Just this past weekend, my husband and I attended a surprise birthday party for our neighbor. While standing in the kitchen talking with another guest who is also our neighbor, it was mentioned that her daughter who is away at college in another state was now dating a young man. She went on to say that this young man was a Christian, as is her daughter, and that he come from a Christian family. She even went on to say that he was studying to be a doctor. In my mind I was thinking how fortunate her daughter was to meet a young man who not only knew what he wanted to do for a career but that he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. Her next sentence made my heart swell with joy for her daughter. She said that this young man had not and would not be kissing her daughter. In other words he was courting her with respect and reverence for her purity as well as his.
It was at that time that the hostess of this gathering approached as she had overheard our discussion. She was shocked to hear of such old fashion beliefs and behavior. My heart was soaring with elation for this young lady and her beau of their decision to follow God’s plan, as another saw it as archaic and bazaar. I couldn’t help but get a bit tickled as she grappled with the idea of a guy not wanting to kiss a girl. She asked, “What’s wrong with him?”
If you are assuming that the hostess was a non-believer then you would be correct.
I stepped back and took a position of the listener of this debate. It occurred to me, this is how non- believers see Christians, as weird, rigid, strange and sometimes just freaky. But they also see us as judgmental, which seemed ironic in this situation as the non-Christian was doing her fair share of judging.
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.”
As the mother of the daughter being courted tried her best to explain this young man’s beliefs and intentions it then became clear that she would never convince our mutual friend that this was indeed a great thing that he was doing. And that’s when this verse hit me; this is what it means to argue with a non-believer. She was never going to see that a young man’s reverence for a young woman’s purity was a precious gift. And the more she tried to convince her, the more heated the debate.
I did step back into the conversation only to ask the mother if her daughter was happy with the way she was being courted, she replied, yes! I said, “That is what matters”, and the conversation ended at that. I knew there was no winning this battle; first of all it wasn’t mine to win. Second of all, arguing wouldn’t have done any good.
“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
1 Thessalonians 5:6
God instructs us to not be like others, to set ourselves apart and if this means that we look silly then so be it. But He also says to be alert and self-controlled. This can mean several things to many, but in this case I know that this issue will come up again. I must be alert and armed with God’s word in my heart and use extreme self-control when around those who don’t know the way.
I praise you for the youth of today that choose to follow your plan for their life. I’m humbled by the parents of the young man in this instance that has raised a Godly man and wishes to honor his self and this young lady. Father I asked that you help me to remain alert and self-controlled in all the hours of my day so that when you place me in a situation I will know when to speak and when to hold my tongue. Father please; help me to treat those who don’t understand your ways with compassion and gentleness, hopefully giving them a glimpse of your love through my actions.
(Special thanks to Cindi today for guest blogging with us on 66 Books!)