Posts Tagged ‘youth’

teensTeens live in our house, visit our house and talk about all kinds of interesting subjects in our house. Having both a teen son and teen daughter can almost guarantee that a variety of conversations will and have taken place in our house. Do I dread it, hate it, fear it? Absolutely not! I embrace it! Yet with the fun and sharing comes the challenge for me to be informed and faithful to stay in the Scriptures. Do I have all the answers? Not hardly! The latest subject, which is common to the guys and the girls, has been about purity, modesty, responsibility involved and well, you get it! So, I thought I’d approach the subject on my blog too, just to share what we’ve come up with according to Scripture.

Now, before I go any further, by no means do I advocate us blaming the victim for physical or sexual abuse inflicted on them by another. It is not your fault if you’ve been hurt physically, sexually, emotionally or mentally by someone else! PERIOD!

Let’s take churches for our first finding. (I actually researched this online so it wasn’t shared yet with my teens.) Teen boys and men in churches are not exempt from struggling with lusting over Christian girls or any females in the church. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed ADULTERY with her in his heart.”  It is their responsibility to exercise self-control and seek scriptural and spiritual help in dealing with these temptations. “Temptation in itself is not a sin. Jesus was tempted (Heb. 2:18; 4:15), yet Jesus never sinned (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, temptation is not a sin. It only becomes a sin when you yield to it.” (http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/lust.htm) Ladies, know this: No, their sins are not the fault of us females!

HOWEVER, it is also our responsibility not to be a stumbling block for them. Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Not out of law but out of obedience to God are we to dress modestly. Yes, I know that word isn’t a favorite and can be widely misinterpreted so don’t get hung up on the word so much as the meaning behind it when used in Scripture. Guys and men are just as responsible for causing a female to stumble too. People in the church will tell you how hard it is to be trying to listen to the sermon or worship in music and to be distracted by a guy in tight jeans or girls in a low top bending over to get something. No, it’s not on you that they are dressed that way but it is on you, on us, to look away. Example: My husband blessed me and respected me just recently in church when a young lady started to bend over and he already knew her top was low so he looked away before she actually showed anything. I caught the end of it, saw what she was showing, probably unknowingly, and saw my husband’s eyes looking the total opposite direction. That was a choice to resist the temptation. Is it easy? No way! But with God’s help, it is possible!

Teens may think there’s absolutely no reason to be concerned with the way they dress but teen guys have told me how hard it is for them when a girl isn’t aware or does it on purpose to entice them. The Bible speaks harshly about that girl or guy who purposely dresses to get that sort of attention. Some teens don’t care what others think but God cares how we, as Christians, portray ourselves to others and that is what He means by our causing someone else to stumble. Not caring and saying “it’s their fault if they think perversion about me” doesn’t exempt us from our part of the responsibility. But first you have to actually care what God says before you even choose to obey Him. As Christian teens and Christian adults, we should choose to obey Him and His direction.

There are tons of statistics proving the huge struggle evident, yet somewhat hidden, in churches today, in youth groups even. Females aren’t as visual as guys so there are different temptations for lust for us but if you only knew the extent of the struggle our boys and men go through, on a daily basis, then MAYBE, we females would try harder to help them and not add to the struggle. We are to show God’s love and not caring about them and their struggle is not loving them. It’s not helping!

Guys: you can help us females by not giving so much attention to the females when they do dress immodestly and tempting so that we, who are trying, don’t feel less than beautiful! We like attention too and like to feel gorgeous but when you’re focused on low tops, short skits, short shorts, tight jeans, females not sitting or acting like a lady and don’t give us the respect and attention we deserve, you’re sending us the wrong message! No, we shouldn’t be dressing just for you but c’mon! It’s a two way street out there with guys & females and it’s about time we both take responsibility for our individual parts of the actions and hold each other accountable, but in love, not judgment.  Sisters: let’s go out of our way to dress and conduct ourselves in a way that our beauty is more from the inside out then from the outside in. Don’t take this to mean that we have to dress covered head to toe or conduct ourselves perfectly but even though the Bible doesn’t say specific items of clothing like only wear “God’s Girl Clothing”, we should go to The Word for guidance. If you have doubt, don’t wear it. “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14 MSG)

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just a few words to describe them –

Amazing,

loving – “Your love for one another will prove to the

world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35

wise, Christians, lovers of God, genuine,

transparent, strong,

humble – “Humble yourselves before the Lord,

and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

obedient (to God)  – James 1:22 “But be doers of the word,

and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

followers (of God),

worshipers – “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him

must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

teachers, preachers,

leaders/examples – 

 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth,

but set the believers an example in speech,

in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

kind-hearted, awesome kids…..

who are they? They’re our church youth family & I am so blessed to know them and be allowed to walk beside them as they grow closer to our God!

