Saturday, February 6, 2010

What If?

What if? You will understand this question as you read on…I recently watched this movie on the Gospel Music Channel. It was called “Second Glance”, made in 2005. In all honesty, like some of the Christian movies can be, it was a bit hokey. But the message behind it really impacted me. It was about a Christian teenager who started getting unsatisfied with his life. He was looking for something more exciting, especially when he set his sights on a particular girl in school. He got tired of being “the nice guy” and made a statement that sometimes he wished he had never been a believer.

Well his wish ended up coming true and he began to see how differently his life would have been had he not been a Christian. It affected his family…parents were divorced, his mom wasn’t around to take care of him, his sister had never been born. A friend of his had ended up committing suicide. Even teachers were impacted by the fact that his positive influence wasn’t there. He started hanging with the wrong crowd and “enjoying” the party life of typical teenagers. But it didn’t take long before he saw what a mess his life really was.

Throughout the course of this, he had an angel hanging around. When this teenager finally came back to his real life the angel told him how Satan was trying to lure him, to get him off course. He pointed out how he thought all the other kids were having all this fun and he was missing out. But like the angel said, all he was missing out on was sin. Yes, sin is fun for a season but the end results are nothing but hurt and living a life that grieves the Lord.

The other good lesson taught in this movie was about the fact that this teenager had a thing for a girl who was not a believer. But the angel talked to him about what God thinks of relationships and how important it is that he ends up marrying a girl who has been untouched.

It reminded me of one afternoon not that long ago when I was parked outside my oldest son’s high school waiting to pick him up. Kids were pouring out of the school and walking in front of my van was a very pregnant teenage girl. My son was already in the van with me. We were waiting for a couple of girls that attend our church who I drive home twice a week. When I saw this pregnant teenager I was shocked. I don’t know why but I was. I said something like, “Look at that! She is pregnant!” My son looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Yeah, there’s a lot of girls in school that are.” I was dumbfounded. “There are?!” I asked incredulously. Apparently I must be from another planet because I got one of those “duh” looks from my son.

What a world our children live in. I also recently had to opt out my two youngest children, in 5th and 7th grades from a sex education class that teachers in our local school district are being forced to teach. Apparently Milwaukee has either the highest or almost the highest rate of teenage pregnancies (by the way it was my 10th grader that informed me of that). MPS, the school system my younger two are in, want to start reaching children BEFORE even middle school with sex education because it’s no longer just in high school they are getting pregnant. It is happening in middle school!

Some of what my 5th grader was going to be receiving in sex education is what my now 10th grader just got in his last semester of health. I read through the list of topics and I was absolutely stunned. What in the world is going on, I often wonder. Our children are facing a lot of pressures and a lot of temptations that yes, we as adults faced when we were younger. But I would also challenge that with each passing generation it gets tougher.

Our children can easily become tempted as this teenager in the movie did. They may look at the “fun” they see other kids having and feel like they are missing out. I think it’s a good lesson to sit down with our children and discuss those things. I mean, I have it pretty good. Despite how some would like to tear down those who make the choice to send their children to public school, we have fared very well with our kids. I am so incredibly proud of my children. They have not fallen for the temptations of the world and I stand on the prayers that I have uttered over the years. I believe they are in God’s hands. That gives me an extra measure of faith I wouldn’t have otherwise. I trust their lives to Him.

But what if that temptation did come? What if they did start to wonder what it would be like to not be a Christian? I plan on having my older two see this movie. They might have difficulty with the whole hokey-ness (yes I know, not a word) setting of it but I pray the message behind it will reach them. I would love to talk to them about how differently their lives would be if Dan and I had not given our hearts to Christ. We are “first generation” Christians so we don’t have a religious background in any shape or form. I know for a fact we would be divorced. In fact, it would stand a good chance that our youngest son would never have been born because I don’t think our marriage would have made it until then.

I think it would actually do all of us some good to really take a look at our lives and re-evaluate them. We may spend a lot of time complaining about things. We may see the world and think we are missing out on something. We may wonder “what if?” Yes, that’s right…what if? What if we were out there? What would be different? A lot would be different and it wouldn’t be good and so I think we really need to have a grateful heart and give God all the thanks for the difference He has made in each of our lives. I know I plan on talking to my children about that…

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