“Just wait until you become an adult if you think life is hard now!” As silly as some “problems” can seem to the average adult of a high school student’s life, I believe it is in high school that we set the patterns of how we will deal with any problem we face in our future. One of the hottest topics I get to talk about on an almost weekly basis is dating. Over the last few months, I have been leading a small group of students through a dating series. The conversation and vulnerability that has been shared about painful dating experiences have been incredible. I have watched God’s word help develop their perspectives of dating, love, and healthy boundaries as well as heal past wounds of extremely unhealthy dating relationships. The pressure for young people to be sexually active and in a dating relationship is at an all-time high! We must step up and lean into these areas of life with them.
One of the young girls shared about the pressure of her past relationships and how she thought it was what every relationship was like. This small group has been a safe space for her to share and process this past relationship with loving adults and peers, and it is setting her free from the past. The guilt and shame she once felt are being washed away by the grace and love of Christ. At the same time, she is for the first time understanding God’s design for dating and relationships. So many in this group have set new boundaries and are ready to hold one another accountable in the future. God is healing and guiding this group!
So instead of dismissing and minimizing young people’s “problems,” let’s lean into them! God is waiting for the church to lean in. The next generation needs to be invited into a conversation instead of silenced by our dismissal. Together, we are leaning in!
*Names in this story have been changed to respect the privacy of those we serve.
Aaron French, Wabash HS Campus Life Director