What do your teens value?
2. consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial
What is really important to your teens? What do they desire more than anything?
The answer to these questions will determine what choices they make. If their greatest desire is to be liked, then they may well make bad decisions even if they know those choices to be unwise. Or if their greatest desire is to be completely free to make their own decisions, then they may well choose to disregard advice from others. “Whatever we … make our highest priority—that is, our highest love—orders everything else that we want and do in our lives. This idea brings together two essential drivers of human identity: our nature as desiring beings and our nature as moral beings.” (Jonathan Grant, Divine Sex)
God has made us desiring beings. Among the desires he has built into us is the desire for relationship: he said of the first man, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). He also created us with sexual desire, the attraction for someone of the opposite sex, and this desire is good — a gift from God. But if sexual desire is wrongly focused, then it can be destructive.
In our super-sexualized world, in which the popular view of sex is that it is purely for pleasure, with no emotion or expectation of commitment, how can teens make good choices in their relationships with the opposite sex?
Consider the following scenarios:
A young man walks down a street at twilight. A woman meets him, seizes him, kisses him, and says to him, “Come, let us take our fill of love till morning.” She persuades him “with much seductive speech” and “with her smooth talk,” and all at once he follows her (Proverbs 7:6-22).
Another young man, “handsome in form and appearance,” was also seduced by a woman, a rich and important woman. Day after day she kept saying to him, “Lie with me.” And day after day this young man “would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.” When finally one day she seized him and again said, “Lie with me,” he fled from her (Genesis 39: 6-13).
Why did Joseph make the choice to resist temptation, where the “young man without sense” (Proverbs 7:6) gave in to temptation so easily?
To be continued …