I’ve been asked to be a parent of a marriage and family seminar at church, speaking to the teenage girls about purity and dealing with the opposite sex. I was giving the working title of “Why Wait?” but I’m sure I can come up with a more age appropriate, thought provoking title than that.
I’m excited to have the opportunity to speak, to impart some of my experiences and the things I’ve learned to the young ladies of the congregation, but I am also excited about what this means for my book project. Not only will I be able to test out some of my material on a live audience and possibly garner some future interviews, or even sells, I will be able to learn something from the young ladies about what is happening today with teens. But by far the biggest personal benefit to come from this is simply confirmation.
I’ve never had so many positive reinforcements that I was working on exactly what I should be working on as I’ve had with this project. When I’m writing part of it, the words flow as if I’m just jotting down what someone is saying to me. People who have no idea what I’m doing encourage me to continue on with it, saying things like “you should write a book about that.” Every time I get stuck, someone begins talking to me on that very same subject and sparks a breakthrough. When I got sent to help out with a different department at work, that positive career step unblocked me enough to write more pages in a day than I have since my college days. Different things I need to address come up in the news or I see while I’m out somewhere. Just talking to my minister about this topic got me on the program. It’s like this book is writing itself and the opportunities to market it or try out the material keep coming up.
But back to my workshop this Tuesday. I’ve divided the topic of purity into two distinct subtopics: physical purity and spiritual/emotional purity. The emotional purity portion will segue neatly into dealing with the opposite sex. I’m using Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye in this section, making use of his Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating and one or two simple principles that I’ve used in my own life and relationships to explore what dating is about, what it does, and if/when people should date.
I’m going to use examples of biblical people and couples to illustrate my points about the influence of the opposite sex, attraction, lust, avoiding temptation, the importance of spiritual and emotional purity, the value of true fellowship, how to have clarity in relationships, and “how to go against the flow without being swept along.”
We all have to live in the world, but we are called out of the world, to be different, a “peculiar people.” At no age is this harder than as a teenager/young adult. Everything in our society tells them to conform or die a social death, to fit in, to not draw attention to yourself. Some of the elders in my life use the phrase “go along to get along;” that’s what the world calls us to do, and that’s what we have to stand up against…even when “the world” is our own treacherous flesh.
So, how do we do that?
If you are in the Orlando area, I invite you to come and find out on Tuesday, December 6th, at 7:30pm (hopefully :-)) to the Westmoreland Drive Church of Christ (215 N. Westmoreland Drive Orlando, FL 32805); if you’re not in the Orlando area, you may be able to find it here or purchase it…I have some kinks to work out with what I want to do there. I’ll keep you posted.
P.S. I’m going to be addressing the last comment to my blog on the post “All I Want is Forever” here tonight after the first day of our Marriage and Family Workshop. Until then, I invite you to read that post, along with “Love, Marriage & Potato Chips” and my three pieces on Open Relationships (here, here, and here).