character and competence.

“Do Hard Things” is just the opposite. It’s how we build character and competence. It won’t drop to meet the low expectations, it won’t just do what comes easily, and it won’t become complacent. It applies no matter who you are or what level you’re on, because there’s always something harder to do, something that will take you outside your comfort zone and cause you to grow. “

I highly recommend it to you and your teens for building, strengthening and challenging them to rise above the culture’s low expectations of them and become capable, confident men and women of God.



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8 Responses

  1. Oh, I just read this book, and I really and truly liked it. I’m trying to get plugged in to the Rebelution, and I think it’s working pretty well. Umm, I think that before long I’ll have my own Rebelutionary blog like others do because most of the ones out there are for girls.

  2. I love your blog! It’s so beautiful and encouraging. (I found it with a tall-rooted tree at the top and brown branches weaving down the side, tied with pink daisies at each interesection.)

    Josh Harris wrote the I Kissed Dating Good-bye book. His younger brothers, ALEX and Brett do the Rebelution blog, tours, and book. Caught a typo in your blog. But truly, I’m forwarding your most recent Raising the Bar article to a bunch of my friends. Thank you!
    To God be all glory,
    Lisa of Longbourn

  3. I love the twins’ work and stories on their site. There’s a lot of rewarding truths to be found.

  4. I was just talking today with a new teacher at our school. He’s about 45, and his previous job was in hospital administration. He was talking about how millennials (I can never remember what age range they are) at his previous job were very indecisive in general and had a hard time making common sense decisions. He put it down to the helicopter parent generation doing too much for their kids and making every decision for them. It was interesting to hear his perspective since I have a 21 year old with a lot of common sense, great work ethic, and overall mature attitude about life. She was raised by parents who are now in their early 60’s (!) with a different mindset about kids and independence. My husband and I most certainly were not raised in the helicopter generation and did not adopt that way of raising her. Just an interesting connection to your article. I definitely agree that we should be expecting much more of children and especially those entering young adulthood.


  5. I’m shouting from the rooftops with you! I didn’t know about the Harris brother’s book but we regularly tell our kids “you were made to do hard things.”

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