February is almost here and if you’ve been in youth ministry or you were a student in one, you know that most groups will instinctively talk about two topics: Love or Sex. If you’re teaching on love you might be talking about how amazing God’s love is, and you will probably start throwing around the greek concepts of love to show how love can be so different. If you’re teaching on sex, you might be teaching concepts like abstinence and the sanctity of marriage.
Let me be clear, these are two crucial topics that we need to be teaching students. As important as they are, I wonder if we’re neglecting to do something just as important. How are we equipping our students for marriage? I can imagine what some of you are thinking right now, “These are just kids! They can barely do their homework and make it to church. Do they really need to hear about marriage when they can barely figure out how to date?”
I’ve asked myself those same questions. Those questions become more real, the more I look around at our culture. I stay awake at night thinking about how the divorce rate of Christians is almost the same as nonbelievers and we see just as many students that come from those divorces as students that have parents in “healthy” marriages. Which leaves our students wondering: Does this marriage thing even work? And guess what our answer has been in student ministry? “Don’t have sex before marriage…. Jesus agapes you….”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is your answer to that question, but it seems to be the loudest response in the student ministry community. But what if we could do more? What if we could equip our students with the knowledge of what marriage should look like. What if we could show them how to date and look for the right person. What if we could save future marriages. Would you do it?
I’ve been asking myself that and praying about this for the past year, and the result is a 4-week series I created called “The Pursuit”. Here’s what the pursuit series looks like:
- Week One: The Pursuit- God designed the pursuit to begin the day you say “I Do”. You don’t start chasing your spouse until the day you become married.
- Week Two: The Adventure- God has created this amazing adventure for you while you’re single, and that adventure is finding out who you were created to be. You find out who you are by knowing who the Creator is.
- Week Three: The Rib- The day you say “I Do” is the day the adventure becomes more complex and beautiful. You are now pursuing a relationship with God with the help of your partner, and in this adventure you learn how to support and sacrifice for each other.
- Week Four: The Small Foxes- Every relationship comes with conflict, and if its not dealt with, then it could lead to bigger problems. In this week we talk about the small foxes that every relationship has to deal with in order to stay healthy.
I designed this series to not be the only answer to that question, but to be a launching point for you to save future marriages. My goal in this is to get students thinking about how they’re dating now and how it will affect their future. I am a huge advocate for how you date now will determine the success of your marriage.
If we don’t answer the question of “Does marriage work,” then culture will. Culture will point your girls to shows like The Bachelor and romantic movies that paint marriage as being cheap, and it will show them that they need someone to feel complete. Culture will point your guys to pornography that shows them that women are objects and give them an unrealistic at what sex looks like. Culture will show your students that the pursuit begins today, and you better start dating to get experience.Does this marriage thing even work? If we don’t answer that question, someone else will.
Its our job to equip our students for everything that life has for them, and marriage should be one of those areas. We should be actively seeking ways to save future marriages and show our students the beautiful adventure that God has for them.
If you are interested in this series and you want to see if it will be effective, I’ve included a link below that will give you the first week for free. Read through the material and if its something that resonates with you, buy the full series. I’ve even adjusted the price so that you’re only paying for the 3 weeks that aren’t included in the preview. Just click the image below to download the first week.