Sunday, March 20, 2011

Where's the Love?

We are studying Romeo and Juliet in my 9th grade class right now. We had a class discussion on Love at First Sight and whether it existed or not. This led to a discussion of what True Love really is, and that conversation yielded what I feel are some tragic statistics.

Out of 50 freshmen,

4 believed in the existence of "True Love,"

16 said they didn't know,

and 30 said they didn't believe it existed.

Where are the ideals of 60% of these kids? They are 15 and 16 years old...isn't that when you should believe in Love?

Sadly, I estimate that at least 25% of these students are already sexually active. Perhaps their opinions on love could explain why it seems that they have few morals when it comes to sex. Maybe they think, why wait for Love when it's not real?

Of the 4 who did believe in love, they gave some interesting evidence. Also interestingly, these are students who I am fairly certain are not sexually active.

#1 said, "I've watched a lot of romantic movies with my parents. That makes me think Love is real."

#2 said, "My Mom's boyfriend really loves her. That's why I believe in Love."

#3 said, "I fell in love with my niece when she was born this year. The moment I saw her, I loved her."

#4 said, "My Dad and Mom got married when they were 16. They have been married now for over 20 years, and they still love each other."

When I was a teenager it never entered my mind that Love wasn't real. I have never believed that every person has a soul mate; I don't believe the Bible teaches this, nor have I seen it to be true in life. But I have always believe that True Love existed, even if there were times I wondered if it would happen to me.

I was able to share with my students that I believe that Love is real. I told them about my Mom and Dad and how God brought them together and how they have been married for over 35 years and love each other. I told them about my husband and about being married for the past 5 1/2 years and about how I believe God created us for each other.

They looked at me like I was some sort of idiot. It's the same look they give me when I encourage them to wait to have sex until they're married, or at least wait until they're out of high school. Or at least be In Love with the person they have sex with.

Or at least demand a nice environment to have sex IN.
Nice hotel room= okay environment
Back of boyfriend's junky car= bad environment
House they own together as a loving married couple= really good environment
Dumpster in the alley behind the mall= really, really bad environment (I wish I had made this one up...but it's sadly a true story I heard once.)

When I was in the church youth group during high school, we performed "True Love Waits: The Musical." (Yes, there is a musical about this!) It was all about waiting for marriage to have sex. It was campy and silly...but it was sweet.

I don't know if it changed anyone's opinions in the youth group; most of them ended up preggers before the end of high school anyway, but there were a few of us who believed in the ideas. Me and my sister (La Therapista), and my now sister-in-law, Meghan (The Bennett Blurb. Meghan is expecting a within-wedlock baby with my handsome brother and we are just all SO excited!), believed in waiting for marriage. I think a few others- Carrie, Sarah, maybe a couple more, but it's painful now to look back at the cast picture...because so many of the kids in that group went on to lead destructive, painful, love-less lives.

I can't expect teenagers to have the same Christian ideals that I do. But I wish they had Hope...and more loving relationships to serve as models for them.

What do you think? Do you believe in True Love? Also, why don't more teenagers have hope or ideals? The only answer I know to these problems is Jesus.


  1. It is too bad they feel this way- I thought being young mean believing in the "impossible", like being a rockstar, or falling in love, or being able to go to any university you choose if you get the right grades. These are the dreams of youth- disillusionment isn't supposed to happen until you are in your 20's and you figure out how much everything actually costs. Its this naive belief that the world is all about their success that drives the impossible to become possible, right? Hopefully you can give them back the luxury of hope.

  2. I think the key is the kids somehow need to find or be shown that love means giving of self. Any act of service (ie helping out at a homeless shelter for a day - the child of an acquaintance of mine told me her school planned this activity as a field trip. The kids helped make soup, etc) is a step in the right direction.

  3. I think it's especially hard for these kids up here b/c most of them have probably not made it very far from the valley before. They don't realize that a whole world exists outside of it. That severely limits their being able to envision the impossible, and dream big dreams. When I talk to many of them about college, they all give me this crazy look... many just plan on staying home, doing nothing. When there are no aspirations for the future... what else is there but sleeping around together.
    And of course kids sleeping around together is not limited to the valley. This was just an observance I had.