Final post in #UnashamedList series. Written especially for youth navigating issues like sexual integrity, porn addiction, (sexual) abuse, etc. Series intro and full 10 Day list here.
Sex was a massive part of my youth. I’ve shared snapshots of how hard it is being sexualized at an early age throughout this series. I’ve come out about the insidiousness of porn, upsides of “waiting,” and consequences of just doing everything you think is right.
But everything is more complicated Today.
That’s me on my 17th Birthday. No Instagram, Twitter or Tinder back in the 90’s. No Selfies or Filters to daily challenge my self-esteem. If a party got crazy, any d* pics were probably taken with a throwaway camera. There was no Social Media to torch a reputation or courage.
And when I went through a “tomboy” phase, LGBTQ wasn’t even on the radar…
There’s so much pressure on youth today. Few places to just Be. #MadRespect for all walking through it daily…
The garden of Eden taught some hard and sad lessons, including that we wouldn’t trust God without testing Him first. Parents warn their kids not to touch a hot pan, but don’t they/we ultimately want to know for ourselves?
Bieber had it right:
“I got to learn things, learn them the hard way.
Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say..”
(“Ill show you” Justin Bieber, Purpose album)
If you’ve got kids, you’re raising them to leave you. That cut umbilical cord was the clue they don’t really belong to us–they were born to fly.
Eventually they leave the nest–Mine are too young for me to even fathom this, but I lived it and probably you too. When we return, parents cancel appointments and make favorite meals. Quality time and fun are maximized and we taste a bit of heaven.
Were you one of the kids who packed up dirty laundry to bring home? I was!!
It’s maybe every kids dream: a house to themselves. When kids reach a certain age and maturity level, parents will inevitably leave them home alone, maybe even over night.
Many 80’s movies show what can happen when parents go away for the weekend, and we expect sex, drugs and rock and roll–fun and foolishness. We’d never imagine oppression/abuse/hatred, but if we look at the world and consider God gave us the “keys” back in Eden, we see that’s exactly what we got…
School years can be pretty hard. You struggle trying to be yourself, not always fitting in, puberty, pressures, crushes, bullying…. I gladly forgot it all. But decades later I felt something like growing pains, but in my spirit. Can you have spiritual puberty? If you’re feeling awkward or uncomfortable, the answer may be yes.
Visit any church and listen to people sing about God’s Love–but do they know how deep it goes? Can they understand it or would they recognize it?
Love is easy when given to one who spills milk, but how about someone who spills blood? And not accidentally but purposefully?
The hard truth is God’s Love goes that deep… for the mass murderer, the child rapist, the filmer of any kind of torture….
We may think we’re decent people, innocent of such crimes, but don’t forget: your thought life is also part of the equation. Jesus said being angry with someone was like murder, and looking lustfully at someone was like having an affair (Matthew 5:21-30).
Truly no one gets into heaven on merit, but we’re all invited:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, bible)