Monday, January 23, 2012

Repetition Has Value

Life is real! Life is earnest!         5
  And the grave is not its goal; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 
  Was not spoken of the soul. 
I cannot tell you how many times I heard those lines growing up, as well as some other favorite stanzas from that Longfellow poem. I can say two stanzas from that poem by heart, long before I ever read the whole poem much less knew where they came from. It seemed that the older people around me had to commit this poem to memory at school. The teachers did a good job, and those older folks never failed to use it to remind us that that we should strive for excellence, there is a serious side to life and actions have consequences. Like the constant dripping that wears away the stone, the constant repetition made an indelible impression.

Repetition is important in the growing years. We easily forget. Teenage brain research helps us to understand that among teens, executive function is still developing and often decisions are made from the more emotionally driven part of the brain. The repetition of precepts, ongoing and repeated discussions about life and consequences, the repetition of Scripture verses and Christian principles all help to reinforce positive attitudes and behaviors and to give a larger view of life than the immediate and too easily achieved. They remind us and the teens we serve that God has a purpose for us and that waiting and delaying gratification are an important part of life. This can help to counter some of the risky attitudes and behavior seen below.

New Study Finds Teens Sharing Their Passwords
New Study Finds Teens Sharing Their Passwords. January 23, 2012 - Angela Skinner Mullen. Some couples in love share everything — from food off each other's plates to toothbrushes (ugh), and apparently even their passwords. A friend of ...

Some Teens Unaware Sex Can Cause Pregnancy | Being Pregnant
I hate to admit it, but one of my guilty pleasures is watching the MTV show, Teen Mom. It follows the lives of girls who were featured on another MTV show 16.

We need to constantly teach and discuss the same things, have the same conversations about life, safety, sex, etc, again and again, even if we seem redundant. Teach, discuss, converse about them in the context of Biblical values, using real life examples and images that help to flesh out what we are saying.

What are the issues and principles you find it important to teach and discuss repeatedly in your student ministry?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future

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