Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What’s the Purpose of Teen Romance?

Here, I’ll get straight to my point. I don’t understand why teens get involved with each other romantically. There is no point whatsoever. I mean, you’re “on” hormones (they are almost like a drug!), you’re inexperienced in everything, and you’re transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Why add the complications of love?

You both are young. You both might have career plans that neither of you know about. Both of your views on life are changing every day because you both are constantly growing in body and mind. When you both finally mature and are fully grown (the average person doesn’t stop growing their brain until around their early twenties!), you both will be completely different people then when you were teens.

I hear rumors and gossip about boys kissing girls and major flirting (in the church congregations I’ve gone to, even!), and I don’t understand why it goes on (behind the parents’ backs, I might add!). Yes, I know, it’s hormones, but that’s no excuse. I personally think people (especially guys) flirt, kiss, etc. just for the buzz and excitement of it. If you really like someone, and care about them, don’t get them confused or befuddled with their emotions by dragging them in emotionally (and also physically, even if it’s just a kiss!). This applies for just one person initiating, or both of them doing it!

I guess I’m lucky. I’ve never had to deal with a romantic relationship. I’ve always dealt with faraway, one-way crushes. I’ve never had a guy like me back (or as far as I know). It’s always just been me admiring a boy from afar, longing for a relationship, and becoming jealous when I would see the guy interacting with girls, while I would be a wall-flower, too scared and infatuated even to stand next to him. Boy, do I sound pathetic…

I guess it’s easy for me to think rationally about this subject because I’ve never been involved in relationships (as much as I often longed for it), and also because I’m getting older, I can look at some things differently then I ever could have when I was younger.

I am glad I never had the opportunity to get emotionally (and, God-forbid, physically) involved with someone. It was bad enough for me to have faraway, one-way crushes, and to have my heart broken in those ways than to be entangled emotionally with a “boyfriend”.

To not have that distraction in my life was a blessing from God. I was able to grow in Christ, and grow mentally and spiritually, especially in this past year, and I attribute it only to God. I did nothing whatsoever, and I thank Him that I was not (and am not) dragged down by my emotions of just another sinful human being (because it’s bad enough having to worry about myself!).

There. My rant is over.


Big Dog said...

I am afraid I must disagree with you, Elizabeth. Although you have many good points, you are forgetting an important fact of life: We are human.
As we are Human, in order to survive we must learn. An early romance in our lives is not just two hormonally charged children ‘digging’ each other; it is also a way to test the waters of life and your heart.
I believe that had you been raised in a different environment, your paper on ‘teen love’ would have come to a completely different opinion. I do not wish to cause argument, but I must say, when one has never tried it, how do they know its right? You have admitted yourself that you have never been in such a relationship. If not, how can you call it unworthy of our time? It sounds much like the person who detests and argues against marriage, but has never married themselves, or have ended up in an abusive relationship.
To me, it very much seems that you wrote your paper because you have had your feelings hurt by one of your ‘one-sided’ emotional flings (better known as a ‘crush’).
By what I’ve read from your paper, you are practically calling young romance a waste of time and energy. But think of people whose early lives did have a ‘teen romance’ or two. …Think of anyone’s life. Would not their character, fortitude and- …life be different from now? I am sure your mother and father have had some young romance at some point in their early lives. If they hadn’t, would you even be alive today to write against it?
And what of those ‘crushes’? Those one-sided infatuations of another that none of us can avoid? As I said, it’s practically unavoidable.
Also, how do you know that a young ‘teen romance’ would not lead to a more intimate relationship, and they find that it wasn’t only a ‘teen fling’, but they were perfect for each other? Now, I can almost excuse the actions of those idiotic miscreants who call themselves Gothardites, and secretly make love in the back closet when their parents aren’t looking just because of the restrictions they are under. (In the effort to keep the problem private, anyone who has questions regarding that matter, PM me at jens.nirna.swc(at)gmail(dot)com)
You say you are thankful that you have never had to experience a romance, but from what I have read: Do you really mean that you are unthankful that you haven’t? It practically screams in your first paragraph, and in you calling your own paper a rant. Sorry.
In closing, I just hope my rebuttal of your paper will bring civilized and enlightening discussion over this… colorful subject.

