Spiritual Ponderings on the Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus
Why Teenagers Rebel - a Teen Perspective
By Emily Greene, age 15.8 years old
Why do teenagers rebel? I had to repeat that several times to myself because it’s a difficult question that can’t be answered the same for everyone. Some teenagers may feel lonely and not loved, so they feel that if they rebel, maybe they will get the attention they need.
This is not the case for me.I know my family loves me.Too much. They show it in many ways, but in a sense, I still feel lonely, like something is missing and I want to seek it.Some people dream to have a family that’ll care and love them as much as my family does for me, but at times I can’t stand it. I feel trapped in a box that I’ll never be able to escape.I know my parents have rules for a reason and they only make them because they care, not because they want to make me mad all the time.But I feel as if those lines I’m forbidden to cross are preventing me from filling the empty hole in my heart.
Another part of me hates being told what to do or what not to do. I like to feel as if all my options are open and I can choose to walk through any door I want without the worry of a door being locked. If a door is locked, I want to know what is behind it.That’s the door I want.
I want to learn from my own mistakes. I want that sense of freedom, which I feel when I rebel. The feeling of power over myself is a feeling I can’t have when I’m trapped. That’s why I rebel – the hole in my heart and wanting to finding out what fills it.
My daughter wrote this on the airplane on our vacation while she was 'bored'. We have been struggling lately - the limits my husband and I place in her life at age 15 when she wants to be 21. She says our rules make her want to rebel. Yet, some rules we just have to keep in place in order to live obediently to God as parents.
My heart breaks – not for me but for all the pain that she is willing to invite into her life by choosing her own way as the ultimate way.
I wonder how long it will take and what she will experience before she finally realizes that only Jesus can fill that hole. Only Jesus will satisfy.
As a mother, what can I do? All I know is to keep on loving her as Jesus does and to be her biggest prayer warrior.