What Every Teen Girl Ought to Know About Independence
“I really want to have my hair dyed, mom. Please. I just get so sick of my hair – it’s just brown. There’s no color in it! Even just lighter streaks would look so cool,” I complained wistfully.
“Honey, your father and I discussed this, and we told you already that we feel you are a bit too young. It would look unnatural, and in a way – rebellious. Also, it would be a stumbling block to other teen girls who aren’t allowed to do it.”
“Oh, but mo-om,” I sighed.
“It’s just so unfair that I am 14 and I am still not allowed to make my own decisions in life. I am not independent, and it’s so frustrating.”
A shot silence followed, and then my mother spoke again.
“Ok, then. I have just reconsidered, and if that’s what you want to do, then you can.”
I stared at my mother in absolute horror.
“What! No, no. Wait, do you mean I am allowed to dye my hair if I want to?”
“Yes, if that is what you feel would be the best decision for you right now, and if you feel ready to be independent and make your own decisions, you may do what you feel is best.”
“Oh, mom…” I suddenly burst into tears.
I didn’t want to let go, to say goodbye to my dependence and to the obedience that I had learned since childhood.
“No, mom, don’t say that – please! I’m not ready, I am not ready to be independent. I am so s-scared to make my own decisions, so afraid that if I let my life fall into my own hands I will ruin it. I want to obey you, I do. Just not yet, please. I am not ready for independence yet!”
I fell into my mother’s open arms and sobbed for a while, feeling pure relief that I was once more in her circle of protection and love.
That experience actually did happen and got me thinking.
We as teen girls so greatly long for independence, for freedom. We wait eagerly for the day we turn 18, and can finally drive out of our street, our passport, driver’s license, and a wallet full of cash in our bag, and drive out into the big, wide world, experiencing pure and complete freedom.
But have we actually thought about how dangerous and scary that could be? Even my parents letting me do something as considerably small and insignificant as dying my hair, giving me that tiny bit of independence, scared me so much that I simply didn’t know what to do.
You feel a heavy weight of responsibility suddenly drop onto your shoulders, and you don’t have the strength or skill to carry it.
Independence is a dangerous thing, especially for teenage girls living in the 21st century. There are so many temptations, and so much confusion about certain things, and about what’s right and what’s wrong, that it is very hard to know what the right thing is to do.
Here are three things you can do to help you prepare for your “Freedom Day:”
- Right now, as a teen girl (although it may be hard), submit to your parents. I once heard a good definition of “submission” –
Sub – obedience, respect, humility – under authority.
Mission – our mission.
Sub-mission, our mission is to obey, and submit to our parents. Although we sometimes long for independence and freedom, we are still, in a way, children. We should obey our parents, even if it is just following their advice.
- Use the freedom and independence you do have wisely and prove yourself trustworthy. Whether it be permission to use the oven, or to buy a car, use your freedom wisely, and always make the right decision. Practice asking your parents for advice, even with small decisions. Asking older and wiser people for advice when making a decision is a very good habit to have. Also, by using your independence wisely and not abusing it, you will prove yourself trustworthy and your parents will very likely grant you more freedom.
- Enjoy the amount of independence or dependence you have. Even if you are still asking for permission to eat a banana J, enjoy your time as a child obeying your parents. If you have a good and open attitude now, you will have the same attitude when asking for advice when you are older. It is such a blessing to have parents to guide you in what to do – honestly; it is just so much safer and easier. Enjoy being able to do that and don’t long for more. Your time will come. And, if you are completely independent, then that is good too. Enjoy your freedom J.
How are you going to apply these three things to your life today?