Kathleen F. said...

You have so much to be thankful to God for. You're a inspiration to me as a young woman who is learning to discern and overcome really huge obstacles in your walk with Christ.


Kathleen F. said...

Okay, you both have some interesting things to contribute to this subject. I'll have to think on these things.

One things for sure; you both have a great ability to express yourselves in writing. :)

Winter said...

Hey, this is a cool blog! But I just have to say this... yes teens have hormones but teens have to learn and experience when they are young. That's a big part of growing up...

Melea said...

You're right, Elizabeth! More important is to cultivate our relationship with Jesus and fall in love with HIM. Romantic relationships should only be with the intention of marriage.... and not too many teens are ready for marriage........

J.T. Ross said...

Hey, I really appreciated your views and the way you expressed them in your blog; well done!

I think your 'rant' was a great example of how difficult it is growing up and wrestling with your body, your faith, your sin/sinfulness, and the world and it's myriad of pressures and temptations the world batters us down with everyday. Growing up during the adolescent years is very difficult, and can sometimes even be traumatic for us spiritually, emotionally and on occasion physically. This is subjective for us all, therefore NOBODY can escape young adulthood without understanding that this is true. Adults are often scarred for life as a result of what happens to them during these tender formative years.

I'm my humble opinion, Elizabeth, you are so far ahead of where most young men your age are at spiritually and emotionally, it would be more than a waste of time seeking a romantic relationship right now, it would more likely be spiritually and emotionally stifling and even self-destructive.

During our formative adolescence, pursuing an adult relationship (even with someone significantly older), would be a kin to self-torture, even sadism! That sounds extreme, I know. Think about it though, if we know we are not ready to do something, anything, isn't wiser for us to wait until we are more prepared with greater knowledge, understanding and even skill, with regard to what we might be getting into before we jump headlong into the sea of love? I would do that if I was jumping into any other kind of sea; or even a lake! How much more should we wait and prepare for one of the most complex and challenging pursuits in our culture today...marriage!

Let's face it folks, most of us don't know ourselves very well (if at all). Therefore, how can we possibly discern where to even begin when choosing the person we should enter into a life-long marital covenant with?

God is not "holding-out" on us, nor is He "holding us back" from anything we are entitled to. He is protecting us. First, from ourselves and those desires not founded in and on Him; Second, from the world and it's temptations; Third, from Satan and his schemes and attacks.
Make your heart focused on Him, and let Christ dwell so richly in you that there is no room for anything else! See some of these scriptures...

Mat 6:33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mat 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Young men and women today need to be heeding the "Original Equipment Manufacturer's Specifications" (Jesus) on preparation for human to human romance and relationship. It is hanging over my kitchen sink right now and it is taken from the Proverbs:

Proverbs 31:12 She brings him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Qualifications: This principle applies to both genders; sorry guys)

So this principle is stated in the context of a wife, but that does not mean that a male does not do the same things. He needs to be preparing and training to be a man and a husband, so that he may bring his wife good and not evil, all the days of his life, too! This starts from the womb folks!

I understand that life, our flesh, our sinful reasoning sometimes gets the better of us, but Christ has spoken to us in this matter and He invites us to come to Him...

Mat 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”

If there is one thing that adolescents in our time need training in daily, it learning how to rest in Christ. Learn to REST in the Lord.
This is how He teaches us who we currently are; this is how He coaches us into who He plans for us to become. Like His Son.
Only after He makes us more like His Son, can we even begin to identify His Son in that significant other. The more I think about God's magnificent creative blending of Himself and our individuality, the more I just throw my hands in the air and praise His Holy, hollowed Name, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

- J.T. Ross

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first ...”
"…He who hates me hates my Father as well."
- John 15:18, 23

Allitrya Spelling said...

HERE HERE! *applauds*

Anonymous said...

First of all, Elizabeth, Well Done! Your wisdom and understanding is years ahead of your chronological age.

