It Gets Better
“It Gets Better” is a campaign that was started in 2010 to encourage and affirm LGBT youth who were suffering bullying and physical threats because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The campaign’s purpose was to reduce the number of suicides among these youth who, having grown up in a world steeped with sexual confusion, are now despairing and hopeless because they have same sex attraction or think they were born in the wrong body. The campaign seems to have had some success in suicide prevention among this group of adolescents, but it is based on a lie. It does not get better for those who do not know Christ. In fact, it gets much worse.
“It Gets Better” is just one of the lies this world is feeding your teen. As I thought about writing this post, there were so many lies that came to my mind, I honestly found it difficult to hone in on just a few. I do believe though that they fall into a small number of categories, so I’ll talk about those and you may come up with a few lies that I hadn’t thought of as you ponder these areas of deceit to which our children are exposed every day.
You have a right to be happy.
This is one of the most predominant lies in our culture. Just a few minutes of prime time TV viewing will affirm this. Teens are told constantly that they have a right to be heard, to have and do what they want, and not to let anyone stand in their way. Middle and high schoolers are well versed in what their rights are, and they are not shy about schooling you. Take away their phone, tablet, computer, or car, and you will have a major war on your hands. This category also includes the millennials’ right to a free college education and free health care, which includes abortion. Abortion itself is a right, and if a young woman is not happy to be pregnant, she is entitled to end that child’s life. Her right to be happy trumps her baby’s right to be alive.
The Bible is clear that we do not have a right to be happy. Actually, as created beings who are under the authority of our sovereign God, we have no rights. In fact, in Luke 9:23, Jesus tells his followers that if they want to be His disciples, they must deny themselves. Jesus clearly was not interested in helping his disciples find happiness. Rather, He called them to deny their own desires, surrender their own plans, take up their own cross, and follow Him. This is a message that is radically opposed to what the world will tell your kids.
You’re perfect just the way you are.
The world contradicts itself more with this lie than any other. It’s meant to encourage a child and build their self-esteem by telling them that they don’t need to change just to please others, or measure up to any standard. It’s aimed at the overweight, the frizzy-haired, and all of the otherwise “different” kids among the pack.
Sadly, this lie is nothing but words with absolutely no substance. Pick up any teen mag, and you will see numerous articles about weight loss, makeup, hair color, and working out to achieve a “hot bod”. Clearly, by the world’s standard, your teens are not—never will be—“perfect”. The truth is the only perfect person that ever visited earth was Jesus Christ. The good news for your teen is that they can be made perfect in Him! No amount of primping, powdering, or pumping will make anyone perfect, no matter what Teen Vogue says. There’s only one sense in which your teen can be perfect: Salvation is the only path to perfection in God’s eyes.
You can do/be anything you put your mind to.
I know many Christian parents who encourage their kids with this statement, and on the surface, it seems plausible. After all, we teach our kids to work hard to achieve their goals, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if we view this statement through the lens of God’s sovereignty, we can see the flaw in it. Your kids can do or be whatever God ordains for them to do or be. Your child may want to be an astronaut, but unless God is for it, it will not happen. When the world tells them, “If only you put your mind to it you can achieve it,” it may set them on the road to real discouragement.
Your teen will have the career that the Lord ordains for them. Teach them this truth early on, and you may save them a great deal of heartache. Scripture tells us it is the Lord who determines the path of our life, and not we ourselves. If your child is meant to pursue a certain career, then God will provide the desire, gifting, and opportunities necessary to achieve it. Your teen’s role is simply to seek the His leading through godly counsel, the Word, and prayer.
There is an almost infinite number of lies and deceptions out there in your teen’s world. After all, Satan is the prince of this world, and He is the father of lies, so this should not surprise us. The key, parents, is to recognize the lies when you hear them, and be prepared to correct them with truth. Don’t become discouraged when the world attempts to deceive your child but instead, see these as opportunities to instruct and encourage. Remember, what Satan intends for evil, God can use for good. Lies the world tells us are no exception!