The freedom to live our lives as we choose is one of our greatest aspirations and blessings. For young people in Western societies, freedom includes choosing what style of clothing to wear, what colors, what kind of shoes, what type of haircut or style, what kind of music to listen to and what to do with free time. Freedom to choose our friends, what sports to play or follow, what career to pursue, where we will live and who we will marry (if we choose to get married) are considered the norm. These freedoms are so ingrained within us that we refer to them as human rights.
As we consider the many opportunities and choices before us, the list seems endless. What car shall I buy? Or should it be a truck or an SUV? What year, color, make? Which accessories? When should I buy? What about my mouth? Will I curse or swear like so many other people do? Will I go to college? If so, where? What classes will I take? Where will I live? What about my finances? Will I have a boyfriend/girlfriend? If so, will I remain a virgin until married?
As we grow up, all of these choices are laid out before us. We transition from being an infant, incapable of making any decisions, to mature adults who must make every decision. This is as God intended. God gave us humans the freedom to make choices from the beginning of our history.
But many in our modern world make the mistake of assuming that all choices are equal, when they really aren’t. The trap is subtle. While having choices and options is always appreciated, consequences—meaning, penalties or rewards—accompany almost every decision. There is cause and effect. As Proverbs 26:2 Proverbs 26:2As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
American King James Version×explains: “a curse without cause shall not alight.”
This issue of Youth United is designed to help you make better choices. We begin with an article titled, “Is Everything OK?” which reveals some solid principles for making good decisions. This is followed by “Can You Pass the Marshmallow Test?”—which illustrates the benefits of delayed gratification.
After laying this foundation, we turn to how we communicate with “Dirty Talk—Does God Care?” and “My Name Is Gossip.” Moving on to intimacy, we offer “Virginity—Is It Worth It?” and “Smart Youth Avoid Sex.” Rounding out this issue are “Planning Your Career—Part 2,” our new feature, “News for Youth,” and the ever-popular “Ask Youth Questions and Answers.”
For our next issue we plan to explore the subject of friendships—how to have good ones, who is your best friend and how and when to end a friendship, if you must. If you have questions or thoughts regarding friendship, please send us an E-mail. The better we understand your concerns, the better we will be able to address the subject.
Wrapping up, remember that while choices can be freely made, the consequences may bear a cost. Decisions we make can also come with penalties or rewards. Here’s hoping all your decisions will yield the latter!