Friday, August 1, 2008

Teen Talk - Scriptures to Guide Dating Discussions

By Kristin Early

  • Listen, my child, to what your father teaches you. Don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor.

Proverbs 1:8,9 (NLT)

  • My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. Keep their words always in your heart.

Proverbs 6:20-21 (NLT)

  • There is more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scriptures, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever – the kinds of sex that can never “become one.”

1 Corinthians 6:16 The Message

  • Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come from your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Ephesians 4:29 The Message

  • Steep your life in God-reality, God-Initiative, God-provision. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Matthew 6:33 The Message

Beauty is Fleeting

By Charlotte Cole

Proverbs 31: 30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (NIV)

In Austin Texas, where I was reared, some girls appear to be born with their makeup already applied. One gal’s Texan fiancĂ©e moved her down from Pennsylvania to Dallas saying “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I have included weekly manicures and pedicures for you into our budget!” Needless to say, having grown up in an environment like that, my looks have been front and center of my priority list for …, well forever.

It is loathsome to admit such shallow vanity, and yet as I creep up to that age that starts with an ‘F’ and I can’t wear my size fours, I am struck with a harsh reality: Beauty is fleeting. Yes, the Bible says so, but while I have clung for dear life to every other word written in scripture, I have kidded myself thinking “My beauty will never really flee.” However, my thinking has changed as I’ve begun heading down that dreaded, irreversible path of age.

What will be left? I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into my relationship with God, my family, and friends, but I’ve also invested a lot into my appearance- the finest haircuts, colors and accessories. I’ve really wanted my husband to have a radiant wife, and I’ve always liked to be the Belle of the Ball.

Now that time is taking its inevitable toll, I need to own up to the truth, pure beauty that never fades comes from within and it comes from Jesus. 2 Corinthians 2:16 says ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’ (NIV) It’s time I re-shift my priorities from the image in the mirror to the image in the eyes of God.

Of course, it will be physically impossible for me to let myself go completely and that’s not God’s will either. I do however, need to quit looking at Jennifer Aniston, who’s single and never had a baby (much less four), and think, ‘she’s my age, if she can do it, so can I.’

I have to begin believing that what my husband loves in me is not on the outside. His love stems from who I am, the way I love him, the way I light up when he arrives on any scene or how I dedicate myself to caring for his needs. That’s a hard thought to get a hold of for some women, especially women like me who have really taken their appearance very seriously for their whole lives.

I dread admitting this but, I have recently realized that a lot of women, whose looks I sadly pass judgment on, are content with their looks. When I sit there and sadden the Lord with my thoughts, I am beginning to realize her husband sees what he ought to see- her heart! He sees the way she loves him, cares for his babies, and supports him.

I am beginning to long for that, I am beginning to desire what those women have. Here I’ve assumed they probably envied me because, compared to them I am pretty. In reality, can you begin to imagine how ugly I am inside with those awful thoughts, especially in God’s Holy eyes, as I pass shallow judgment over the appearance of His faithful servants?

For a longtime I’ve known charm was deceptive, I’ve known a woman who fears the Lord was to be praised and now I know; Beauty is fleeting!