Looking at Love

Author: ALL

Looking at Love by Voice Campus Outreach

*************************************************************************** Skies smile even when it rains. Happiness surrounds you like a new thermal blanket. Every day gets better until you can hardly believe it. You're in love.

You toss and turn. If the phone doesn't ring soon, you think you'll die. No one ever felt this way but you. You're in love.

Being a teen in love is wonderful, miserable, confusing and exciting. You want to laugh and cry, tell the world and yet be alone with your thoughts and dreams all at the same time. You wonder how you could ever have said, "I love pizza". . . or your dog . . . or new clothes. Everything that has happened to you so far in life seems pale and boring. For the first time you understand why poets and songwriters have so much to say about love. You're invincible. Nothing can ever hurt you again-unless the person you love doesn't care about you.

"What's wrong with this?" you demand. "Sounds okay to me."

There's nothing wrong. All the warmth and joy, rapid heartbeats and terrible uncertainty are natural and part of growing up. Yet everything (even something as thin as plastic wrap) has a reverse side. The opposite of love is lust, something not usually discussed by teens. It should be. *************************************************************************** Love vs. lust

The Bible, especially 1 Corinthians 13, has a lot to say about love. The media today have a lot to say, too. "Love" on TV and in the movies is often lust in disguise with emphasis on personal satisfaction at the expense of others. Compare this with St. Paul's interpretation: Love is patient and kind, always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.

Lust says, "Hey, everything's cool. Nothing bad will happen to us if we have safe sex."

The only sex that is safe and is acceptable to God is sex within marriage. Doctors admit that condoms have no satisfaction-guaranteed-or-your- money-back promise. Condoms fail between 10% and 40% of the time.

Love is not proud, self-seeking or easily angered. Lust selfishly demands, "Prove your love. I have needs and if you won't meet them I'll find someone else who will."

Anyone who really loves proves that love by not asking another person to sin. Love does not envy or boast.

Lust huddles in locker rooms and at slumber parties, and brags and scoffs at virgins.

Don't believe everything you hear. Teens and young adults lie about their sex lives sometimes to feel part of the group. Even if it's all true, so what? Respect yourself and others enough to refuse cheap thrills. Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Lust delights in how many times it can score, plasters suggestive bumper stickers on cars and trucks and feeds its ego with such actions. Love never fails.

Lust takes all it can get, moves on and looks for more. Never satisfied, never finding real contentment, lust is compelled to pursue and conquer. There's a wide, solid line dividing love from lust. Love enjoys just being with the other person, appreciates the whole individual, shares a variety of interests and is grounded in the love of Christ.

Lust doesn't often date for fun, does expect rewards, refuses to accept the word "no" and cares little about others except in a sexual way. It is born in selfishness and raised in sin. *************************************************************************** Don't listen to lies

Don't let lust rob you of a precious experience reserved by God for marriage. Common statements excuse and condone immoral behavior:

1. "Everyone's doing it." Wrong-and those Christian teens who keep themselves pure are blessed.

2. "Sex is wonderful." True-when used as God created it to be used. Many young people label premarital sexual experiences as "disappointing," "no big deal," even "disgusting."

3. "No one gets pregnant the first time." False. Girls and young women can and do get pregnant the first time they have sex and a whole new set of problems and decisions arises.

4. "Chastity is from the Dark Ages, not for the 1990's." Untrue. Malachi 3:6 says, "For I am the Lord, I change not." He expects the same high level of conduct from us as from those who lived before and will live after us.

One of the worst teachings that has arisen in this century is the expression "Anyone can get AIDS." After the famous basketball player Magic Johnson told the world he carried the HIV virus, school children parroted on TV, "Anyone can get AIDS." Like other expressions that deceive, it contains some truth. However, if you live the right way, date those who share your standards and keep yourself for marriage, your chances of this are slim. The percentage of AIDS victims infected through blood transfusions and other non-sexual means is very small. *************************************************************************** A time of wonder

Enjoy the smiling skies and happiness, the breathless waiting for your special person to notice you. It's all part of being young and growing up. There's nothing wrong with your feelings. God placed powerful emotions in us to make sure the human race would continue. Those emotions can and must be controlled, however. You can avoid temptation by:

ù knowing it exists. ù double-dating and shunning situations and places that encourage too much affection. ù limiting affection to holding hands and friendly kisses. ù refusing to let anyone tell you premarital sex is okay.

You have years ahead for love, marriage and sex-in that order-and your present actions and choices have more impact on your future than you might realize.

If you have already been involved in premarital sex, 1 Corinthians 13:8 is especially for you: Love never fails. Through honest repentance and confession you can know that God has forgiven you and washed you, and you can go on from there. That's why Jesus came-to take our sins upon Himself and make us free. We can't change the past, but through Him we can set a new course, by taking a new look at love, and seeing it with God's eyes. ***************************************************************************

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