Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Love Affair

Hush, don’t tell, but after 30 plus years I am still in the middle of a love affair. Oh, silly yes, I am still madly in love with my husband and yes he knows about this affair. In fact he approves. I have to admit that there have been times he has been jealous, but for the most part he just tends to tolerate all of this.

You might ask who is the other party in this affair. Well, the answer is Youth. This all came about many years ago when there was a need in our church to help with youth. I answered the call and fell in love right away. My husband used to say that when I was with the youth they were mine and I was theirs. My focus and attention was theirs. All theirs!

Youth have not changed so much from then until now. Youth still face the same issues of drinking, drugs, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, divorce, single parent homes, blended homes, peer pressure, fitting in, etc. The list goes on. Decisions…decisions! It just seems to me that all of these social issues are so much more accepted as normal by today’s youth. Whatever normal is! Yes, there are youth out there who still share a strong voice for Christ, but there are many youth out there who still need to hear the message of forgiveness, peace and the saving grace that only Christ can give. They need someone to stand up and tell them truth.

Today, on occasion, I still get to interact with youth when I volunteer with the KISSN program in the schools. My heart still melts when I am with them, and when I observe them at GLCC. They are our future, and so worth any amount of time any adult can give to be with them, listen to them, guide them and love them. They can change your life. I know that they did mine.

Recently through Facebook I have been able to re-connect with many of my former youth. What amazing adults and parents they have become. Raising kids, working in the church, preachers, missionaries, all shareing the love of Christ with others. Some married their love from youth group, some needed to find out who they were and a few have faced divorce. For some it took longer to figure out life but, sooner or later they did.

The advice I would offer the youth of today is still the same that was given to the youth of 30 years ago. That advice is that the ultimate pleasure is not found in the instant gratification that the world offers, but comes from the long term joy of intimacy with our Lord. King Solomon learned this the hard way. In Eccl. 2:10 he wrote, “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure.” But, after the pleasures of the world he concluded in verse 11, “All was vanity and grasping for the wind.” It’s no wonder he warned…”He who loves pleasure will be a poor man”…Proverbs 21:17 Still sound advice for us today.

As for yourself, are you living for your own pleasure, or living to please your heavenly Father?What kind of an example is your life demonstrating to Youth. Be careful they are watching. This is the question I would ask the youth of today Who are you living for is it the pleasure of this world? I love them too much not to warn them again and again of what the world offers compared to what Jesus offers. We need to believe in them and love them. Sometimes with tough, hard love but always with truth. They need the truth most of all.

Go out and have a Love Affair with our Youth….they are well worth the challenge!

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