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.
I’ve been reading about this 4% thing about teenagers. I have been involved with a couple of ministries that like to quote this statistic. Knowing statistics, I see in this article how the statistics are being misused. The other thing that I have heard from other blogs, is that most ministries are using this information to scare the rest of us as if Christianity will disappear. I highly doubt that, I serve a God that is so much bigger than that. However, I wonder if we are looking at this wrong. In most cases, all of the groups say that we have to evangelize the teens. Well, that’s fine and dandy, but the problem that I have run into, over my 9 years of youth ministry, is that you can’t evangelize until they trust you. One reason that I think that our current ministry that Mary and I are involved in is being “successful,” is that the core group of kids trust us, and they bring in their friends. However, it doesn’t stop there. We have to show concern and an ability to listen. Most of the kids that are in the youth ministry are pretty good, they just have some area of their life that needs to be repaired. They just need someone to listen. I think that this generation will be ok; and I don’t worry about the 4% claim.
I read a blog about youth ministry and the author has put together an ebook. Follow the link and get your free copy.
This last weekend, we, the McLutz family, went with our church’s youth group to Ford Field in Detroit to see the Acquire the Fire/Battlecry Event of 2007. We had a great time, listening to speakers, singing with Hillsong United, and watching concerts of bands like P.O.D., Skillet, and Hawk Nelson.
I will have to say that this one wasn’t as good as last year’s, in my humble opinion, but the purpose of it was for spiritual renewal with the kids and to get them energized for the upcoming year at church and I believe that from there it hit its target.
Ron Luce, the founder of TeenMania Ministries, the organizer of the events, spoke this year about plugging into the Bible more and what you can do to make a difference in the lives of your friends, family, and community. He brought out people who are doing just that with the likes of Zach Hunter who is now a 15 year old and has been raising money and awareness in the US and overseas about slavery.
Kaleb and Karlie always look forward to this event, not to mention Mary and I. They are a lot of fun.
It looks like they are done with the stadium events here for now as that they are offering 2 dates next year and I hear that we are attending the one in Grand Rapids! Yeah!
For those of you who may have followed the link from Methoblogger, Welcome! I usually have some theological or meteorological posts, but as of late, family things have kept me busy so I have been doing mostly family posts. Take a look around and look at some of my past posts.