SEXuality // HABITS (Sunday update, 4/10/11)

This was the first week in two series with the students on Sunday during our Student Quest hour; ‘SEXuality: What was God thinking?’ for the junior high, and ‘Growing Spiritually’ (a HABITS series) for the high school students.  Both are studies from the Live Curriculum, a great youth ministry resource.  Here’s the recaps for both lessons and some follow up ideas for families at home:

JR High: SEXuality – What was God thinking?

I taught the first in a two-week series on sex—one of the most awkward yet important topics for teenagers to discuss with trusted adults. In this first lesson, we talked about how God created us as sexual beings, but that design includes waiting until marriage for sex.

Using verses from Genesis 1 and 2, we were reminded that we are not accidents—God created us with purpose and for a purpose. If we truly believe this principle, then it extends to all areas of life, including how God created us as sexual beings.

Genesis 1:26-31 reveals how we were created in God’s image and how God’s instructions to the first humans included these words: “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.” In Genesis 2:15-24, we see how the man needed a partner, a helpmate, someone with whom he could form a union. God’s design was for a man and a woman to become one when they make the commitment of marriage and unity. Sex is a wonderful, beautiful display of that commitment—but it’s designed to be experienced within the boundaries of marriage.

I recognize that each family has a different level of comfort discussing sexuality, but I’d encourage you to find a few minutes to talk with your teenager about this topic and this week’s small group lesson. Here are some questions that could fuel your dialogue:

  • Why do you think God created sex? Was it just to fulfill what Genesis 1:28 says about being fruitful and multiplying, or is there an even deeper reason?
  • What are some specific ways our culture takes sex—something that God intends for good—and turns it into something risky, dangerous, and destructive?
  • How well do you treat people of the opposite gender, who are made in God’s image? How could you appreciate them in a more Christ-like way?
  • What can you be doing now to follow God’s plan for your sex life? How can you protect yourself against giving in to temptation and being lured off God’s path?

SR High: Growing Spiritually (HABITS)

Melissa M 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?

 

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