Lesson 29Huge differences occur between the early and later teen years. The change in maturity, both physically and mentally, can be incredible. Early teens are more like kids, but a few years later, more like adults. A teen will experience fantastic changes in life. Recognizing that things are changing rapidly, the early and mid-teen years should be a time to get to know members of the opposite sex as friends. This is not the age to be searching for romance or trying to select a future mate. It is recommended that one-on-one dating not be considered until the later teen years (or perhaps after high school, but this may be influenced by many factors not discussed here).

The teen years can be an exciting time in life. Enjoy these years and be content with who you are; do not try to be an adult. Early and mid-teen years are the time for learning about friendship and relationships, not a time for experimenting with romance, sex, or considerations of a future mate. The advice given here follows the Apostle Paul’s advice: in love, we are trying to help you by warning you of danger, “…but as my beloved children I warn you” (1 Cor. 4:14). The danger is that a teen can do something now, which will hurt his or her future happiness and accomplishments. A mistake in your teen years (by getting all wrapped up in romance) can totally mess up your life and make your future rather dim.

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