Yesterday I shared some information about “relationships” as it relates to dating. Today I want to ask as one parent to another (if you are a parent reading this)… What is your goal for your child regarding relationships? Do you desire for them to be a virgin when they are married? Is that even possible? Do you know what scares me? I believe many parents…including Christian ones at that…have begun believing the lie that our children are going to be in relationships and might (even though we hope not) have sex before marriage and that’s just the way it is. It’s the world we live in…so…we’ll just deal with it the best we can and move on.
I noticed recently as I was driving through the town of N. Wilkesboro back into Wilkesboro that there was a billboard with three teenage girls on it and the one in the middle was holding a pregnancy test stick. She was holding it up and looking at it with fear on her face. The sign says: “No Birth Control = No Control.” Wow! We are telling our teens through the Health Dept. (who sponsored the ad), that they need birth control to be in control. Really? The Bible doesn’t teach this.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23 that part of the fruit of the Spirit is self control not birth control. But, this is the rub today. Most of our children can’t tell themselves “No.” Do you know why? Because many of us, as parents, can’t tell ourselves “No.” We can’t control our spending, our appetites, our tempers…you name it. So, we are raising children in the same manner. We have lost the ability to discipline ourselves. Take a look at what the writer of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 12:7-11:
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Is there discipline in our lives? Are we self-controlled? Can we tell ourselves “NO?”
You see, self discipline is a big part of the solution. But, here we are…August 2010…school has started back…and the new boyfriends and girlfriends will begin. Right?
But what if you are a parent that really wants the BEST for your child. Can we overcome? What do we do? Throw up our hands and give up? Say it’s impossible for our children NOT to make it to the altar as virgins…chaste and celibate? I think not! Do we not aspire for the very best for our children in all things? We most certainly do or at least I hope you do. I do! I really do want God’s best for my children. I want them to love Him more than anyone or anything else. Do you? Is that your desire? Do you want your child to love the Lord thy God with all of their heart, soul and mind? Jesus said that is the greatest commandment.
But, I know the questions…
- What about everyone else…everybody seems to be in a relationship? Won’t I look strange?
- People will think I’m gay if I not in a relationship won’t they?
- Can I just “hang out” with someone at their parents’ home and just be friends and chat online and text? After all…that’s not classified as “dating” is it?
These are great questions and ones that need answers. So here goes…
Question #1: What about everyone else…everybody seems to be in a relationship? Won’t I look strange?
My answer is simple. Probably. Yes…people will probably think that you are strange and yes…most teens are in a “relationship” because they feel pressured by their peers to do so. This says a lot about where we’re at as “salt and light” in our culture to me. We tell our kids to be salt and light…but, do they have the courage to do so? Are we building into them a desire to go against the grain and against the crowd? You say…but, dating is not that big of a deal. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Really?
Have you read how many STD’s there are today? Google it. Have you read that the average teen loses their virginity within 6 months of a dating relationship. Have you heard that over three-fourths of all teens (including Christians) will have lost their virginity by their senior year in high school. So do you know what I’ve concluded that all these “relationships” and dating lead to today… Drum roll please…
That’s right… Premarital sex. You see, young people today believe it’s ok to do “everything,” BUT go all the way and somehow many parents have started to believe the same. But seriously…can’t we see that the heart is being ripped out each time a relationship ends…even if it is for the 13-year old. Ask the 13-year old if their heart hurts even if they’ve not be “intimate” with the other person. More on this in a moment.
Question #2: People will think I’m gay if I not in a relationship won’t they?
Sad isn’t it. That’s all I have to say about this question. We’ve sunk so low as a culture and society that a young person is thought of as a homosexual if they have never been in a relationship and are saving themselves for marriage. How sad…oh how sad indeed. And even sadder is the fact that being “gay” is in vogue in many of our schools and middle schools. Amazing!
Question #3: Can I just “hang out” with someone at their parents’ home and just be friends and chat online and text? After all…that’s not classified as “dating” is it?
Ok…this is a biggie right now in our culture. I call it “sitting on the fence” or “playing the middle” or “trying to have your cake and eat it too” mentalities. Here’s the problem with this. It’s all about the “heart” of the matter. The heart? You say, “Why are you talking about the heart…this is physcial stuff?” Really?
What about the emotionally toll that is to be paid by our young people when they break up? And they WILL break up. 5 to 7 times. That’s right…they’ll be in 5-7 “relationships” before they complete their senior in high school on average according to most studies. Well…what constitutes a “relationship?” Great question. My short answer…
It’s when your child lists on Facebook that “I’m in a relationship.” How’s that for an answer? It’s when you are an “item” or “talking” or “going together.” You can call it what you want to call it. They may not be hooking up “physically” (to use the vernacular of today) but they are hooking up emotionally.
So what do we do?
As believers we must look to the Word of God as our guide. But, will we? Isn’t the Bible antiquated and old? It won’t fit for our culture today will it? The Bible is not relevant for today. It’s “old-fashioned.”
Really? Is God dumb? Did God NOT know what He was doing when He was commissioning the 40 men to write it? Is He not wise enough to know what we need today? Doesn’t God stand outside of time? Does He not comprehend what we need yesterday, today and tomorrow?
Could it be that we simply don’t want to do the hard things? Could it be that we don’t want to teach the hard things? By the way…just so you will know…and be reminded…
Dating did NOT exist until about 60 years ago. For almost 6,000 years we have survived without dating or being in a “relationship.” What has happened? Could it be that we’ve become so immersed in our culture that the salt has lost its saltiness?
The Apostle Paul directs us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Did you catch those underlined portions? You may want to look at them again…
“…learn to control his own body that is HOLY and HONORABLE…” Wow! Holy…in our culture…yes…Holy. There is not to be even a hint of sexual immorality among God’s “holy” people. Ephesians 5:3
“…therefore he who rejects this instruction does not reject man, but God…” Well…I can’t say it any better than that. This is God talking in this passage. Paul makes that very clear.
For even more information that is vitally important for seeing a “better” way of how to teach this in your home/life, go to the website shown below… And please realize…that what is shown at the site below will only take about 6-8 minutes to read…but, may totally change your thoughts and the way you look at the entire subject we’ve tried to discuss in such a short time.
Note…Over the next few days, I’ll be taking some much needed time off…so I’ve promised Pam and the kids to take a break from the computer and work. I’ll follow the model of Christ Jesus…from time to time the Bible says…that He said…”Come away with me…away from the press of the crowds.” And for you Iron Men that are reading…Pastor Brad will be opening up and Keith Lyall will be sharing/teaching this Wednesday in my absence at 12-Noon!
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