PURITY in relationships has always been a delicate yet pressing issue worth addressing especially among teens in this fast paced, personality-charged, fame-seeking and socially demanding society. We often feel the need to get things ‘now’, an issue emblematic of instant gratification as well as unjust social expectations especially on our youth today.
Christian living calls us to always do and say things against the norm – that is, to live a life of holy awareness with the ability to determine and separate worldly from Godly teachings. All human beings have intrinsic values within them, and it is important to remind our youth about their worthiness in a rat-race society. Youcat (280) states that, “Every person, from the first moment of his life in the womb, has an inviolable dignity, because from all eternity God willed, loved, created, and redeemed that person and destined him for eternal happiness… Christians believe that human dignity is, in the first place, the result of God’s respect for us.”
RAY organised a two-part series on this pertinent issue in their monthly gathering on 15 July 2018, to a crowd of teens and a team of visiting young adults from EFATA. The teenagers started off with a session of praise and worship and immediately moved into the session. The teens were reminded of their true worth and of others in God’s eyes.
The talk also revolved around the impact of secular Western social influence through movies as well as several tips to remain pure in mind, body and spirit. The session also approached the issue of peer pressure and of not giving into an attitude of following others just for the sake of being ‘accepted’.
The issue of being single was another topic covered as the pressure or expectation to be in a relationship sometimes become a question of self-worth. Afterwards, the teens were encouraged to forward their questions on purity by writing them on paper that was provided to the core team members.
The follow-up session was conducted on Friday night on 27 July. It was a light-hearted session akin to a ‘coffee talk’ setting (without the coffee!). The core team members answered the questions posted by teens in the previous session. The teens sat cosily on the floor. The core team members (comprising of young adults, married and single) shared their own experiences in the field as they tried to tackle the questions posed by the teens. It was a very interesting and eye-opening experience for all.
The teens were also invited to ask more questions about purity and relationships. Some of the questions were, ‘How do I know if I love someone?” and “Am I still worthy of love even if I have already lost my purity?”.
Towards the end, everyone recited a rosary prayer on the issue of purity to seek God’s guidance in their lives. Hopefully, the teens learned something valuable in the two-part session and gained more wisdom, if not clarity about purity and self-worth. It was definitely a worthwhile experience for all involved and great joy in sharing with others. Nonetheless, it is with great hope that more in-depth sessions on purity will be carried out in the near future as this issue is very much crucial in our church and society. – Jenna Robert