Teen Idols

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Teen Idols

Michael Pickford

Think of Elvis Presley, Sandra Dee, Marilyn Monroe or James Dean. These were popular “Teen Idols.” Young people upheld them highly and longed and strove to be like them. They patterned their lives after their habits and styles. I don’t hear the term “Teen Idol” much anymore but the concept is still around. Today, the word “Hero” is used a lot. “Michael Jordan is my hero.” Or, “Dennis Rodman is my hero.” Enjoying sports and leisure time is healthy for children and adults alike. But I’m concerned when so much of our young people’s time is saturated in these things that they begin to consider sports figures, rock stars or TV stars as the kind of people they want to “be like” when they grow up. Especially, when some of these “Teen Idols” are as ungodly as Madonna or Rodman.

First of all, I don’t like the terminology of the word “Idol,” simply because of what it suggests. Secondly, why do we not hear more from our youth about wanting to grow up to be like the preacher, an elder, or an older, godly woman in the church? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a young child say something like, “Jesus is my hero,” or “the apostle Paul is my hero.” Or what about “Daddy is my hero,” “Mommy is my hero,” or “Grandma is my hero.” Perhaps if we would stop saturating their time in one sport after another, or one television program after another, and start saturating more of their time in biblical studies and principles (Deut. 6:7-9), we would hear more of this kind of thing from them. Who is your child’s “Hero” or “Idol?” Who does your child want to be like when he (she) grows up? Who do you want to be like?

Paul wrote, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1) The idea of people wanting to be like godly men and women is a biblical one. Paul wanted others to strive to be like Jesus. He wanted folks to set their goals toward becoming like him as he became like Christ. Study Paul’s life; it’s evident that his “Hero” was the Lord. Who’s your child’s “Hero?” Ultimately, God should be the Hero of us all. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” One thing which helps us accomplish this is striving to be like other godly men and women. I was flattered when an eight year old boy in a church where I preached told me one day, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” (Trust me, I don’t hear a lot of this...smile). But shouldn’t we want our children to admire and desire to be like godly men and women when they grow up rather than Dennis Rodman or Madonna? Wouldn’t you prefer that they want to be like Paul, an elder, a preacher, or their godly father or grandfather? It can be done if you will direct their time and interests more toward spiritual things rather than deluging them with physical games and entertainment.

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