Impersonation or Preparation

Luke 2:51-52 “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

It is from these verses that we can learn about the teen years of Christ. The teen years of Jesus were not wasted but rather spent purposefully to ready Him for His adult years. There are two ways in which teenagers can look at their teen years – a time of preparation or a time of impersonation. By the time a teenager reaches thirteen years of age, he has a general idea of the type of person God desires him to be – honest, cheerful, kind, patient, clean, and the list goes on. The existence of these traits in a teenager’s life is not measured by who he is in public but by what he does in private. If he has not spent the time and energy to develop these character traits in his life, many times he will simply resort to impersonating them around his peers. Instead of impersonating godly character to attract a young lady or a young man, the teenager should spend his teen years preparing for the special person God has for him to marry. Jesus spent His time increasing, “And Jesus increased.” In other words, He was not caught up in impersonating adulthood but preparing for adulthood.

There is a great danger and distraction that can enter a teenager’s life during this crucial preparation time. This distraction has caused many men and women to regret, in their adult years, the lack of preparation in their teen years. The distraction is DATING! Teenagers, your interest in a member of the opposite gender is 100% natural and good in its right time and with the approval of your authorities. In May of 2017, a research was completed which stated that less than 2% of all marriages are actually to a high school sweetheart. This means that the time and energy invested in multiple relationships during high school was misappropriated. A wise teenager will take the distraction of dating and set it aside so he can “increase” or prepare – for his future spouse that God has for him.

The Bible tells us Jesus increased in three different areas of His life – wisdom, stature and favour. Wise is the young person who will focus on preparing in these three areas rather than impersonating them.

1. HE PREPARED FOR DECISIONS.

            The Bible tells us that Jesus prepared in wisdom. Why is it important to prepare for life by increasing in wisdom? Young person, there are many decisions awaiting you that must be made from a Biblical standpoint. Wisdom is seeing life through God’s perspective.

One of the greatest decisions you will make in your life is who you will marry. If you have not prepared yourself with wisdom, it is easy to make that decision based on what you think is best rather than what God sees is perfect. Yes! Teenager, it is more important to see life from God’s perspective than to impress others with your personality. 

2. HE PREPARED FOR DUTY.

            Jesus prepared Himself in stature. The word stature alludes to the maturity of an individual. Jesus knew, that without maturity, passions dictate actions rather than duty. One of the best ways for you to prepare for the responsibility of marriage is to mature. Learn to fulfil duties before satisfying your passions.

Jesus said in Luke 2:49, “wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” He was able to stay focused on the duty at hand because He prepared Himself in maturity. If you rush into the responsibility of a relationship without maturity, you will endure many unnecessary hardships.

3. HE PREPARED FOR DEVOTION.

            One of the greatest preparations in which Jesus engaged was having favor with His Heavenly Father. This favor was obtained through devotion. Jesus learned how to walk with His Heavenly Father in his teen years; therefore, he knew how to have His Father’s favor in His adult years.

            Teenager, the single greatest preparation in which you can partake in your teen years is developing your personal devotional life. Don’t impersonate having a walk with God so you can attract a boy or girl. Develop a spiritual walk that attracts your God!

If you are still pondering whether or not you should date or wait, let me ask you, “On what are you focused – impersonation or preparation?” Follow Christ’s example and prepare. You will never have to wonder if you are ready for your future spouse if you spend time preparing properly. 

Pastor Caleb Hanson

Midwest Bible Baptist Church

Rochester, MN