The world may think we’re weird but we’re told to be different.

The world may think we’re boring but we have tons of fun!

The world may think we’re going no where but we know where we’re going!

The world may think we think we’re better than them but

we know we’re just forgiven and only by grace are we saved.

The world may not want to get too close because they

feel guilty about how they live but we’re not perfect either.

The world may try to detour us from our path with God

but God is our G od P ositioning S ystem

(no irreverence intended)

and He will never steer us wrong!

God gave me a heart for these dear, young people a while back but He’s drawn me even closer by showing them they can trust this adult. The fact that they feel so comfortable sharing and sometimes even pouring their hearts out to me assures me they know I love them but better yet – that God loves them and it’s easy to see their amazing futures as followers of Christ. They will turn the world upside down! I pray I’m here to see it but if not then I know one day in heaven I’ll get to see them get their just rewards.  They are so much stronger of a Christian than even I was at their young ages. They have a hunger for the Word, a desire to see their friends and families saved and they know who they are, who they serve and where they’re going! I continue to learn from them and consider it for my greater good to gain from their outlook, their wisdom and their stories. God will use their journey on this earth to reach people in their world who I would never be able to reach & I thank God for these youth!  They already know how much they mean to me and that I’m always here for them but they just don’t realize how they’ve ministered to my needs too!

I thank Him for putting me right here, right now, in this time, with this youth family! You guys and girls are always such a blessing to my life! Thank you!

Phil. 1:3
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.

New Living Translation

“What is bigger? The impact of a log truck on your life or the impact of God on your life?”
This is a very convicting sermon by Paul Washer at a youth conference in Montgomery, AL titled “The Shocking Youth Message”. Listen to the entire video please. I pray you are moved to conviction, as I was, by the truth of His Word!

My mind’s all over the place while my heart is searching for just the right words to express the calmed silence I feel right now. Monday, one of our church’s youth unexpectedly stopped breathing and passed away. She was only 15. Since then, I have felt drawn to her family, the comments left on facebook from her friends and mostly drawn to God. This girl left a huge impact on everyone she encountered in her short life. Some, who had only met her once, recall her kindness, her sweet spirit and her love for God. WOW! What a convicting reminder of the effect you, we, can have on people, even when we meet for only one time!
Her brother quoted something she’d written in her journal one day and it brought to mind my blog entries and what people might read one day, when I’m gone, that I wrote. Sure, journal entries are more private but they were thoughts she had between her and God. I started keeping a prayer journal, several months ago but have become lax. Another conviction to become more consistent with that. See, that family is continuously being reminded by her friends and family, fellow students, church members, what their daughter and sister meant to so many people. There are so many blessings being shared with them right now, and I’m sure they weren’t even aware of many of them. It has to comfort them to know the true person she was even when she thought no one was watching. John 13:34 & 35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
It made me wonder what people would say about me and my testimony after I go to join my Heavenly Father one day. I want people to see God in me, feel His love through me and know Him better because of what He’s done for me!
It’s been truly amazing to go through this part of their journey with this family, even as somewhat of an “outsider”. They’re allowing God’s plan to be followed through, they’re accepting His reasons even though they don’t understand, they’re continuing to praise Him in the midst of this loss, they’re clinging to other Christians and experiencing all the love He has for them. No, all this won’t take her place but being able to appreciate beauty in a picture of a butterfly on the beach & letting it brighten their day, being able to read facebook comments and respond with thanks to everyone of them, relying on scripture to carry them through and so much more that they’re doing the past couple of days has shown me just how much God means to each of them. I would expect no less from the testimony of that amazing, young, Christian lady who is enjoying seeing the face of her Heavenly Father. Such a short life but she lived it to the fullest and she served her FATHER so well. God had an awesome purpose for her and we’re seeing it minute by minute! I pray that many are saved even today as they go the viewing and then again tomorrow as they go to her funeral to say “see you soon Meagan!” It’s amazing how God can take a stranger’s life, a young girl (I barely knew her), to change the life of one of His other children, still remaining, for the time being, on this earth. I can’t wait to see you again, Meagan, to thank you for your testimony, your inspiration and to just get to hang out with you in Heaven. I know God is “well pleased” with you! We all love you!