* nosey little kids …

Posted on June 17th, 2009 by melinda in The Church House

Tonight I have a moral dilemma question to discuss. As you know, Richard and I are now teaching the older youth on Wendesday nights at our church. Tonights topic was “what is your life’s message”? We had mostly boys, ranging in ages 14 thru 20. I was teaching the lesson. We had some interesting discussion which lead to some interesting questions. This is where I have trouble with teaching kids as opposed to adults. I have very strong opinions and beliefs. I do not have an issue with others when our opinions differ. I am open to other thoughts, ideas and opinions. However, it is not likely you will change my mind therefor making me very secure in my own beliefs, ideas and opinions. Adults are much easier, I am not likely to mislead them or mess up their heads if I pose a question that requires some thinking. I like subjects that make you think. I want to know why you believe what you believe and I want you to know why you believe what you believe. Kids are much different. They need guidance, they want answers, they want answers to some tough questions and to be honest, I don’t always have the right answer. I worry constantly that I will say something that will unknowingly mislead them. That they won’t grasp the meaning of what is being said and it will be taken out of context. I could choose to only talk to them about the bible or about church things or about God, but by doing that … would I really get to know these kids? Will I make a long term difference in their lives? Do I want to step out and get to know what they are really thinking, pondering, wondering, studying on in their young little minds? I think I’ve done ok with the 2 I birthed, but again, that is an entirely different ballgame. I’ve had years to teach them, to really know them, not just weeks. Plus, I can ground them if they don’t agree with me.

So the subject that was brought up tonight was … how can some sins be equal to other sins? My answer was … in the eyes of God, all sin is equal, in society sin has different punishment or consequences depending on the variety. Eg: a speeding ticket will not get you the death penalty but murder can. And then, because either a) God thought I needed punishing or b) the kids like to see me squirm … one of them says … well I think marijuana should be legal. What?!!! Where in the crap did that come from? The one continues to add that if it were legal it wouldn’t be considered a sin, thus it should be legal. I try, to no avail, to divert the conversation back to non drug related ground but the smart little boogers were having none of that! And then the one has the audacity to ask me my opinion. Hello child, I work for the court system … no marijuana should not be legalized, it is a harmful drug and can mess you up. And then, the one says well so can alcohol but it’s legal. The one then proceeds to point out that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes so how can it be that bad? Oh they are all ears now … is it not 8:00 yet? Can I not just tell them to go on their merry way? The adults didn’t ask such questions, they just listened, smiled, answered questions, laughed … I enjoyed that laughter. So there I sit, surrounded by curious teenagers waiting silently for my indepth wisdom on the subject of the pros and cons of legalizing marjiuana. I did what any good teacher would do, I did the right thing. I told them it was a big fat no no and they would pee in the bed if they ever touched it. Ok, not really but that’s what I was thinking. What I did instead was this … I explained to them that not all laws make sense, not all laws seem to be created for the betterment of people but they could rest assured that the laws were created to attempt to better society as a whole. That as Christians we are commanded to be law abiding citizens. I explained to them that I am no expert in the field of drug research, or any other field really, but that I see daily, first hand how the affects of drugs ruin lives. I invited them to come to court with me one day and see for themselves. They seemed interested in that idea … until … the one opens his big fat mouth and says … well what if we live in a Country where it’s illegal to worship God? Are you kidding me!

I’m curious, what are your thoughts on how to handle those kinds of questions with young impressionable adults? I could really use some help here! Someone throw me a life preserver please, I’m drowning.

me.

8 Comments on “* nosey little kids …”

  1. Bobbi

    Oh Melinda, how brave you are! I would say we are to follow the laws of the land unless they go against God’s Law, which is the final authority. When you know you are right about the topic, always stand your ground. They will respect that you are more interested in teaching them the truth than being wishy – washy with your beliefs. I think teens purposely try to trip us up so we are on their level, but we are older, wiser, sometimes because of all the mistakes we made growing up. Thank you for caring about them so much. Stay Strong in the Lord!

