Tip of the Day – Real Talk

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today, over a billion cards will be exchanged, many will be lost in a chocolate haze and flowers will be purchased for that special someone.

Valentine’s Day may be the most romantic day of the year. In fact, many students will seek to have someone special, just because they want to be with someone on this day.

Togetherness makes us feel special. We desperately want someone to share our deepest secrets and greatest dreams with. This is a natural part of life.

The flip side of Valentine’s Day is that many are so desperate to find someone that they often compromise their lifestyle, morals and standards. My heart breaks for these people, but as a pastor, I must do more than have a broken heart, I must take action.

Every February, I and many other youth ministries take time to address the issue of love. Unfortunately, I think we have often speak in vague platitudes and fail to address the real issues at hand.

In the ministry of Jesus, you will often see him step into someone else’s world. As leaders, that’s what we need to do. Though we may not be able to go with our students to school, we need to harken back to our days as a teenager. Do you remember what that was like?

There are pressures, awkward feelings and lots of unanswered questions. That’s where our students are at, only they face a greater challenge than we did because of the proliferation of technology and the erosion of Biblical morality. They are constantly bombarded with messages that we are trying to combat. If we simply ignore this, we will lose this battle.

As leaders we must start fighting back. Our students’ earthly and eternal lives are on the line. It’s time to address the real issues.

Talk about love, but talk about sex too. Be specific, not graphic. Give them more than reasons to do the right thing, give them tools. Don’t condemn them, but don’t ignore sin. Ask the hard questions, even if you don’t want to hear the answer. Stop putting off the conversation you need to have.

Share the of power of forgiveness with them while walking with them in their pain. Remind them that there’s hope and that God can work all things together for good. Talk to them as a pastor, and as a person.

1 Peter 4:8 gives us the best directive when it says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

I’m thankful for people in my life who sat me down to tell me what I needed to hear, even if it was awkward and uncomfortable at times. Without them, I am convinced that I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

So have a real talk with your students. They may even thank you one day!

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