Dear Aunt Dara,
I lived a typical "born in a Christian family" environment until Christ called me to the evangelical community. Although I accepted myself as that, until recently I was frequently devoting myself to more and more satanic-underlain activities. Now, after a recent retreat, God called me to live a more holy life-style. I've managed to cut out video/computer games, secular music, and re-vamped my drawing style, but now I find myself struggling to find things to fill my time. As much as I love to read the Bible and pray, are there any activities that I could do without turning from God and would still be benefiting God?
And at the same time, I've recently found myself in a relationship. It's with a 15-year-old that I met through the church. He's been through his share of hardships, and now devotes himself to God as I do. However, both of us are introverts, so I fear that we'll quickly become awkward around one another. Mostly, though, my concern is that we'll distract each other from God or do things displeasing to God. Do you have any advice or pointers for us?
Dear Teenage Revelator,
Congratulations on your decision to turn from activities that draw you away from God and deciding to re-dedicate your life to God. You will be tempted to return to unholy activities, but keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and let Him lead you into wholesome, godly activities that will keep you on the right path. There are many activities that a Christian young person can do to bring them closer to God. Here’s a brief list: Become active in a church youth group, get involved in service activities at your church, volunteer in community service activities (ask your youth pastor or teacher for ideas about opportunities in your community), find something nice or special to do for someone, listen to Christian music, read books by Christian authors, attend a week at a Christian youth camp. Other activities that Christian teens can do to occupy their time and counteract boredom are: Get involved in sports, exercise, play games, read books, do some research and become an expert in some topic that interests you, learn a foreign language, write poetry or stories, work puzzles, grow a garden, learn to sew, learn to paint or sculpt, learn to play a musical instrument, learn to cook and/or bake, or develop some other hobby that interests you. As a last resort you could ask your parents or grandparents to tell you stories about their childhood. (Well, maybe not that one.)
Regarding your concerns about how you and your boyfriend may influence each other, avoid being alone with him to reduce temptations. Get him involved in doing some of the things listed above with you and do things as a group, even though that may be challenging for you as introverts. Above all, cultivate your relationship with God in addition to Bible study, prayer, and church attendance. Know that God is always with you, He knows everything about you, He loves you completely, and you can trust Him completely (Psalm 139). Fall in love with God, and Satan won’t be able to draw you away (James 4: 7-8).