Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When Dealing with Boys In Youth Group

Now, I bet that title got your attention, didn't it? This is just going to be a short post with a few tips in it.
The reason I decided to write this is because I have seen or been in groups of Christian teens (youth group types of groups), where the kids are way too familiar with each other. I call it "Christian" flirting. Another words, it's an 'underground' type of flirting (of course, sometimes it's more obvious) that they justify by saying "We're brothers and sisters... In Christ."
Now I'm not sure if they actually think that what they are doing is fine, or if they know that they're being flirtatious. But regardless of that, when you are in a group like that it is important that you don't just do the easy thing and follow the lead of the crowd.
Here are a few things that definitely give the wrong idea...

1. Sitting on a boy's lap is never EVER appropriate for ANY reason. (I have noticed that teens like to do things like squishing everyone in the group onto one couch. I never was the type of person who liked being that close to anyone, but, if you must do this, you could always sit on one of your *female* friend's lap instead.)

2. "Making eyes" at someone. This is a very flirtatious thing. I think that we all know what it looks like because we've noticed other girls doing it.

3. Holding hands with a boy... Not a good idea.

4. Most people are fine hugging people goodbye, but if you can't keep your emotions pure when hugging boys, than don't do it. I know that a lot of people are not raised in a "I hug people goodbye" kind of home, and I have noticed that some girls develop feelings for young men when they hug them goodbye every Sunday. If someone is coming to give you a hug and you don't wish to hug them, my Grandpa says that you should just extend your hand and wait for them to realize that you wish to shake hands instead.

5. Games like "Telephone Booth" or games where you crawl around in the dark are NEVER appropriate.

6. I never liked it when girls and boys would push each other around, it seems very flirtatious to me.

Ok, here are a few things that are fine...

1. If a girl is hurt(ie: she can't walk) and has to get to a car or whatever, it is entirely appropriate for one of the stronger people in the group (presumably a guy), to carry or help her in some way. Although when I hurt my ankle and couldn't walk on it, I didn't need to be carried, I just needed someone to hold my arm so that I would fall over.

2. In most cases hugging someone goodbye is just fine.

3. It is not a problem to joke around as long as the jokes don't become inappropriate.

Basically, if you feel fine doing it, it's usually fine (unless it's something wrong, of course), if you get a thrill from it or feel funny about it, don't do it! ;-)
Hope that was helpful! Have a nice day ladies!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Just a note

This past March I had the honor of being asked to be the 'cover girl' for Growing in Grace Magazine.
If you're interested you can read my interview here http://www.growingingraceonline.com/

Friday, April 4, 2008

Disagreements (And a new Poll)

Lately I've been thinking about how we should respond when we have a minor disagreement with someone, or when someone is critical of us.
It is always slightly disturbing to find that someone has misunderstood us or disagrees with how we act or think, but how can we respond in a godly way?

1. Think before you speak or act in response to criticism or disagreement. Proverbs 15:28 says "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil."

2. Make sure that you really understand what the person is saying. "He who answers before listening- that is his folly and his shame." Proverbs 18:13

3. Respond politely and with humility. Even if they are in the wrong, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

4. Never respond out of annoyance, or by saying something rude about the other person, even if it is true. "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult." Proverbs 12:16

5. If you have been falsely 'accused' of something, Proverbs 12:19 says "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment."

6. If you are the one who sees something wrong in someone else, pray about it before you say anything. You never know how you can hurt someone. "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18. "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12:22.
For the most part, God is the one who must convict someone of their sin, and your part is to pray, not accuse. If you think that you must say something, be very, very, sure that you love the person as Jesus would have you, and that what you are going to tell them is the truth.

7. Never gossip about something that someone did wrong to you. It is ok to talk to your parents, or to a close friend if you need to talk about it, but don't just go 'blabbing it' to anyone you meet. "A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly." Proverbs 12:23

8. And lastly, if someone has showed you something in yourself that you see is a problem, change it! :-) "He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored." Proverbs 13:18

Here are a few more verses that have been helpful to me. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:6
"Anger is cruel and fury is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" Proverbs 27:4
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19-20

(Have you noticed that I love the book of Proverbs?) :-)

I also have a new poll up, so feel free to vote. Here are the results from the last one.

What do you think when you hear the word "Modesty"?
It's interchangeable with "Frumpy"
2 (8%)
It's just an attitude
3 (13%)
Beautiful skirts and dresses
14 (60%)
A way of moving
7 (30%)
2 (8%)
Other (leave a comment and explain)
6 (26%)

Perhaps I should do a post on why modesty and what it is sometime. ;-)