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June 14, 2018

At youth group last night, we again split up into two groups (ladies and gentlemen) and talked about two slightly different topics. Last week, both groups focused on the issue of sexual sin and lust. This week, the guys spent our time focusing on a godly perspective for dating and relationships, while the ladies spent their time talking about body image and modesty.

In short summary for the gals, Janelle shared beautifully about body image, and what the Bible says about how we should treat and adorn our bodies. At the center of it, Janelle pointed the ladies to numerous scriptures (1 Peter 3:3-4, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 to name a few) that tell us we should pursue having a modest heart, taking care of our insides before we adorn the outside. She explained that God cares about our hearts, and out of a modest heart flows a life that doesn’t revolve around people’s opinions or their compliments, but one that honors God and genuinely cares about His thoughts. She also hit hard on the fact that the body is the temple of the living God, and it is beautiful regardless of shape or size. We are commanded to take care of it, but we are not commanded to obsess over our weight, our height, our hair, or our clothes. For ladies who struggle with body image, Janelle encouraged them to remember Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

In summary for the guys, we talked about how dating is somewhat of a grey area in the Bible. In the 1st century, dating as we know it was not a thing, therefore the apostles wrote about marriage rather than dating. That said, we can look at Ephesians 5 and see the roles for husbands and wives, which I believe gives us some really good guide lines for how we are to think about dating. Ultimately, dating/marriage is not our mission as Christians, as we are called to glorify God with our lives. I told the guys that dating is not the best way to prepare yourself for marriage, but pursuing Godliness is. We also talked quite a bit about 2 Timothy 2:22, “fleeing the evil desires of youth.” I told the guys that dating young (my personal opinion being, before 17 or 18 years of age) is to put themselves in the middle of temptation for years, both physically, emotionally, and in their thought life. When dating is viewed rightly, it’s with the purpose of marriage in mind, not for fun, and not just because everyone else is doing it. I left the students with three questions to answer honestly before they commit to any exclusive dating relationship: What do my parents say about dating? (I reminded them to always, always, always defer to their parental leadership (Ephesians 6). Why am I wanting to date? (If it’s not with the intention of marriage in the future, then we’ve missed the point.) Will this dating relationship glorify God? (Are you in a place where you’re walking with the Lord, and is the person you want to date walking with the Lord?)

It was a good two weeks to briefly cover some hard topics.

Categories: Pastor Ryan's Youth Update