Off to College

college

Over the past several years I have had the pleasure of working with a young man as he developed as a Christian and as a man. He was one of the first persons I baptized here in Iowa. Since then, he and I have been studying together on a mostly weekly basis (there have been occasions where both of our schedules got rather hectic). In this time I have seen him grow in so many ways. He has become one of our song leaders, since the beginning of this year he started giving a short talk on our mid-week bible studies and in two weeks he will be preaching his first sermon. Most of this summer I have been helping him write this sermon. To be honest, I am rather jealous. It is a great lesson. I can tell he has put thought into what he has written. While I have read over it and discussed it with him, I am still excited about the opportunity to sit and let him teach me for a change. I think I am beginning to understand Paul’s love for Timothy. Paul had a major role in Timothy’s development, not just as a person, or as a Christian, but as a servant of the Lord. Well I have no idea how many sermons this young man will ultimately preach in his life, I am immensely proud of him. I am proud to call him my friend. I am proud to call him my son in the faith. But, alas this must came to an end. He, along with our other college age student, leaves for college at the end of the month. During this young man’s senior year worked with him on lessons he needed to know before heading off to college. Permit me to share with you some of these valuable lessons.

Remember your creator in the days of your youth (Ecc. 12:1). I cannot say this enough. College is rough. You no longer have your mom and dad watching over your shoulder. You likely no longer will have the same Christians who have known you your whole life helping to keep an eye on you. You are going to experience a freedom that you never have had before. You are going to truly experience what it is like to be free to make your own choice. So I say unto you, be mindful that while your preacher may not be around, while your parents won’t be waiting up for you to come home, God certainly is watching. He knows what you are doing. He knows if you are living a holy life or a sinful one. I guess my point here is that you shouldn’t use your time in college to “sow your wild oats.” Use your time in college to make yourself a better person. Have fun, but have fun in the context of God’s word.

Tim Tebow is not a square. Okay, I will admit, I probably showed my age with that statement. Tim Tebow has been raked over the coals because he was willing to boldly state he was waiting until he got married before engaging in sexual activity. This does not make him old fashioned. This does not make him stupid, arrogant, or any of those things. What it does is make him a person that honors the woman he loves. He values her enough to not treat her as a sexual object. Your boyfriend’s body, your girlfriend’s body is not a sexual object that is given for your pleasure. For that matter, your body is not your significant other’s sexual object either. When you abstain, you are also valuing the one you love by keeping that person pure and holy so that one the day you get married, the white dress you (she) wears is truly symbolic of your (her) purity.

You don’t need to drink to have fun. Budweiser doesn’t want you to know this. They want you to believe that the only way to have a good time is with a beer in your hand. This simply is not true. A person can have all kinds of fun without being drunk. I know this to be true because I enjoy my life. I run, hit the gym, play sports, etc all without consuming alcohol and I have a blast doing it. I play with my kids while sober, and I have been happily married for 13+ years enjoying hikes, movies, dinners, etc without alcohol. I have attended fight nights and superbowl parties and had a blast enjoying the game or the fight while completely sober. I am not missing a thing. In fact, I know I am not missing anything, because I wake up every morning remembering what I did the night before. Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Stay sober.

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