Teens are interesting creatures. It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure this out! In my teenage years, I lied to friends, teachers, police officers, parents, grandparents, pastors, and even myself. As I look back, I ask myself, “Why did I lie?” I could say I lied for a number of reasons, but the main reason was to protect myself. I lied to friends to prevent being made fun of. I lied to parents to prevent getting in trouble. I lied to teachers to prevent a bad grade. I lied to pastors so they would think I was doing great in my walk with Christ, and now I am a pastor!
This morning, I came across an article which spoke of the top reasons why teens lie to their parents. As I read this article, I realized the state of our teenage culture.
The fact is, the reasoning behind what a teen does may not always be the most logical reasoning, but they do think things through. We, as adults, tend to think that children and teenagers are crazy for doing things without thinking. Yet, we are quick to forget that we were once in their shoes.
One thing that I can say that I have forgotten in the short number of years since Jr. High and High School is the reasoning behind “why” teens do what they do. Teens have a brain and use it on a daily basis. They are in school learning calculus, trigonometry, biology, chemistry, and so much more. Teenagers are much smarter than we give them credit for!
The Scary Reality
I do not condone lying. Let this be clear. Scripture clearly speaks against this as a sin (Exodus 20:16; Leviticus 19:11; Psalm 119:163; Proverbs 12:22). Here is the scary reality, if we do not recognize that teenagers are lying, and why they are lying, then this will continue in a spiral of results that will harm all sides. The fact that teenagers are trying to protect themselves by using lies, speaks of a fear that they have if they do not use these means.
In this survey, it was revealed that the top things teens are lying to their parents about are (in this order):
- Suicidal thoughts
These students answered honestly as it was anonymous. Here, we find ourselves in a unique circumstance, we see the truth of teen’s lies. What greater benefit for a parent, teacher, or leader of these teenagers! We know what teens are lying to us about.
Truth Will Vanquish Lies
We must get to the root of these fears that are driving teens to lie. We must bypass these lies that they use to create a facade – their own false sense of perfect and safe reality – in order to bring them to true reality. What are they trying to protect themselves from? What do they fear that causes them to lie?
We must confront these issues in a proactive manner, not reacting in a time when things are too late. To believe that our teens are not lying is us lying to ourselves.
We see the lies that these teenagers are telling. We know what to confront.
Parents, teachers, pastors, leaders. May we seek the truth among the lies. May we find the truth of the lies that we are told. May we seek the reconciliation that is so needed among our teens.