In NextGen ministry, we spend a great deal of time discussing how we talk about sex. We discuss when we should talk about it. We discuss when we should not talk about it. We discuss getting the parent’s on board versus not getting the parents on board. We discuss age propriety and gender propriety. But what we seldom talk about is just good, old fashioned love. The kind that every girl dreams of and every boy dreams of, but probably wouldn’t tell anyone… ever. So today, I’d like to – at least, in part – remedy that situation.
Here are a few reasons why maybe we don’t talk about love, and a few reasons why we should.
Why Don’t We?
- It’s uncomfortable.
- I get it. Nobody likes baring their heart and soul to anyone. Especially when those someones are teens and tweens that would just as soon laugh at your feelings as they would throw away a used Kleenex. It may help to remember that their laughter is a response from their discomfort, more than their disapproval of your feelings. Use that laughter to break through the bubble of discomfort.
- We’re inexperienced.
- Perhaps you are the type of teacher that only likes to teach about things you’ve experienced, and you haven’t experienced good, healthy, romantic love. That’s fair. But in this case, what if you teach about what you hope for? Share your dreams. Be real with your students. It will pay off for both parties in the long run.
- You can’t talk about love in church!
- Wanna bet? If we can’t talk about good, healthy love in church then the hearts of the next generation is truly doomed. Unhealthy love is being talked about and shown – in great detail – everywhere else. Let’s stand our ground and share what the dream should be.
Why Should We?
- We might be the only one.
- There’s a good chance that the discussions we have with our students might be the only time in their lives that they hear about healthy love. Many of them aren’t experiencing that anywhere else, not even at home. We can’t just assume that their parent’s are modeling this for them.
- We’re all dreamers.
- It doesn’t matter who you are. We all need love. We have been built for it. Since Adam, humans have desired not to be alone. Let’s help our students have hope that, no matter who they are, what they like or dislike, how they look, sound, or are shaped, God has a mate in mind for them.
- We need to battle for the hearts of the next generation harder than the world does.
- It’s no secret that pornography is ruling the web. It’s no secret that inappropriate sex and relationships are popular in all types of media. So then, why are the healthy discussions about life and love and marriage – a life shared between two life-long-lovers – so taboo? Let’s not let that be the case any longer.
As stated by the incredibly cool Rose, at the end of Star Wars, the Last Jedi: “We’re going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love!” Let us focus on what is good and right in the world so that we leave our students with hope for a future full of appropriate love.
If you are still in need of a little help on the subject, our friends over at YM360 have a wonderful, free lesson for Valentines Day, based on the story of Ruth and Boaz. Go ahead and give it a shot. It’s called “Amazing Love: Finding and Living Real Love”. Get it here while it’s hot!
Why do you think we don’t talk about love like we should? What encouraging words would you share with other NextGen leaders on this subject? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment’s section. Seriously! We’re all in this together.