Dear V & M,
Guys, I am not going to lie to you. It is so tough to be a young man—in today’s world— trying to live a Christ-like life.
I want you to imagine the movie Holes for a moment. If you place yourself in the middle of that desert what do you notice? Well, the first thing (obviously) is a bunch of holes EVERYWHERE.
We are talking hundreds of holes that stretch for miles. If you are not careful where you step you could fall in one of them. Falling in isn’t even the worst of problems, it is trying to climb out…and not succeeding.
In modern society there are so many holes that you can fall into #ouch. These holes are the “sins” that appear normal. To be a Christian means doing everything you can to avoid these holes—not because you don’t want to fall in—but because you have a deep love for Christ.
However, sometimes it is difficult. Many times you do not even notice the holes. There will be times in your life when your “friends” will do things that don’t seem right. There will be times over the next few years when you feel so alone, confused, and upset. Everyone will tell you to jump into these holes in order to feel better, to feel comforted, to feel cared for, and loved. I bet at times their voices will guide you to fall. Believe me, you will fall many times. As humans it is inevitable.
I want to remind you today to never lose hope. I encourage you to remember that when you fall into a hole the only way to get out is through Him.
He will ALWAYS lend you a hand.
1.Don’t give your heart to lust.
Lust is a tricky little sin. At first it tries to make you feel “loved.” It does everything it can to make you not feel completely and utterly alone.
Don’t listen to it.
When your friends laugh at you for not watching porn don’t listen to them. Rather, stand strong in your beliefs. When friends or classmates tell you all about masturbation. Don’t listen to them. When friends talk horribly and degrade women…don’t join in the conversation.
How would you like it if guys talked about our sister like that? Remember, that girl is a sister, daughter, and granddaughter.
You will find a girl with a beautiful heart one day. Think of her when you get ridiculed. You will have a nice family of your own one day. Think of them. Do not let the ridicule make you feel different. Rather, let it fuel you. Christ was the most ridiculed man to walk this earth. Look towards Him when you feel uncertain.
Remember, it takes a bigger man to avoid the sin of lust than to fall trap to it.
2. Don’t be a part of the wrong crowd.
I remember reading an article a few years back that illustrated the importance of friends. It said your five closest friends have the greatest power to shape who you are as a person. More so than your parents or family. That is crazy to me!
Therefore, choose your friends wisely. Don’t hang around people that rip you from the embrace of Christ, but rather find friends that will walk with you to the Kingdom. Again, sometimes this will make you feel SUPER alone. With this, I can assure you that if you be yourself and hold strong to your morals the right friends will come into your life. I had a hard time with this in high school. I wanted to be popular and hang out with others that didn’t understand my beliefs. Don’t fall trip to this…choose your friends carefully. You deserve it.
Whenever you feel alone, look to Christ.
3. Be brave for others.
You know that kid who sits alone in the lunchroom. Cliche example but….SIT WITH HIM OR HER. Don’t let the opinions of others stop you from doing what is RIGHT. If I could go back to high school I would do so many things differently. I would ALWAYS seek to stand up for the kid being picked on. Sadly, there were many times I didn’t.
Those are my biggest regrets.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a kid who is physically “picked on” but rather verbal. Words hurt.
They scar so many people.
They destroy families, marriages, and friendships.
Always look to hold a shield up for the individual put under attack. Look to the Holy Spirit for courage.
It is so difficult to fight the sin of this world all by yourself. I encourage you to seek guidance whenever you are unsure/confused/scared. Talk to me. Talk to Mom and Dad. Talk to your favorite teachers/religious leaders. Never. Never. Never. Feel that you need to do this all on your own to be a man. Most important of all, seek guidance through Christ.
5. Be a Man
The world will tell you that to be a man means to not cry/not seek help/ not “feel” anything. I want to let you know that the world is dead wrong.
In John Chapter 11 we see that “Jesus wept” regarding his friend Lazarus’s death. Even the Son of Man cried! Do not be afraid to feel sorrowful about the sadness you see in the world. To feel for the world does not make you less of a man—but rather an individual who understands the pain of others. To be a man does not mean to be a ruthless soldier—it means to be a caring and empathetic leader that looks to Christ in all things.
Be a Man of God.
In conclusion here is a quote form the book Holes.
“Rattlesnakes would be a lot more dangerous if they did not have the rattle.”
In this life, the venomous snakes and deep holes of the world will have warning signs. You will feel it in your heart. You will hear the right answers from the depths of your soul.
Listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
V &M I don’t say it enough but thank you. Thank you for holding me up when I am down. Thank you for reminding me not to fret about the small things. Most of all, thank you for showing me what it means to live zealously for others and for Him. I love you both. Now go show the world what you are made of!