Second, to big dog: I have to disagree with you, on several points. First, you said "when one has never tried it, how do they know its right". She's wise enough to recognize that there are all sorts of changes going on at this age, so the chances of a romantic relationship lasting more than a short time are extremely small. Anyone who has lived past the age of thirty can probably look back to their teenage years and see, either in their own lives or the lives of their friends at the time, massive mistakes made in the relationship arena. Often those "mistakes" have had life-long consequences. Second, you said "I am sure your mother and father have had some young romance at some point in their early lives. If they hadn’t, would you even be alive today to write against it?" This is quite an assumption on your part, without knowing her parents at all. Third, she is not arguing against marriage, but rather for it, but as it was originally intended. One man, one woman, no regrets for either. Not one man (with a string of ex-lovers) and one woman (with a string of her own), both of whom wish they had waited.

Stick to your guns, Elizabeth. You make us all proud.

Uncle S

Chas said...

Great post, Elizabeth. I couldn't agree with you more. The teenage years are so full of learning and growing that getting involved in a serious relationship only detracts from the most important aspects of life.

If more teens would spend their efforts striving to get closer to the Savior, they would find that this is the key to a later greater and more meaningful relationship with a perspective spouse.

I have been married for 4 years now and have found your points to be very true. The wisest teens wait until after high-school to begin serious dating, when they've become more mentally and socially mature. That maturity also makes it much easier to remain pure, and leads to a much more meaningful and fulfilling relationship with a spouse when that time comes.

Justin said...

Yes, "big dog" what I see you writing can only make me sad. And I believe a male so I will treat you as so. It is your "type" that ruins the lives of many young ladies. As I know well a couple of young ladies that it has happened to. And those guys sounded just like you. And I believe it 100% IMMATURE for you to say you must do it in order to find out that it is bad.
Are you saying that you would be dumb enough to put your hand on a burner that is on high just cause you haven't tried it? People say it's hot and will hurt, but you don't know for sure so you do it? Not me! I trust people
Are you also saying that you would blow up a building because it's cool even though people say that you will be caught, put in jail, and maybe and punished harshly for it? Or would you just go blow it up anyway?
I'll leave that one to you

I have seen many, many people get into a relationship just to quite again, this is what you are also saying big dog, try it, and if it's so no good stop. well
Rom 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Pretty self explanatory, It MUST be genuine

This next verse may be somewhat an exadurated thought in your mind, but I do not believe so. If you happen to get into a as Elizabeth put it God forbid "physical" relationship with a young lady you have committed adultery, you just have.
Jer 5:7 "How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores.
Just think about it, if you ever did such a thing, you mine as well die and go the sheol where you belong.

2Pe 2:10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,
This kind of relationship whether physical or not will, I am sure, involve lust, and if one would look if explicitly says in the Bible that we MUST NOT LUST. God has commanded us, we must obey.

So, I would ask you please, rethink what you have said, think about what you are really truly saying here. I have disproved your point using Logic and the Holy word of God!

It seems to me that you are merely a young man who has these passions in your heart, and you so by having no willpower of your own you fall into them, and boy, if you keep this up I would have to say that surely, you, my friend, are going to run into trouble. Please, step away from these foolish thoughts, these are childish, you've got to think about what you are really saying here!

That, and God know's who you are, you can listen to him or you can ignore him, but he knows your every step.
Psalms 139:1-4 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

You were made for a purpose, and if you just keep going against that purpose, you can't expect to get anything from God. And I would think that you wouldn't deserve anything from Him.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Please, also think about this, once you give the devil, that firm grip, you can't get away, you simply can't, and we all do struggle with this! I'm not the perfect one here, please don't get that idea, I am in no way perfect, but at least I know He is there, and keep striving after Him. It's your choice of course, but please, I urge you, make the right decision. Allow me to close with this quote.

Paul Little in his book Know What You Believe - "If there is no power strong enough to change human nature, then there is no hope for man. But the good news of the gospel is that there IS such a power -- in Christ!"

Thanks for reading, hope you have heard me. If not, then please, e-mail me at