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Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

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Prepare yourself… incoming barrage!

April 14th, 2011


This is the first of six letters to parents that I will be writing over the next few weeks. What started as my monthly letter to parents ended up being a three-page document, and I STILL wanted to expand on each main point… so I did! Only now, you won’t get it all at once in a mini book. 🙂 I hope the letters are encouraging and challenging, and over the next few weeks you can expect information on:

  1. Prom
  2. Activities
  3. The Bakers
  4. TOF finances
  5. Thinking spiritually
  6. Training your teen how to greet guests.

I pray for you parents often, and I want to be a blessing in any way that I can. Please let me know if there’s any way that I can help, and if you have any questions or comments, fill out the comment form or the contact page. I’ll receive your email basically immediately and will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you again for being a HUGE blessing! Enjoy letter one of six…

 

April 12, 2011

Hello, Parents!

I know I’m not the boss… you are. I know I’m not the parent… obviously, you are.

But, I feel a big-time responsibility to help these teens’ spiritual lives in any way that I can, and I want to be sure to speak up if I can be a help. I know you’re primarily the ones who are always looking for ways to help their spiritual lives, and I appreciate that about our parents VERY much! YOU are the primary reason they are where they are, and I’m just grateful to be able to work with such a fine group of young adults.

Although maybe they can sometimes wear down any of your reasons for not letting them do certain things. I recently preached to them about one of those “certain things”… prom. I approached the lesson, as I try to always do, as something that will ONLY help them spiritually, and I tried to logically approach prom and analyze its various aspects.

  • 1. Representing Christ. First, as a Christian, I am to represent Christ. You may often be asked, “What’s wrong with it?” Why not ask back, “What’s right with it?” How will it enhance your walk with God? How will it grow you as a Christian? In my mind, anyone who’s wanting to be counted on GOD’S team (Romans 6: 1-11) would want to stay as far away as possible from anything that might bring a question mark to others’ minds. By going, would you feel uncomfortable and guilty the whole time? By NOT going, you would be able to be a testimony and witness for Christ by explaining your position.

All right, Bro. Ryan… I promise to be a great testimony and represent Christ in everything I do. Can I still go? Well, read on.

  • 2. Dating. Temptations surround you at prom. You’re constantly pushed to have a date, and the drive of prom is guy/girl relationships. Even if it’s only going out with a group of friends and you have no official “date,” the fact is, people act differently when they’re with a mixed-gender group. Temptations surround both guys and girls, so why put yourself in that situation? Further, synonymous with the word prom is the word dance. What good comes from dancing together? I don’t know if I could ever be convinced that “It’s nothing. We’re just friends.” Okay… then go dance with your buddy over there too. No guy would dance with his guy buddy… it’s just not right. Be careful not to defend that which God does not defend.

I promise, Bro. Ryan… I won’t have a date, I will constantly have my guard up for temptations, I won’t dance, and I won’t even touch a member of the opposite sex. That’s good, but…

  • 3. Dress. Speaking from a man’s perspective, I don’t usually see modesty and purity represented by most formals. I hurt when I think that young ladies do not value themselves enough to dress modestly, and that fathers allow their daughters to dress provocatively. I also hurt when that type of dress is defended! A young man might say “It’s no big deal, Bro. Ryan! I can handle it. It doesn’t affect me.” Well, to that I say you’re either 1) over-stimulated or 2) lying. God has made men to be attracted to ladies by sight, and any act on that attraction outside of marriage is what the Bible calls fornication. Lust drives most of the clothing selections, and I just want to “blow the whistle” and warn Christians to ALWAYS check their motives for everything they do.

All right… I’ll wear a dress that goes from my eyebrows to my ankles (ladies only, of course!), I’ll injure my leg so I can’t dance, I’ll contract chicken pox so I don’t touch a member of the opposite sex, I’ll be a Christian testimony the whole time, and (for the guys) I’ll wear a blindfold so I am not tempted by sight. Wow. Sounds fun now (note the sarcasm)! But…

  • 4. Music. What style of music pops into your head when you think of prom? Is it a driving beat? A sultry, low tone? Could it be described as provocative? Usually. If it’s more of a “party prom,” I seriously doubt that means they’re moving to the more upbeat GloryBound Quartet from Heartland! The whole night, I seriously doubt the music could be considered godly and helpful to someone’s spiritual walk with God. Just in the car ride there, what kind of music is playing in the car? I’ll destroy the car’s radio, Bro. Ryan, so we won’t have bad music in the car. What about when you get to the prom? Would it be the same without the music?

So far, only a blind, lame and deaf person with chicken pox is good to go!

  • 5. Association. This subject could be expanded and taken down multiple roads, but the Bible principle of separation and holiness ought to drive our motivations for what we do. God’s primary characteristic is His holiness, and we are to strive for that attribute above all others. With the word prom comes many other associations, and right or wrong, logically (and even statistically) you can’t disassociate prom from these associations. Why choose to put yourself in a situation that is associated with underage drinking, premarital sex, lust, dancing, drugs, after-parties, arrests, and pregnancies? While I would never associate that with any individual who is in our church, why would his or her attendance at prom NOT condone those behaviors? How would participation in prom say in any way that those associations are wrong? “Well, I don’t participate in those activities.” I’m sure you don’t… but apparently you’re okay with it. Ask yourself if GOD is the motivation, or if FUN is the motivation.

Ignoring these warnings is a slippery slope, and I wouldn’t want to be the one who tells God on judgment day that prom is okay. Love God and let Him be the one who determines your choices. Love others and live to serve, not BE served. Hopefully you’re able to see a few of the dangers and keep yourself away. I hope to be an encouragement in any way that I can, and if you ever need anything, please let me know. We love you all VERY much! Have a great week and do right.

In faith,

Ryan Rench

 




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