Friday, August 20, 2010

To the Young Men in My Life

Dear Brother in Christ,

I had the special honor of speaking with you this Vida Nueva weekend on Saturday night. Let me start by saying that I will never forget the measure of heart I witnessed from you during the weekend. I was blessed and honored to be able to spend two and a half days with you! Several of you have asked me to write down what I said to you so that you can read it and come back to it later. In this letter, I will attempt to do just that. I am also going to add a few things that I wish I had remembered to say when I was with you.

Adam and Eve are a wonderful example to me of the importance a young man’s character. Adam was created by God and was granted everything a man could ever want, or so it seemed. Adam had power and authority and dominion. He had an untarnished relationship with God, no fears, no regrets, no shame. At Adam’s first complaint of lonliness, God created all the animals for Adam to share the earth with, yet Adam was still lonely. Eventually (and I think it is significant that God made Adam wait on her), God created Eve for Adam. Adam was amazed by this final creation. I imagine he thought she was beautiful and I imagine he was terribly grateful for her presence. Shortly after this, satan came to Eve and lied to her. He told her basically, that God was holding out on her and she would have what she really wanted if she disobeyed Him. Eve bought the lie and ate the fruit. She passed it to Adam who was standing right beside her, and he shared it with her. This was the beginning of shame, heartache, disappointment and grief.

What puzzles me so is that Adam was right there. I wonder why he didn’t defend her or fight for her. I wonder why he allowed her to be lied to and hurt. I question Adam’s character in that moment. When we are young, we dream of being certain people and playing certain roles in life. Consistently, a young woman dreams of being beautiful and protected and cherished. Consistently, a young man dreams of being strong and valiant and needed. Why didn’t Adam use his strength? Why didn’t he fight? Why didn’t he realize that Eve, the woman he loved, NEEDED him?

It is no different today. Only the lies have changed. Satan still comes to us, men and women alike, and lies to us. To you, he says, “If it feels good, do it!” “Nobody will ever know.” “It’s your life, why let someone else tell you how to live it?” “You don’t have the strength to deny this temptation.” To young women, satan says, “If you want to keep him, you’ll have sex with him.” “No man has ever loved you. If you’ll do this, you’ll finally have the love you are seeking.” “He will leave you if you don’t.” “This will make everything better.”

I am asking you to use your character and stand up and fight for yourselves and for the young women in your life. I shared with you the history of the word bachelor and how it literally translates into “knight in training”. I know that is not how you feel, but that is EXACTLY what you are. You are training for something amazing and wonderful and if satan can trick you into believing otherwise, he can trick you into not fighting the fight you were meant to fight and win.

I believe that your character is all you really have that is yours and in your control. I can’t think of anything else that is truly, completely ours. Character is that great conviction in your heart that says, “I am going to do the right thing no matter how it feels or what it costs, simply because it is the right thing.” Your character is what you will be remembered for. The pages of your life story will be written on your character. I encourage you to question your character. Look deep inside yourself and ask, “When I’m faced with temptation, what do I do?” Do you fight it? Do you ask for help? Do you pray? Do you make changes in your life to protect yourself from it? Or do you start trying to justify ways to get what you want and not have to pay the consequences for that choice? Find a friend or a mentor that cares deeply about your character and make it a habit to talk about it often. You will never regret the effort it takes to become a man of great character! Your friends, your family and your life will be better for it. If you ever doubt that you can be a man of great character, study the life of Jesus and remember that He lives inside you. His strengths and wisdom and love are yours for the taking.

Now, what do we do if we truly want to become a person that fights for the people we love and a person who is strong enough to make great decisions, but we’ve already crossed that line in our past? First of all, open your heart up to God and tell Him what He already knows. Tell Him what you’ve done and how you’ve messed up. I know from experience that there is nothing that God can’t redeem. His whole story, from creation to today is all about redemption. He wants to take our mistakes and make them right. Your enemy wants you to believe that because you have made a mistake already, that you are damaged goods…a failure…unfit for battle. But that is a LIE.

I have a friend who made a lot of mistakes in her past. She was sexually active with several partners before she realized that God wanted her to be different. Instead of saying, “I’m ruined, I might as well continue what I’m doing”, she gave it over to God and started a journal. In the beginning of the journal, she wrote her stories of mistakes. After she had journaled all of her regrets, she started writing down WHY and HOW she was different. She kept this journal for years. On tough days, she would write, “Today was a real fight. I really wanted to slip back into my old ways, but I’m trying to stay focussed on my future.” Eventually, she met the man she was going to marry and she was pure and honest in her relationship with him. On the day she married this man, she gave him her journal. He read it in it’s entirety and later told her that he couldn’t wait for their children to read it. He is sure that her children will think she is the most beautiful and strong woman BECAUSE she turned it around. I read a sentence in a book that said this: You are better off healed than you would have been well. This woman, my friend, is better off! Her husband has an even greater respect for her because she beat the odds. She messed up, but she didn’t stay messed up. She stood up and fought! If you’ve made that mistake, first of all, speak up. Let it be known that it won’t happen again, and why. Find that friend who cares about your character and let him know you need help. Remember that you, too, are a knight in training. When knights make mistakes or learn bad habits, they just have to work harder to correct them. Remember, “virginity” is merely a clinical term. “PURITY” is spiritual. If you set your heart on purity, you can and will achieve it no matter what your past looks like!


I pray that you will stand up and fight. I know that you can. I pray that you will.

“Love covers a multitude of sins!” ~ King Solomon

“How can I do this thing and sin against God?!” ~Joshua

“I will finish what I started in your life!” ~ God

With much Love and Respect,

Sue Taylor

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