Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


December 2011

Teenage pregnancies & failed relationships!

A woman takes her teenage daughter to the doctor.

The doctor says, “Okay, what’s the problem?”

 The mother says, “It’s my teenage daughter Darla. She keeps getting these cravings, she’s putting on weight, and is sick most mornings.”

The doctor gives Darla a good examination, then says, “Well, I don’t know how to tell you this, but your daughter is pregnant

The mother says, “Pregnant?! She can’t be, she has never ever been  left alone with a man! Have you, Darla?

Darla says, “No mother! I’ve never even kissed a man!”

The doctor walked over to the window and just stares out it. About five minutes pass and finally the mother says, “Is there something wrong out there doctor?

 The doctor replies, “No, not really, it’s just that the last time anything like this happened, a star appeared in the east and three wise men came over the hill. I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss it this time!

It’s that time of year, when we remember a “innocent young lady” called Mary becoming pregnant, in those days it was very frowned upon to be pregnant without a husband!  But now it appears to be the reverse, it apparently is the “norm” to lose your virginity as soon as you can!  Virtually every teen comedy is about it at the moment!

 There is a movement called the Silver Ring Thing , encouraging celibacy in teens and young adults until they are married.  I heard a criticism of the movement which said “it is wrong to say “wearing a ring for celibacy is the only way to prevent STI’s and teen pregnancies”” but celibacy is a pretty effective way! If they don’t do anything then nothing will happen! Pretty obvious to me anyway!

Then we have the world’s obsession with sex.  The amount of money spent on pornography worldwide is equivalent to Cuba’s GDP!  The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) have agreed to create the .xxx domain address to encourage “adult” websites to be more obvious so that parental controls and other authorities can prevent access to them by minors etc.  The only problem is universities have bought up domains as they do not want their names brought into disrepute!  Apparently, according to one article I read, the owners of adult websites rely on “accidental” visits or “clicks” so putting themselves in a “corner” out of the way is not an attractive option!

Apparently the male brain has been found to be “hardwired” to see a female in a Bikini in the same way as a power tool! So  if a man is exposed to a series of images of scantily-clad women, they are more likely to see a woman as something to “act upon” rather than “interact with”.

So does that mean that you have an excuse to be allowed to “leer” after people of the opposite sex or even flirt with them?   “It’s not my fault, it’s a natural urge!” Well… NO!  If you constantly subject yourself to images/stories/articles/audio about sex/sexual encounters, then your mindset will be constantly consumed by “fleshly desires”.  You are passively training yourself to believe that sex should be like the film/video you have seen, you may make yourself restless and not content with the relationship that you are in as other people/relationships seem to be more satisfied (but its all fiction! The grass may be greener on the other side but you do not know how much work goes into making it look like that!)

 To combat the “natural urges“, it is necessary to actively think and re-enforce the idea that every person you see in real life or in the media is a wife/daughter/sister/mother/gran or a husband/son/brother/father/grandad!  If you are not able to express the attributes of love as laid out in 1 Corinthians 4-7 towards that person, then you need to not allow yourself to desire them in a sexual way! The problem with having multiple partners in your life time is that your capacity to love is affected!

God came down because he loved us,

  • Love never gives up- God never gave up trying to have a relationship with mankind!  Once a relationship gets hard do you “cut and run” or do you try to persevere?
  • Love is not selfish- Jesus was nailed to a cross for you and me! Can you be considerate enough to put another persons needs before yours?
  • Love does not want what it doesn’t have- God loves you and is joyful when you come to him, so are you wanting a different partner to the one you have, are u tempted to have an affair?
  • Love doesn’t strut- God “lowered himself” to become a man, so that we could identify with him in the person of Jesus.  Do you make the one you love “feel worthless” because you are constantly telling them that you are better than them?
  • Love doesn’t force itself on others- God came down so that all could come to him to have a relationship, free will means we have a choice to love him back or not, so don’t force yourself on other people!
  • Love doesn’t remember offences- At the cross, Jesus blood “purified us” so our offences were forgotten, do you keep a mental note of what your partner has done, so that you can throw it back in their face? Have you a list of attributes you don’t want in a partner because of the hurts of past relationships?
  • Love rejoices in the truth- Honesty is a big part of relationships, when lies are told, trust is worn away as you cannot believe them!
  • Love is patient- God gives us time to work out our little questions/doubts, do you give your partner time & space to work things out if they need it?
  • Love never looks back- if you are in a new relationship, don’t look back at the old ones with “rose-tinted glasses”, there is a reason you moved on!  The new person deserves to be treated as if you have no-one else to compare them to!
  • Love keeps going to the end- too many relationships end because they started too early with sex, as the relationship wasn’t given enough time to grow healthily!  If you keep giving up too easily, all you will have left is a history of failed relationships and emotional attachments to numerous people!

