I recently learned that I would obtain a leadership role (along with a couple of other young men) over the youth group here at the church. I began to do some looking into the situations and problems students find themselves in, in today’s world.
I began to look at some of the things I dealt with when I was involved in youth ministry at Holdenville FBC. One thing that really stuck out to me was relationships. Kids deal with relationships more today then even I had to only 4 years ago.
When I speak of “relationships,” I am referring to the boyfriend/girlfriend variety.
It’s easy to say, “Hey, you shouldn’t date until you’re 20,” or something to that effect. However in today’s society I don’t know that it’s possible to sell that statement. Think about it, when was the last time you tuned into any “America’s Top 40” station, and heard anything but songs about relationships? Relationships are what drives today’s society, so lets talk about relationships.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 says: “Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” There’s no real doubt about what the biggest problem with dating this young for the youth of today. Sex. It’s a gigantic problem that we can’t simply act like doesn’t go on. Trust me, it does. Media influences people all day long. We cannot let what is around us dictate the way we behave. That’s a basic Christian standard, no need to debate it.
“But Jared, how do I avoid doing things like this, if I’m tempted to by everything I see and hear?” First off you must develop a group of Christian friends who have your back on anything you do, and will be there for you when you need them. Second is to avoid as much of this negative media as you can. It’s like my Mother always taught me, “Put good in, get good out.”
This means you have to stop watching those rated R movies you and your friends want to sneak into. This means watching TV shows that you wouldn’t mind your parents watching with you. This means listening to music that is uplifting, and encouraging.
Now don’t get the wrong idea, this doesn’t mean you have to cut off your friends that think differently on these issues than you do. It simply means they need you to reveal what you believe to them. Matthew 18-20 NIV: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Back to the subject of dating. It can be done. You must be extremely careful. Don’t put you and your boyfriend/girlfriend in tempting situations. Have patience with everything just slow down. Remember “Good things come to those who wait.” The wait will always be worth it. God is Love. That is what you really need.