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Vol.  9  No. 9 September 2007  Page 15
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Tim ChildsTeens & Dating: True Love Waits

By Tim Childs

    The hedonistic sirens’ song plays beautifully in the ears of America’s youth, and the lure of the appeal is so attractive to the eyes of the majority. As with the Greek mythology of Homer’s Adventures of Odysseus, the sirens tempt our young men to fall prey to the fleshly trap: “Come, come, drink of the fountain of sweet pleasures and know what it is to be a man. You don’t know the thrills you’re missing so come now, hurry and drink of the fountain…” (of death).

    Satan has done his work so well of polluting the subject of human sexuality that many of us find it hard to even bring up the topic to discuss it with our children at home or our young people when we meet together as a body of believers. Someone has rightly observed this is a subject that needs to be reclaimed by God’s people. God is the giver of human sexuality. Rather than allowing our children to learn from their eager friends or humanistic teachers at school, we need to teach them what God says, along with the boundaries he has given us.

    God commands his children to “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and “youthful lusts” (1 Timothy 2:22) and “fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). The living God says that those who commit fornication are going so far as to even sin against their own body [thus distinguishing itself from other forms of sin as this one brings greater self-injury to the ones who are guilty (1 Corinthians 6:18)]. “The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord” (vs. 13).

    The mariners used rope to tie Odysseus to the mast, and put beeswax in their own ears to prevent them from hearing and giving heed to the sirens’ beckoning call. Our young people need far more than rope and beeswax to keep us from the peril of fornication: we need God and his mighty power working within us (Psalm 119:11). The sanctity of our relationship with God must be so important that we refuse to allow a moment of reckless folly to come between us and his Holy Spirit of love.

Dean KellyIt's All About Me!

By Dean Kelly

    The problem is that if I am not careful, I forget what is all about me. I think that the world ought to be entertaining me. I think that everything ought to focus on me. When I am driving down the road and someone cuts me off, I get angry. As a matter of fact I often wonder why there is so much traffic on the road, when they are just in my way getting where I want or need to go. I don’t want someone to eat the last biscuit, because I want the last biscuit. I want the remote control so I can watch what I want to watch, and so I am in control. Surely, when I state my opinion, that ought to be the final word on the matter. After all, it is me!

    However, watch the change in terminology that sometimes occurs. “Look what my son did” means that he has done something outstanding and good. In that case we might concede a little with, “Look what our son did.” “Look at what your son did” means that he has really blown it, and of course he got that from your part of raising him, not from me! When there is something to complain about the famous “you” and “they” come into play. You know, the words that leave “me” out of the equation. “You folks are always leaving a mess.” “They just aren’t doing anything for the young people.” You know, all the “yous” and “theys” by which we blame the ills of the world on everybody but “me.” It comes down to “that ain’t my job” and “I am not responsible.”

    I am fearful that we have raised a couple of generations now of young people who know only the wrong “me.” Do this for me. Don’t blame me. All that matters is me and mine. Many have not been taught the concept of individual responsibility. It has led to many who blame everyone else, and everything else, for what is wrong in their lives and in their worlds. They expect to sit back and be entertained, in education, in religion (particularly in worship) and in their daily experiences in life. When two people marry who have emphasized the wrong “me,” divorce is a forgone conclusion. It is not the pressures of Hollywood that causes Hollywood divorces to be more common than the cold, it is the emphasis on the wrong “me!”

    If “me” is so bad, how can I say it’s all about me. Well, there is a bad “me,” but there is also a good one:

  • It is up to me. Now there is a good “me.” If it needs to be done I am not going to sit back and wait for someone else to do it. I am going to realize my responsibility and do it. I have often told the story of the time when I was a teenager that our youth group divided up the yard of the church building to mow. The girls took one side and the boys the other. After we finished there was one huge blade of grass standing in the boys’ area. The boys started arguing, and I thought some were going to come to blows over who had left that blade standing there. One teenage girl who walked by looked out and listened a minute, and said, “Looks to me like all of you left it!” Wow. The guys were to busy saying “it wasn’t me” for anyone to say “It is up to me to take care of it.”
  • The blame belongs to me. It is a good “me” when I stand up and understand that I cannot blame everyone or anyone else for my decisions and actions. When I make a mistake, I need to be willing to admit it, and then I can do what I can to correct it. Until I admit that I am responsible for my own actions, I will never correct them.
  • You can call on me. In Scripture there are several instances where someone has responded to having his name called, by God or someone else in authority, who responded along the lines of “Here am I, send me.” The fact is that there are usually plenty of people who are willing to complain about what “they” are not doing. There are plenty of advisers that can tell you what ought to be done. But, thanks be to God, there are a few who are always standing by with the “you can call on me” attitude. It applies in all walks of life, but particularly in the church.

    Do you know that when I stand before God and his Son on the Judgment Day, it will all be about me. Have I dwelt on the servant “me” that is dedicated to him and to accomplishing his will, that has submitted to God’s will and thereby taken advantage of the blood shed to buy me back from sin, or have I used “me” as an excuse, or put “me” above service to God and to my fellow man?

    Yes, since God has done his part—where I spend eternity is all about me—and all up to me. Lord, please help me to be the me I ought to be (Philippians 4:13).

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