Healthy Dating // HABITS (Sunday update, 3/20/11)

Yup, this post is way overdue!  It’s been a crazy week, and on top of that my computer crashed last week and I was still putting together the pieces this week … hence my Sunday update almost in time for the next Sunday.  We started two new series with the students on Sunday; ‘Healthy Dating’ for the senior high, and ‘Growing Spiritually’ (a HABITS series) for the middle school students.  Both are studies from the Live Curriculum, a resource the leaders and I love!  Here’s the recaps for both lessons and some follow up ideas for families at home:

JR High: Growing Spiritually (HABITS)

Chris Z taught the first in a six-lesson study on how our students can deepen their personal walk with God. Each lesson will focus on a basic spiritual discipline/practice that can foster spiritual growth. The theme of the lessons is HABITS, which stands for:

  • Hang out with God (prayer)
  • Accountable friendships
  • Bible memorization and study
  • Involvement within the church body
  • Tithing
  • Sacraments (baptism, communion)

Each of these spiritual disciplines is a tool that can help teenagers either begin or continue their journey with God. I hope that you will encourage your teenager to be at Student Quest for all of these lessons and begin applying the principles we discuss each week.

This week we focused on helping our teenagers commit to making prayer a consistent part of their lives. We looked at 1 Samuel 1:8-20, where Hannah asked God for a son. We challenged our students to understand the importance of spending time with God in prayer and to find ways to regularly make time for prayer. It is so easy for all Christians to become busy and forget to pray. But this weakens our friendship with God—our most important friendship in the universe.

This week, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to talk with your middle schooler about the importance of prayer. As I do after each lesson (usually on Monday), I want to offer you some possible questions to help fuel and guide your conversation with your teenager:

  • How would it feel if you prayed to God using the same language and tone you use when talking to friends?
  • When have you had a prayer need so big that it consumed your thoughts and energy? What was that experience like? How did God respond to your prayer, or is it something you’re still praying about now? Explain.
  • When have you felt God speaking back to you during a time of prayer, either through audible words or a sense down inside of you? How did that experience challenge you or help you grow spiritually?

SR High: Healthy Dating

I began the first of three lessons looking at what Scripture says about the topic of healthy dating. We’re using various passages from the Bible to discuss God’s design for romantic relationships. The goal is to help our teenagers get a clearer idea of God’s intentions in our relationships and what a Christ-like dating relationship or marriage looks like.

This week we examined 1 Corinthians 13 and talked about knowing what they’re seeking, not making excuses in dating relationships, and not settling for a relationship that dishonors God. We have the opportunity to value and love the person we’re dating—and the person we someday may marry.

I’d encourage you to find time to talk with your teenager about this week’s lesson. Here are some questions from this week that could fuel the dialogue:

  • What’s the difference between love and lust? What are some examples of the way our culture promotes lust—and examples of the way it either honors or dishonors true love?
  • What are some of your expectations for a healthy dating relationship or marriage? What’s the basis or foundation for these expectations, and how realistic are they?
  • Why does God care about our actions and attitudes when we’re either moving toward or in a dating relationship?

Thanks for all your prayers for our student group ministry. I pray regularly that God will guide and lead our young people as they pursue and develop meaningful, healthy relationships, and I know that’s your prayer, too!  If you’re curious to hear the audio from the senior high lesson, I’ll be posting it soon on our podcast feed,


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