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June 7, 2018

Last night was the first of two weeks where the youth group is focusing on lust, relationships, and dating. We spent some time worshiping the Lord, and then split up into a guys and gals group. In both groups, we defined lust (albeit in different ways) as a sexual desire that dishonors its object and disregards God. Both groups talked about how lust can practically play out, whether it’s looking at someone and thinking sexual thoughts about them (even clothed people), to pornography, to acting out on those desires with someone else. Both Emily and I tried to get very practical. For gals, lust could take the form of late night conversations with girlfriends, where censoring goes out the window as talk starts about desires for so-and-so. For guys, it could be as simple as looking at a gal that’s jogging on the side of the road while you’re driving to soccer practice. It’s our hearts and thoughts in those moments that are really telling. Why are we looking at that guy/girl? Why are we talking like this at our sleepover? Does it honor the object of our looking/talking? Or is it to please our own desires for sexual longing and intimacy?

Ultimately, God created sex and it’s good. He created it within the context of marriage, and in its rightful place, we should have those desires. But when we go against God’s design and desire someone sexually with our eyes, minds, and hearts, we are disregarding God’s good design, making the statement toward Him that we know what’s best and most pleasing for ourselves. All over the New Testament, Jesus along with the apostles gave grave warnings about sexual sin. On account of it, Paul says, the wrath of God is coming! We need to know that those consequences are both worldly and eternal. Unrepentant sexual impurity leads to broken relationships, families, churches, depression, and ultimately, it leads to eternal judgement. The good news is that Jesus calls us out, and saves us from our sin. The way He does it is by offering us a superior pleasure to our sexual desires, that being Himself! In the moment, when we’re faced with temptation, we may have a hard time seeing it, but the joys of Christ are infinitely better than our sin.

Attached here was our application and strategy for how to see Him in moments of temptation. I sent a copy home with the students last night. I encourage you, take a look at it, and talk to your kids about it. Who knows, it might be helpful for you parents as well!

Next week we’ll focus on the topic of relationships and dating. I realize that many parents have different views on dating, and that’s okay. Our goal is to provide the students with some really helpful things to think about before they even start thinking about dating relationships.

Categories: Pastor Ryan's Youth Update