Are Our Christian Teens Set Apart?
Thursday night, Shirley (Agape Director) and I had the opportunity to address a group of teens about the very serious topic of abortion. This was a Christian youth group of around forty kids. Upon entering the home, my first encounter was with two angry young ladies who didn't mind saying bad words in my presence. Pressing forward, I entered the home and met with Shirley to discuss the night's agenda. As I glanced around the room, my heart became heavy upon realizing that, had I not known this was a Christian group, I wouldn't have guessed so based on general countenances and attitudes.
As Shirley began speaking, I immediately began praying for wisdom and guidance in this situation. I had to think hard about how I was as a teenager and try and extend grace upon this group. But as I listened to Shirley fight for their attention by speaking louder and louder, I found it difficult to be gracious! I mean, this is supposed to be a Christian group discussing serious topics such as abortion, and the need to have a firm Christian worldview! Shouldn't we expect more from this group of professed christian teens?
Many of them were carrying on their own conversations, some were snickering, and when the doorbell rang, most of them were more interested in who was at the door rather than what Shirley was saying! I remember thinking to myself, "I would never let my teenager come to a group like this!" Whether a Christian or not, there's still such thing as manners!
As I sat there waiting for my turn, I was trying to think about what I was going to say. I continued praying for God's words to flow through me, because quite frankly, I was too mad to say anything! Before I knew it, the gentleman leading the group asked me to make my way to the front. My heart sped up several hundred beats over what I was about to say!
After a short introduction, I was on! The first words out of my mouth happened to be...
"Do you all take this seriously?"
Most of them said "yes".
I replied, "I don't think so!" (gulp!)
With utter shock in their eyes, I proceeded to point out their level of disrespect, especially at a Christian gathering! Shirley told me later that you could hear a pin drop while I was speaking to them.
I praised God for giving me the courage to call them on their behavior! Once I had their attention, I shared with them the hurt and consequences which result from abortion, and how many women claim to be pro-life until they are faced with an unwanted pregnancy. I also spoke of the importance of abstinence, and reiterated Shirley's words about being firm in your Christian worldview; not just knowing what you believe, but knowing why you believe it. Shirley did a wonderful job of explaining this and stressing the importance of knowing God's word. Shirley and I also spoke of God's grace, love, and forgiveness!
Although the night started out a little rough, I believe the message was heard. Several kids asked great questions afterwards, and we even had the opportunity to minister to a few. To God be the Glory! I know He works in all situations, no matter the circumstances.
My main reason for writing this was not merely to point out what we spoke of Thursday night, but point out the painful observance that these teens, in my opinion, were not set apart from the world. I think that when we start to expect less of children, and don't require basic levels of respect, their hearts and attitudes reflect our lowered expectations.
Lest you think I'm being too harsh in my opinion of these kids, I'll concede that I was not any better than they as a teen. But, I was taught respect for your elders and to listen when others were talking. The youth group I attended as a teen would NEVER have tolerated such behavior. And simply being held accountable for our words and actions IN youth group, exhorted us to be mindful of our words and actions outside of youth group!
May we all be wise in our decisions as we work diligently to raise our children in the training and admonition of the Lord!
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2