Monday, August 20, 2007

Yesterday, in church we had a prayer and commitment time for "True Love Waits." I believe most know about this program. It is designed to encourage sexual abstinence until marriage (from a Biblical basis).

The approach was different than I have seen before. It began with asking the students present to find a seat with their parents.

As the shuffle began, I noticed a young lady, already seated with her parents. She was early high school age and her younger brother would have been in junior high.

The pastor asked each student to stand to speak words of commitment. This young man immediately looked to his older sister for whether or not he should join in. She was not moving, though he was already half way to standing. Her lack of movement brought about insecurity, and he sat back down.

Feeling it was right, he looked around, saw others up and stood to his feet.

Meanwhile, the young lady, clad in a denim skirt which was short enough that it threatened to expose her from a seated position, refused to stand. Her posture was defiant. Her mother told her to get up. She shot one of the ugliest faces you can imagine in response. She was not interested in participating or perhaps she was just too self conscious to want to stand up in front of the crowd.

Regardless, she looked to her dad for protection, but he also insisted she rise. She stood and forcibly took part in a commitment ceremony, where she was vowing to remain sexually inactive until she got married.

Unfortunately, her defiant attitude and her dress told a different story.

I must say, this was not an encouraging sight to behold. I quickly found myself invading this families privacy, yet it was unfolding in a public forum.

Students struggle significantly for identity and acceptance in today's world. Clothing is just one of the vehicles used to gain a spot on the "in-crowd" roster. Sex is another. I have counseled with and watched students struggle with these issues for more than a decade. It is not easy for them.

Knowing how BJ felt and seeing this struggle unfold in a public way, intensified my desire to have him at my side. I wanted to be praying for him over this as other parents were. I could tell from Deanna's emotion that she was longing for his presence during this time as well.

I forced myself to pray for this young lady...for her parents...for her little brother. Unfortunately, judgment was in my heart.

I am thankful that Beej does not have to deal with this issue, but simultaneously long for his presence.

I could write about the difference between commitment and surrender in our culture.

I could write about the problems with teens and how they dress and how it impacts their subculture.

Instead I am going to stop in a very unsettled place, and hope that this finds you as uncomfortable as it does me.

We must take these issues to prayer. They play out in most every home across the United States. We can contribute to solutions if we pray, then act...instead of the reverse.



At 1:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Beautifully said Brent, How sad when we see this in our churches,and more than likely that young girl wanted to stand but for whatever reason chose not to. This is something that begins at home, WE need to teach it to our children. Hope and pray all is well with you and your family.

In His Love

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, the judgement call. Tatoos, piercings, inappropriate clothing and foul language. Wouldn't it be nice if all "those" teenages would just move into one area of the world and leave our good little boys and girls alone! Wouldn't be nice to take "those" people out of our society so we could live in peace and perfect harmony and they could have their inequities together and not offend us! WE NEED TO LOVE THEM MORE!!!!!! We need to reach THEM! Our "good" boys and girls need to love them and allow them to see that they do fit in the Kingdom --- and maybe they'd want to if the christians around them loved them instead of judge them. Most of the teens like this do not love themselves enough to seek love from others -- so they take their inner misfit and turn it outside, too. I have been on both sides of this issue -- two sons that were rambunctious and defiant and into drugs and thug dress codes; and a daughter whose love for Christ just blows me away! The christian kids weren't allowed to hang with my kids anymore, so they fell farther and farther and allowed satan and his "angels" to direct them -- they accepted them with open arms. Sad. An opportunity for christian love and guidance was gone because parents chose to tell their teens to stay away from the very ones that needed their assistance to get back on track. My boys are older now and have been guided by their younger sister. They still do not have salvation, but it is becoming a brighter and brighter path as we pray over them and ask God our Father to continue working on their hearts. Encourage teens to be less judgemental and more loving to ALL --- that what Jesus would do.

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to the above post


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