Posts Tagged ‘teenagers’

Open Letter To Teenage Boys (young men)

Dear Teenage Boys, (actually, let me call you young men, I know being a teen you must hate being called a boy…)

The truth is you are becoming men.  That being said, there are some responsibilities that you need to step into.  I know, I said it, that dreaded word – RESPONSIBILITY.  As scary as the word may be, it’s time to face the facts.  You are responsible for some things now.  To make matters worse, your responsibilities will only grow from here on in.  It doesn’t get easier so I hope you really enjoyed the carefree days of your youth.

For the rest of your life you will be faced with choices.  Choices that bring with them consequences,  Choices that effect more people than just yourself.  Choices that can either set you up to have a great future and choices that can make your life far more difficult than it is meant to be.  How do you make your decisions?  Do you just “go with your gut”?  Are your choices made purely by how you feel?  If it makes you happy will that be the choice that you make?  Do you ask others for advice?  Do you seek any guidance at all?

This is something I have always found interesting.  In school you have a guidance counselor.  Their role is simply to help you make choices regarding the classes that you need to take in order to complete a well-rounded education.  At times they are also there to help you when you are having a bad day and need to talk – but mostly it’s just a quick appointment once or twice a year to pick your classes.  If you have someone that helps guide you through the mundane choices of Algebra or Geometry then why in the world would you expect to be able to jump into much larger decisions on your own?

Teen_BoysYesterday I spoke honestly to the ladies.  I spoke to them about the images that they post of themselves on Facebook.  I’m quite sure some of you are hatin’ on me right now because I am trying to take your fun away.  Sorry.  No, actually I’m not sorry.  I’m annoyed.  I’m frustrated.  I’m downright pissed off at times.  I see the way that girls are doing anything and everything possible to be noticed by you guys.  I see the way they are throwing themselves at you in order to feel wanted and cared for.  The sad fact is that many girls are not getting the love that they need from their father’s the way that they are supposed to and because of that they will take any kind of attention they can get – including you all gazing upon their bodies – and giving them the appearance that they are desirable.

I guess that is one of the responsibilities that we can talk about right now.  The responsibility of being a man and not just some punk that will freely take what is not yours to have.  Just because some girls are willing does not mean that you should be.  Man up!  Having sex doesn’t make you a man.  Sex does not equal love nor does it equal care for another person.  And quit using the line, “I love you.” just to get what you want.  Girls so desperately want to hear this and when you manipulate them by telling them what they want to hear you are only continuing the cycle of un-acceptance that these girls are struggling with.  Each of these girls are someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, and someday, someone’s wife, mother, grandmother.  Protect them.  Protect them because you will appreciate your future wife that much more if she enters a marriage with you with no baggage.

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I know that seems like such a foreign concept to you right now.  Marriage is something that you are not thinking about.  Actually, if I may make an observation (and I will because it’ my blog and you can’t stop me) the cycle that you are perpetuating is one of divorce.  Your dating habits actually teach you to be great at LEAVING relationships.  Think about it.  You date a girl.  It’s fun.  It gets serious.  You get physical.  It goes as far as it can go.  You get bored.  You have some conversation (hopefully it’s face to face and not via text message!) and you share with her that, “it’s not you , it’s me.  I guess I have changed.  But we can still be friends.”  (Forgive me for a minute, but you’re lame!)  Then you go find another girl and repeat steps one through seven.  And then you do it again, and again, and again.

What did you just teach yourself to do?  When the going gets tough, leave.  Think about how many married couples have done this over the years.  Rather than take the vow, the commitment, the oath that we have made seriously – “to have and to hold till death do us part” we just leave when it begins to get difficult.  Maybe try and just be friends with girls.  See your role, your responsibility, as one of a protector of girls.  If more guys did that these days I believe we could see a radical reformation in relationships that would make a difference for generations to come.

