I am a meteorologist and a former youth leader at church…I have a lot to say on both subjects…and then some
The last couple of days, I have either read or heard some interesting things about Christian teens and their sexuality. The first was this article about sex and evangelical teen. It makes this quote:
And the Bible does offer a direct solution for people who are burning in lust: marriage (1 Corinthians 7:9). Adolescence—that time when a person is physically an adult but socially a child—is a modern invention. In the past, people married much younger, as soon as they were sexually ready. Today’s culture postpones marriage while stretching celibacy to the breaking point.
I have read this in the past and makes sense if you follow the history relationships and marriage. Recently, I listened to the YS podcast for August with Ginny Olsen. She recently wrote a book called Teenage Girls, and in the podcast shared her research for the book that shows girls are getting more aggressive and despite their constant social networking are getting emotionally lonely. I have noticed, anecdotally, this same thing as I have had conversations with some of the girls in the youth group.
So the magazine article makes an interesting proposal, that is so counter-cultural, that I think that the church would never go with it.
A counter-cultural church may do well to encourage younger marriages. The young couple may still need the financial support of their parents and the social support of their fellow Christians. But this would be better than the current hypocrisy and guilt. And it would fulfill God’s positive purpose for sexuality.
An interesting thought. If you look at the communal living of the past, young marriage is what was done, however, the marriages were also arranged. Considering that we are so me-based instead of relationally based with others, this would be a tall order. You would have to be so involved with your kids lives without controlling them, that they would trust you to help pick out the right spouse and the help you take care of household chores and such so that you could help them financially and get them through high school. Again, this seems tall order considering the selfishness of the society and what has infiltrated the church.
MTV currently has a show on called Engaged & Underage where they follow a couple who is still in high school as they plan their wedding. So it’s not like some of this doesn’t happen, but it is unlikely that there is any spiritual support through any of this and that usually what is needed for any marriage to work.
How do we adjust to society?
Good post, Jeff. I followed the links and understand your points. While the trend continues to move in a negative direction, this has been a problem for several generations. Those girls that balance their adolescent urges with what we would like to think of as reasonable behavior have had, I think, strong relationships within families, which hopefully, but not always, includes a strong spiritual relationship. Someone sits them down and walks them through the behavior choices that they might make and allows them to think through which path would be best for them to follow before they face the temptation. This applies to both genders, but girls are the most vulnerable and have tumbled the furthest. Good luck….
Considering that we are so me-based instead of relationally based with others, this would be a tall order. You would have to be so involved with your kids lives without controlling them, that they would trust you to help pick out the right spouse and the help you take care of household chores and such so that you could help them financially and get them through high school. Again, this seems tall order considering the selfishness of the society and what has infiltrated the church.
When I first started dating my wife, I didn’t think that we would last because we had different interests. But we eventually got engaged and married, and the marriage has succeeded. I think that that’s because although we have different interests, we have the same core values. In contrast, an ex-girlfriend and I had similar interests but very different values. We saw the world in fundamentally different ways.
But what also makes a marriage work is commitment. Do you take your marriage vows seriously? That’s what’s involved in sustaining and strengthening a marriage: that both parties view it as a life-long commitment, not a casual contact with an easy exit clause.