TODAY -

To teenagers in love with love

Worthing Jajo *

To teenagers in love with love



This is a letter being prepared for my beloved and lovely daughter, who is yet to be a teen; who is only 6 years old. However, I am sharing this for the benefit of other Christian teenagers.

Teenagers! Welcome to the wonderful world of teen-hood. It is a world of extremes: emotions and moods, sizes and shapes, dreads and desires, dreams and aspirations. The years between twelve and nineteen represent one of the most exciting and trying spans of life. All are different and they all change every day. Pimples erupt on your faces, voice croaks and physical changes undergo. These changes close the door to childhood. Dolls and toys give way to boyfriends and girlfriends. Childhood is behind you, forever locked away and there you stand on the threshold of adulthood, biting your nails as well as keeping your fingers crossed. It seems like the entire world is watching you.

The situation at your home and school gradually begins to change during the early teens. At this age, you feel an overwhelming desire to be accepted by your elders and mates of opposite gender. You don't want to be left behind as more daring peers try to break away. You want to be free from any authority and be on your own. You are terrified of being unaccepted by friends and will do anything to get accepted.

At this age, you think of freedom in terms of being free from your parents and school authorities. You long for the day when your parents will no longer tell you when to come home and where to go. At this time it is no wonder you begin exchanging exclamation points for question marks. As everything begins to change in a teenager's life, the question "Who am I?" becomes central.

Firstly, stay close to God. Truthfully, this is the wisest thing you could ever do, not only you are in your teens but also throughout your life. Take it from someone who has tried to have his or her own ways a million times, and has regretted it. The Bible says, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them." Don't interpret this as having no fun in the days of your youth! Do have tons of fun but in the way that is accountable to God. For example, if your friends say to you some day, "Tell your mom we have an extra class and let's go to the movies," you are supposed to say "No," primarily, because you are listening to God.

Choose your friends wisely. Friends have huge influence on you. You should be very careful while deciding with whom you should hang out. Try hard to have at least a few really good friends. Actually, make sure they are strong in the Lord and not mere Christians. The Bible clearly says in I Corinthians 15:33: "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." You don't want that to happen to you. If you feel your unbelieving friends are influencing you negatively rather than you are influencing them positively, you know you need a new set of friends.

Flee from missionary dating. Please don't ever get into 'missionary dating.' It just means dating someone with the intention of helping him or her become a Christian. God doesn't call you to date all the nice and cute non-Christian boys or vice versa in your city and make them Christians. Be friends with them, for sure, but know when and where to draw the line of control. There are many smart fools. So, don't fool yourself with the notion: 'He or she will become a Christian someday,' when they have no intention of doing so all along. It is also an unfair expectation of someone to convert for you.

God has prepared a good Christian life-partner for you. So wait and enjoy these days of freedom. I would encourage you to pray about it from now on. It's something that will affect the rest of your life! Think of how much more a man who loves God will be able to love you. He will love you as much as Jesus loves the Church. That's huge! You have full permission to date Christian boys or girls provided you are legally mature (Indian Constitution sanctions marriageable age as 18 and 21 for boys and girls respectively), but you must double-check with Mom and Dad. Dating may seem fun at first but it can also be a real waste of time if it is not guided by healthy motives. Take heed there are so many games that people play in the name of dating.

Let me delve deeper into the meaning of dating. What is dating? Dating is a special kind of interaction between two persons of the opposite sex that may lead to courtship culminating into love and marriage.

Why do you date? If you haven't begun dating yet, why do you wish to date? It is not right to date just because your friends are dating, or because you are old enough, or because someone asks you out. It is important for you to think through the reasons of dating. There are a number of positive reasons for dating, of course. It helps young people learn to understand each other better; helps pave the way to understanding variety of personalities, attitudes and problems of the opposite sex. While, at the same time, just as there are good reasons for dating, so are bad reasons. Mostly bad reasons involve selfish motives. Some people date for reasons that don't have anything to do with love. They just want to create an impression of being popular; to impress their friends; or to find some sexual gratification without any personal commitment, which people casually call 'no string attached.'

Today, young people understand that dating means petting, necking, kissing, drinking, dancing, joy-riding, etc. Some guys date for prestige. Some boys or girls date to make someone else jealous or seek revenge. Some date only for sex. Therefore, save yourself from all these silly notions and ask God to guide and give you right direction in life.

Remember you are beautiful the way you are. Sadly, we live in a world where people give importance to outward appearance more than inner beauty. People can say something really nasty that can scare you like hell if you let them do so. But don't you worry! Jesus has the truth for those lies you might have once believed. People had said mean things to me as well; maybe they meant to be friendly, but honestly, I'd strongly advise them to keep quiet than share their wisdom in the future. Isaiah 53:2 says, "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." Isn't it amazing that Jesus wasn't the most handsome man who ever walked on earth? He was just an ordinary man, so if anybody ever puts you down, just remember that. Psalm 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." If you ever think you are not good enough, you doubt the uniqueness of God's handiwork. I am sure you don't want to do that. There's is no need for you to ever wish or work on a regimen for a dainty figure that fits into the trendiest dresses from the branded showrooms. Just eat healthy and exercise regularly. If people ever bug you, tell them politely, 'Thank you for your concern, but the way you are phrasing it hurts me rather than building me up.'

"Speak the truth in love." I agree you should respect elders, but not at the cost of your sentiments. When you reach heaven, God will not ask if you look like a cover girl or if you wear an Esprit tops with Levi's jeans. Remember, your body is the temple of God, so take good care of it. Proverbs 31:30 says, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Be a boy or girl who fears the Lord - it is worth so much more. This earth is not our permanent home; you don't have to please people here. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. Meditate on this verse. As Christians, you have to show God's beauty.

Grades don't matter. I am not undermining the importance of studying hard and doing your best. God wants you to do your best. That's one great way of glorifying Him. Just don't get caught up in the trap of feeling that your grade in a test reflects you. God does not want you to feel bad, which He asserts in James 1:5: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."

I think that this should be enough for you to think about. I will leave you with a line: if you are not sure whether God would approve of what you want to do or not, don't do it. I am sure if it were right; the Holy Spirit would let you know clearly. God bless you all!


* Worthing Jajo wrote this article for The Sangai Express(English Edition)
This article was posted on August 11, 2012



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