“I have the Power!” Do you?

I mentioned last week that power is a temptation of speakers/preachers, and I was trying to think how this would manifest itself. Then I remembered NLP (Neuro-Linguistic-programming), its dangers were shown in a episode of “A Town called Eureka”, basically it’s the practice of “programming yourself” by using certain words and language to  “improve” yourself and/or change habits that you have formed.  I remember a friend told me that he once dated someone who was training in NLP and after the relationship ended, he suddenly realised she had been practising on him!  The danger is it is akin to brainwashing!

I recently read an autobiographical book about a man who was a kung fu champion nicknamed Tony the Tiger, his life story was pretty horrific, so much so that he ended up in a Greek prison, but God was with him and now Tony Anthony is of the opinion that martial arts taught him to be self-reliant with the “power from within” but since he became a Christian, his testimony has impacted so many people because his strength/power comes from Christ.

I am curious as to why certain denominations call their leaders “Father ….” or “Teacher…” when it explicitly says in the bible “don’t call anyone Father or teacher for there is only one father (God) and one Teacher (Christ)” We give these titles to men/women that we respect, that we look up to for their insight, their theology, their knowledge, but we actually have equal insight as all Christians have the Holy Spirit within them, and all are priests and apostles!

I keep hearing life stories where people have been treated really badly by their parents or people in authority over them!  How could a parent deliberately ignore their own child, if they actually saw them in the street (this happened to a friend of mine who is an adult!). How it can be right to use your child to get fame for yourself? How anyone could leave their offspring to run a business whilst they go live abroad and when the business is sold not give them a penny of the funds!  I don’t want to dwell on the abuse cases, but I don’t know anyone of a sane mind who thinks that any abuse to a child is acceptable!

The impact of a someones childhood, is the basis of a psychological assessment, I believe that one of the first questions is “what was the relationship with your mother/father like?” The Super-Nanny TV programme highlights how a parent reacts to their children can cause problems without them realising it!  So I have learnt:-

  • The naughty step is a great tool, put your toddler on a spot/step in the house where they can be safely left alone, leave them there for 1 minute per every year of their life i.e a 5 year old will be sat for 5 mins. After that time, go to them and calmly ask them if they know why they are on that spot and explain to them why they were naughty!
  • Be positive about every little “good” thing they have done “well done!, thank you for helping me!” etc etc. If you only give them attention when they are naughty, then they will be naughty to get attention (quite obvious really but not when you are in that situation!)
  • Kids need “family time”, playing, cuddling, talking. It has been proven that “cuddling” increases the endorphins in your body (no need for chocolate!)  Kids need to know you want to listen to what they have to say, otherwise they may find other people (possibly innappropriate choices) who will listen to them!

The power of a “good childhood” is immeasurable, those that have authority, have a responsibility to praise and encourage a child to properly develop emotionally, physically and even spiritually!  It is also necessary to discipline them in a manner that does not destroy their self-esteem but “corrects” their behaviour so they do not grow up to be a criminal!  Not an easy feat!

What I would like to know is when things go wrong, when you are having a really bad day, when you are really struggling with a situation, what do you do? What do you think?

  • Do you say “O my God!” but not actually mean to ask for the help of a deity?
  • Do you pray for help, recognising there is one who can and wants to help, as he has the power and resources to do so?
  • Do you just give up and feel down, as you feel “Powerless“?
  • Do you rely on your friends/family to “pick you up”?

There was a ruler in Capernaum who recognised Jesus’ authority and knew just one word from Jesus, and his servant would be well again! So what is our excuse?  Jesus said that those who follow him would be able to cast out demons, heal the sick! He gave his disciples the power and authority over demons and sickness.  He had authority because he died and rose again, death, sickness nothing could hold him.  If you are a christian “He that is in you is more powerful than the spirit of the world”

So I have the Power,  and if you are a Christian so do you!

What are you waiting for?  Get out there!! Either use it or get it!!

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