There is so much more I could write to you, and I hope that through the next years we will talk more about this stuff.  Trust me, I’m not coming down on you alone.  I understand that there are plenty of girls that need to understand that they need to protect you guys as well.  I understand how you are wired – I’m wired the same way.  When you see something that looks good you want to look at it more and more and more.  I do understand that girls need to cover themselves up to keep you from desiring to see more of them.  But you’ve got to do all that you can to protect yourself.  Get together with some other guys and talk about this stuff.  Share with them about your struggles.  Allow them to help you.  Find some other guys that may be a bit older than you, or for that matter way older than you, ask them to help you.  Ask them for guidance.

If it worked for that Algebra class who knows how it could help with this kind of stuff…

Open Letter To Teenage Girls

Dear Teenage Girls,

I know many of you.  I spend time with you.  I pray for you.  I know your parents.  I pray for them even more.  Over the past few years many of you have become “friends” with me on Facebook.  I think this is a great thing.  I am always looking for ways to connect with people and I see Facebook as one of those ways that help to build relationship.  That being said, can I be honest and blunt with you for a moment?

You show too much of yourself in the pictures that you post.  I understand that it’s all the rage to take a picture of yourself by extending your arm high up into the arm, above yourself, in a way that aims the camera down.  I’m not so naive to believe that you are not aware of how the camera is angled or what exactly the picture focuses in on.  I’m as Pastor and I take the calling I have very humbly.  But before I am a Pastor I am a Father.  I take that role very seriously.  I love my two daughters.  I don’t think that I am your father.  You have a father, or at least some of you do.  Some of you may be missing that relationship for one reason or another.  I know that you not having a great connection with your father is not part of God’s plan.  With that being said, can you hear the words I write as words from a father – please?

putthemawayStop posting pictures of your breasts on Facebook.  I understand that you are proud of what God has blessed you with.  I am quite sure that is true because you keep giving all of us that are in your friend list access to numerous pictures of them.  Please, hear my heart for you as you read these words.  You may be proud of the “girls,”  but you are not doing yourself any favors by showing them to the rest of us.  The people that are looking at these pictures are not looking at these images and thinking, “what a nice smile she has”  nor are they thinking about how happy you look.

The pictures that you are posting of yourself make you look cheap.  I’m sorry for saying this but you need to understand that you are freely giving away something that costs you dearly.  The boys at school may like you more because of the pictures that you are posting but they aren’t liking you for the reasons that you HOPE they are liking you for.  They are happy that you are posting these pictures.  Some are VERY happy.  These boys will want to spend time with you.  At least, for a little while they will.  But soon enough someone else will come along that will show them more of what they want to see.  At this point you will be faced with a choice.

“Do I give them more?  Do I allow them to touch me?  Do I give myself away?

If I don’t do this they may not like me any more.”

Many of these questions, if you are already struggling with friendships, will be easy to answer.  You will say yes.  You may not want to but the pull to have someone attracted to you will be too strong.  No one wants to be rejected.  I understand that.  I also understand the heartache that comes from being used and then left behind.  Don’t give yourself away – in any form.  Change the angle of the camera.  Aim it at your face.  Put on some clothes that hide some of the front of you.  We love you – all of you – but we don’t need to see ALL of you.

In my attempt to add a bit of humor to this post.  I’ll make this one last statement.

Put away your boobs and step away from the camera.  Please.

Camp Communication Practices

I love when we communicate well in a medium that connects with the youth at our camp.  In years past we have failed miserably in stating our expectations of behavior for the week.  This year I believe we nailed it.  Honestly, I’ve never heard people applaud after hearing a list of rules.

Watch and enjoy…

Off To Camp

NNE4 2009 Youth Camp

So excited for camp!  We are up at the camp now and all the youth will be showing up between 3 and 5 today.  The clouds are parting and we are beginning to see some sunshine!  Pray that the clouds all clear and that we have a great, dry week.  If you are interested in praying for camp specifics you can follow us on twitter this week here.  You can also check in at Impactnh.com for videos of the week and other fun stuff.

Please pray for many lives to be impacted this week and forever.