Teenagers: The Image of Power, the Reality of Fear

Teenagers are often like Absalom. They present an image of arrogance and power. Yet inside they are hurting. Parents see the power but not the hurt. They may become intimidated and fearful — or angry — at the images their teenagers project. An angry teen is at odds with the God of heaven, and therefore lives with a desperate need for contentment — but he doesn't know why. Absalom was powerful, handsome, arrogant, winsome and popular. This was the image that he projected and cultivated. However, the image he displayed was not consistent with who he really was. Inside he was hurting. He relied on subversion and raw intimidation to achieve what he wanted. He had no balm for the pain caused by the rape of his full sister, Tamar. 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. He even made a monument to himself (2 Samuel 18:18). But with all this, he was weak and lonely, without solace and joy.

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