What I learned from freshman guys and sex

Pete Wilson writes in his book Plan B:

“We have to be authentic in order to experience authentic community. We may just get into the habit of not letting anyone–including ourselves–know who we really are or what we’re really struggling with. So many of us fear the nakedness, emptiness, and hollowness of our lives so much we dive headfirst into a pool of unreality. The trouble is, it’s only in reality that God meets us, sometimes in very profound ways. And it’s only in reality that we can experience true, authentic, healing community with others. So as long as we choose not to live in reality, as long as we insist on covering up our sins and denying them, as long was we keep pretending we have it all together…we will probably keep missing the hope that community offers.”

Over the past few weeks at FUEL (which is the High School Youth Ministry at 2 Rivers Church in Knoxville, TN that Jonathan works at) they have been doing their huge sex series called Best Sex Ever. Every Wednesday night from 6:30-8:30 they meet (and by they it’s like 170 kids) and have been talking about certain things relating to sex. What the Bible says about sex, how to be a Godly man and woman, Homosexuality, and what to do when you’ve messed up. All major topics, especially in kids’ lives today. Not only are they talking about it on Wednesday nights, but they are also going more in-depth in their small groups on Saturdays and Sundays. Or some even have theirs Wednesdays after FUEL, and it’s so lovingly known as “Wings and Sex” thanks to Chris Jessen (cause they go to Wild Wings and talk about sex…). Anyway, back on track. These kids get the main topic told to them basically on Wednesday night and then get to talk about it more in-depth and even ask questions about it in their small groups. And thanks to me dating Jonathan, I get to hear about their Guys Freshman small group (sorry guys) and I love it.

One thing they have taught me over the past few weeks is exactly what Wilson meant in the above paragraph. To truly be able to be in a community with people, you have to open up to them. You have to be able to express yourself, good and bad, and be willing for people to get to know the true you. Especially with high school kids. Jonathan has been really open with his guys and just talked about somethings that he has struggled with in the past and things that he has gone through, not necessarily sex related. By him opening up to them, it gives these guys the opportunity to know that someone has been where they are now or is still struggling with what they are struggling with. It gives them the opportunity to have the “me too” moment.

What I mean by that is this: most of us don’t want to tell our junk or things that we struggle with because we don’t want people to judge us or write us off. So we pretend we are just perfect and that nothing is wrong, and sadly we even start to convince ourselves. But when we are able to open up to others (and I don’t mean ever person you meet, just those that you can trust and are close with) we open up the opportunity for someone to say “me too,” “I struggle with that as well,” or “I used to have that problem, let me help you.” The community that we so desperately want is right there, not judging us, but willing to be there with us. Doesn’t it always make you feel better when someone has been through something you are going through? Maybe you lost someone close to you and one of your friends was just there. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe you have the chance to say “me too” to someone you know. If someone else was bold enough to open their lives, can’t you also be honest and let them know that they aren’t alone?

Don’t let fear keep you from your “me too” moment. Don’t let fear keep you from opening up and letting the God placed community be there to help you. While you may not realize it, that’s why God put them there for you in the first place. So you wouldn’t feel so alone.

I really encourage you (and this goes for me to) to find the people you trust in your small group or friends at church and don’t be afraid to be real with them. When you can open up to others about the things you are going through, you can finally begin the healing process. And (yes this is churchy) if you don’t have a small group at church or if you don’t go to church, I really encourage you to find one that you mesh with. They will become some of your greatest friends. I’m learning that the more and more I go to TN. The people who I have started bonding with are amazing and I know that God has put them in my life for a reason and I am so thankful for that.

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