The word “teenager” doesn’t have to be associated with the word “rebellion.” As a senior, Rob Mouw played soccer at Wheaton Christian High School. His performance in one game catapulted him to fame, although not in the way you might expect. The clock was winding down in the final quarter as Wheaton competed against Waubonsie Valley. One goal separated Wheaton from a tie game and overtime play for a chance to win.

Rob had possession of the ball in the final seconds of the game. Dribbling rapidly toward his opponents’ goal, he prepared to kick the ball. Then he caught sight of the scoreboard. The clock read 00.00. Still in stride, Rob kicked the ball through the goal and scored. Even though the referee signaled that the goal counted, Rob knew his goal had been late. He could have kept quiet about the matter and allowed the refs to decide the outcome, but he chose to do what was right. His coaches conceded victory to Waubonsie Valley.

Every high school athlete loves to win. Few would be willing to part with a shot at victory if it came at the expense of doing what is right. That takes character — and character must be instilled by parents before it will be practiced by children. Rob’s parents were no-doubt familiar with the cultural concepts of teen rebellion and the “generation gap,” but they were not about to accept these ideas as the norm for their son. They taught him Christian values, and these principles came to light when their son was put under pressure.

Teen rebellion doesn’t have to be the norm. The generation gap used to excuse disobedient behavior is nothing more than a cop-out which trains kids to fail morally. If we want to see more teens with Rob’s character, then there must be more parents who are willing to instill it in their children at an early age. When your kids are in the spotlight, everything you have taught them (or didn’t teach them) will come to light. I hope you like what you see.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.