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Page 476

Why does peer pressure actually exert a real pressure on many teens?


Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

- Ephesians 6:2-3


Relating to obedience, be careful whom you select as your friends. As you begin to mature and enter your teen years, there often is a strong desire to be accepted, liked, and admired by others of your own age. The fear of being laughed at, considered different, or regarded as an outsider can be tremendous at these times. Due to this strong desire to be accepted and the fear of being rejected, many teens perform certain actions which they would never commit if they were alone. Recognizing this power of group pressure, your selection of friends becomes especially important in your teen years. Do your friends exert a positive or a negative influence on your words, actions, and life? Your parents know the powerful influence of friends at your present stage of development, and therefore, they, too, will be very concerned about who your friends are.

Try also to plan your time and activities, especiailly when you are with your friends. Idleness or "having nothing to do" is dangerous. It seems that the lowest moral element in a group wins out when no one "knows what to do." How many sad stories can be told by teens who chose wrong friends, and they went the wrong way because no positive activities were planned. Participate in healthy activities, those which you can look back upon in good conscience and remember with pleasure.

Your teen years can be very wonderful years. You are in the springtime of your life - full of activity, excitement, and expectation. Caution and carefulness are required to channel all your emotions into healthy activities. You can begin to participate in more adult opportunities and responsibilities, and to relate on a more adult level with your parents and friends. This certainly is an exciting time. The pitfalls, however, are many, but God has not Ieft you to find your way alone. He is willing to lead those who need and ask it of Him. His Word offers clear guidance and He has given you experienced and loving parents to lead and advise you.

Finally, the Lord has attached a rich promise to the fifth commandment. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20: 12). God promises a long life of peace to the individual church, and nation that obeys this commandment, in so far is it shall serve His purpose. God is free to make exceptions and to call His children home to Himself at an early age. Even in such cases,

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