Love and Chastity: a teaching series for young teens. (I)

Posted By on November 22, 2010

Each of us is asked to train up our children in the way they should go.  For many, this is the easiest when they are young.  It might be exhausting to tell a child over and over not to colour on the walls or to say “please” and “thank you”, but at least our surrounding environment mostly agrees that these things need to be taught.  Challenges grow, however, with our children, when we want to share with them our views of life, infused by our faith–views that we know will often be challenged by society around us.  A healthy and God-centered view of sexuality is something wonderful to share with our children, but talking of this subject is not always easy.  It is often hard to find the words to encompass that this is more than a story of “No” and “Don’t.”  It is even harder to speak of this with young people we may not have trained up ourselves, but to whom we want to reach out anyhow.  With this series, I would love to offer one approach, one series of texts, that talks about this often delicate topic.  The text is written for teens and meant to be read and discussed with a loving adult as a guide. It is aimed at teenagers that may be at different places on their journey of faith.  I hope it may be of use to any of you wishing to reach out to the hearts of our young teenagers.  This first part is an introduction to the series.

We are made for love

Love is the first and greatest commandment.  All theology, all articles of Faith, all commandments have their source in love, the love of God.  We are made for God, by God, to love and search God.  You could say that each of us is born with a great God-shaped hole in ourselves, looking for that unity with God.  Sometimes we are very aware of that hole.  We feel alone, even when there are many people around us.  We feel as if no one understands exactly what we are going through.  Or we feel that we have to live up to people’s expectations all the time.  Yet God simply… is.  His Love, simply is.   His name means “I am,” not “I demand…” or “I expect.”

And not only did God create us from that love; He even showed His love in a way that goes beyond all our understanding:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

And to us, He gave the great commandment to follow as a road map to follow: (Mark, 12:30-31)

You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart,
and with your whole soul,
and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.
And the second is like it:
you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

It seems simple, but we need to do three things: Love God, love ourselves, love our neighbour.  But what is love?

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding    gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not    delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13)

Wow… that is rather a tall order.  Are you ready for that kind of love?  Or are you still in training?  This bible verse speaks of leaving behind the ways of a child, the reasoning of a child.  Now Jesus said “Let the children come to me” (Matthew 19:13), but he didn’t mean that we do not have to grow up.  The innocence of a child wanting to be with Jesus is wonderful.  But children are supposed to become decent and wonderful grown-ups. Have you ever met one of those grown-ups that just… didn’t want to grow up? 45 and still pretending to be 19?  Hanging around, trying to be cool and often just looking sad?

Growing up, becoming an adult isn’t always the easiest thing to do.  It may not always be the most fun thing to do.  But it is the most wonderful thing to do.  See, there is a difference between doing always what is easiest and most fun, and doing that what will make us truly and deeply happy.  And God wants us to be truly fulfilled, truly happy into the depth of our soul.  Soul-deep happiness, is not something you just find, you have to work for it, pray for it, and believe that you can become it, even when life is difficult.

You are becoming an adult, and that means you are shaping your future.  You are going to make choices.  God and the church through Him, wants to help you, not by taking choices away because we don’t want you to have any fun, but by offering you a path that is more fulfilling, more worth taking and infinitely more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

© Christine Samuel | Dreamstime.com

About The Author

I’ve been a contributor to LAF through many changes in my life. From Miss Eva B to Mrs Eva H. From living in Europe to living in the USA. From being single, to being courted. From being courted to marriage and further into motherhood. I like to share the realities of life as well as the inspirations, the beauty as well as the work that it takes to honor God in our daily life.

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