Absalom and Your Teenager

Absalom was a troubled young man. He did not present himself as troubled, but he was. He projected power; he manipulated his father, the king. He was arrogant. He was vengeful, taking the life of his brother in payment for the honor of his sister. He had a flare for the dramatic. He had 50 men who ran ahead of him to announce his going and coming. He challenged his father's leadership by publicly proclaiming that life would be better for all if only he were king. But the real Absalom was not what he appeared to be. Inside he was hurting. He relied on subversion and raw intimidation to achieve what he wanted. He had no answer for the pain in his heart. He had no comfort for the lack of relationship with his father, King David. He had no confidence in the loving-kindness of God; rather, he was convinced he had to make his own way in this world. So Absalom used the images of power, good looks, arrogance, and popularity to secure what he thought he wanted. But with all this, he was weak and lonely, without solace and joy.

Teenagers are often like Absalom. They present an image of arrogance and defiance. Yet inside they are hurting. Too often, parents react only to the projected image. They, like Absalom's father, David, fail to see that what is needed is relationship with God. So parents respond to teenagers with hurt. They are intimidated and fearful -- or angry. Parents, forget that God is bigger than their troubled, hurting teenager. An angry teen is at odds with the God of heaven, and therefore lives with a troubled, unsettled spirit—but he often doesn't know why.

[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]