  2. Judy

    I have to say I agree with Bobbi. Stand strong for what you say, I think they are testing you. It is hard to know what is going on in the minds of teenagers. God will give you the right words to say to them.

  3. Harrison

    That kids sounds like a jerk that just wants to be the smartest one in the conversation (like most teens??). Ask him if he’s interested in spending a week doing research from both sides of the argument on legalizing marijuana and then presenting his findings so everybody can learn more about the topic. There’s huge contention that “medicinal marijuana” isn’t really medicinal at all and there are tons of other safely regulated medications that are more effective to treat the symptoms that people use the marijuana as a cop out for. If he’s down for the research and presentation, you could continue your lesson about how Man tends to find ways in life to justify the things/actions that they WANT to do and still be OK with God or whatever their belief system. We see people justify their behavior in court all the time, don’t we? We all do it to some extent. By the way, I’m sitting here eating a Dove Chocolate bar but it’s perfectly OK because I’m running tonight. :oP

  4. Jamie & Robin

    Your kiddies at the church house sounds like my kiddies at work. At the beginning and end of each school year we have to give a survey on drugs & alcohol for out grant. One of the questions was “Do you think marijuana should be legal.” I had this one girl, who is very outspoken, blurt out in front of everyone that her pawpaw smokes it for his cataracts so it should be legal. I was like, GLORY! So I kinda know how you feel except my happened at the school house instead of the church house…lol

  5. melinda

    First of all let me clear up what is an apparant misrepresentation on my part of the young person who began the conversation. He is not by any stretch of the imagination a jerk or know it all. If I made it appear that way, I apologize, it was not my intention. What he is is a curious young man with alot of questions. Questions he considers to be valid and worth asking. I am not in a postion to make a judgment as to his or anyone elses moral fiber. I do agree that we all rationalize things to suit our purpose, I am as guilty of that as anyone I know. I think its interesting that we have comments from a variety of people with a variety of backgrounds, it makes for interesting discussion. I wouldn’t have a problem asking the kids to do some research on drug addiction & gateway drugs, although I think I would need parental consent & church board consent to approach that matter. I also think they wouldn’t be opposed to it. I think our young people like to be challenged. At the church house we have a wide variety of economic, social and family backgrounds. We have kids who have parents in prison along with kids whose parents are sitting next door in Bible Study. So I don’t find it odd that they have very different life experiences and opinions, we are all somewhat products of our environments. We can use the knowledge to our benefit or not, it’s our choice (their choice). I am however glad that they at least appear to be comfortable enough with us to ask some tough questions without feeling like they will be ignored or ridiculed. My first and formost goal is to teach them biblically sound truths that will hopefully guide them as they grow and experience life as adults. My second goal would be that they know they are loved and respected as individuals, no matter where they may come from. If during that process, I find myself in an awkward position, my intent is to pray and seek Gods guidance, along with guidance from those far more experienced in dealing with young adults than I am. I sincerly appreciate everyones thoughts and advice.

  6. Marjorie Markham

    Ahhhhh, don’t you just love inquisitive kids. You are doing it right. I know, I have raised 4. Just answer the questions the best you know how. They need to understand what the bible says about it, but yet, they need to understand the laws we have in place today. They have to be able to make their own judgement when the time comes so they need to know both sides. Maybe its being a yankee where we answer questions very directly to the point some people don’t like the answer. I have always been and will continue to be upfront with my kids at all times. They need to make wise choices. You did a great job.

  7. melinda

    excuse me while I gasp with surprise … Margie, are you saying you’re outspoken? No! surely not, you must be teasing us. thank you and love you.

  8. Marjorie Markham

    You know me,I have put my foot in my mouth more than once here in Alexander County cause I keep forgetting you guys are all related. The stories are numerous and even involve some of your family. You would think I would learn the dance, but man……..its hard. LOL Maybe I just need a good man to help me out.

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