Teen Issues Tag

We all struggle with the temptation to wear masks, and it’s a lifelong struggle. We face temptations regularly – often daily – to try to be someone we’re not. Whether we are just trying to fit in, attempting to hide our hurts with the “I’m fine” mask, or doing whatever it takes to make others like us, the struggle is real. But, since this temptation is common to all people, we are in good company!

I think you could even make a case that Jesus was tempted to wear masks; in the Bible it says that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, but never sinned. So, even though Jesus experienced the temptation to be fake, He never was. He was Himself all of the time. And by looking to Him, we can find help and inspiration as we strive to be true to ourselves.

Those of us who have devoted our lives to helping God’s kids by serving in the fields of youth ministry and education can tend to feel overwhelmed most (if not all) of the time. Whether we are full-time, part-time, or volunteers, it’s demanding and tireless work.

And we spend so much time and energy dedicated to improving the lives of other people’s children that those of us with children of our own can sometimes wonder… what about my own kids? Am I giving them the attention that they need, or are they being unintentionally neglected because of the amount of time I spend in ministry?

We try to talk about chastity (at least once) with every group we ever work with, 7th grade and up. It’s a critical virtue in such an unchaste world and we’d encourage everyone who has any kind of moral influence over teenagers – parents, educators, youth ministers – to do the same. We cannot talk about chastity enough.

But that can be a tall order… who here received good information from their own parents about love, sex, dating, relationships? Yeah, me neither. So then how can we talk to teenagers about this when it wasn’t modeled well for us? It’s possible. But it requires some courage, some honesty, and some good information.