The Issues of a Young Persons’ Life (Youth Rally December 2021)

The Issues of Young Persons Life

Today, we will address topics that might be a little bit uncomfortable for some of us but still very important to discuss.  We will look at what the Bible says about issues that can confront a young person’s life.  Especially during those critical years transitioning from childhood into adulthood.  Our goal is for our young people to grow into healthy adults who choose Jesus every day for their lives.

Proverbs 4:23

“23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

The scripture teaches us that God expects us to keep our hearts, and why?  Because out of our hearts are the issues of life.  But what does God mean by this?  Let’s look at a couple of other translations to help broaden our understanding.

The 21st Century King James Version says it this way.

Proverbs 4:23

“23 Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the outflowings of life.”

The Amplified Bible says it this way.

Proverbs 4:23

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”

So we can clearly see the proverb writer is speaking to us.  The scripture does not say God will watch our hearts for us.  The writer is telling us to, with all carefulness, watch our hearts ourselves.  Then the writer gives the reason why we should do this.  Because from our heart which is the core of our being, we will manifest the future paths of our lives.  Other parts of the Bible teach us that God has the power to keep us.  But this particular verse indicates that we also have a responsibility in this keeping.  God wants us to reserve our hearts for Him and His purpose.  This is why God’s word provides us with this admonition in Proverbs.  Let’s look at another verse.

Galatians 6:7-8

“7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

This verse in Galatians also shows us our responsibility to keep our hearts.  The verse, in essence, is saying to us that whatever it is we decide to do, don’t think that something will not come from it.  Because every choice we make will have a result, so if we make choices that cater to our flesh, we can expect to follow a path that opposes God’s will.  But if we make choices considering God and what He thinks, we choose the way that keeps us within God’s will.  Remember, young people, your choices in your youth can impact your future for years to follow, for the better or the worse.

But how do we learn to make choices that keep us in God’s will?  By going to Him in prayer and looking to His word for answers.  Knowing what God thinks about specific issues is also our responsibility.  When we understand what God thinks, we can live healthy lives for Him in spirit, mind, and body.  But we need strategies to help us keep our hearts, and setting good boundaries in all areas of our lives is one practical strategy that can help us live victorious for God.

Boundaries as a Strategy for Keeping our Hearts

The purpose of a boundary is to keep some things in and other things out.  For example, if you raise a chicken, you might put it in a fenced-in enclosure.  The fence acts as a boundary around the chicken, keeping it safe within the borders.  You may put food for the chicken inside the fenced enclosure.  While threatening animals and other things that endanger the chicken remain outside the fence.  Healthy boundaries in our lives can help us in the same way by keeping the good in and the bad out of our hearts.

Boundaries for a Young Life’s Issues

Remember, out of your heart are the issues of life.  And there are some issues that a young person does not want to confront, like pregnancy before marriage or sexually transmitted diseases.  A sexually transmitted disease is an illness acquired by engaging in sexual relations with an infected person.   HIV is also transmitted through sexual relations with an infected person or dirty needles of drug users.  Young people, when these issues confront us, our choices become critical to our future in an instance. Healthy boundaries can help us avoid situations where the temptation is so strong that we might struggle to make the choice that keeps us in God’s will.  But let me acknowledge that sometimes, children are born with HIV, and dear young person, if this is you today, God has grace for you, and it is not your fault.  But we must inform each one in general how these diseases transfer.  Learning to set healthy boundaries can help us avoid this transfer.  Young men and women can avoid having children outside of marriage.  Good boundaries for your behavior can help prevent you from choosing drugs as an alternative to find happiness.  Healthy boundaries can help us prevent the issues that would harm our health and lives.

Boundaries and Our Bodies

Let’s talk about how boundaries can help us keep our bodies for God.  Boys and girls growing up together may play in a way that involves a lot of physical contact or touching, and this play is purely innocent.  Like wrestling, for example.  But young children, as you start to grow and mature, you will notice a change in your body.  It’s almost like one day your body awakens from a deep sleep.  It begins to feel things it’s never felt before.  Have you ever been asleep and then someone wakes you?  Maybe you were dreaming, and then suddenly, your senses are alert to the sounds and things around you?  Well, our bodies as they mature are the same way.  We call this phase in a child’s life puberty.  Your attitudes towards the opposite gender also begin to change.  Young girls, and let’s be honest, boys don’t seem so disgusting anymore.  Boys, you must admit this too, girls are no longer as annoying as you thought before.   In fact, you even begin to desire each other’s company!  Young person, when this change happens in you, it’s time to put away the child’s play and start setting appropriate boundaries for your behavior with the opposite gender.  Establishing boundaries for our bodies is one way we keep our hearts for God.

Did you know our bodies are on loan to us from God?  He gave them to us, and He expects us to be good stewards over them.  A steward is someone who is responsible for caring for something. Being a steward over our body means we care for and respect it as God would have us to for His purpose.  When we respect our own bodies, we simultaneously respect the bodies of others.

We can establish healthy boundaries by simply being comfortable communicating our limits and using the word “no.” But, before we can do this, we must know who we are and what we stand for.

1Corinthians 6:20

“20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your Spirit, which are God’s.

Our bodies belong to God!  We were bought with a price!  God loaned us our bodies, and we keep them for His glory.  This is who we are!  As servants of God, we are bought with a price!  Young people, you are bought with a price, and God wants you for His glory.

 1:Corinthians 6:19

“19 What?  know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

Our bodies are not our own!  They are the temple of God!  We stand as one who has God’s Spirit within, so we say no to things that will defile our bodies!  We walk after God’s Spirit and make choices that keep us within His will!  These scriptures are descriptions of God’s children!  This is who we are.  God has ownership of us, He purchased us with His Son’s blood, and He wants us to glorify Him in our minds, bodies, and spirits!.  As God’s people, the Bible also teaches us that we share a responsibility in the keeping of our hearts.

Now that we understand who we are and our responsibility, it is by God’s grace and strength, we can say no to things that defile our bodies.  But unfortunately, sometimes young people are not always successful.  Young people may have difficulty saying no to people they want to please, like their friends or someone older they admire.  So they might struggle to say no to circumstances they don’t want to participate in, such as unwanted sexual advances and other behavior not appropriate for Christians.  Teachers, caregivers, and parents can help our young people find their “no” voice by giving them choices in ordinary situations.  Then when it is time to say no to something that can lead to ungodly behavior, they have practiced and are more prepared.

Let’s speak more specifically on communicating boundaries for our bodies.  Young women, it’s ok to say no to young men who put their hands on your bodies, and you should if you want to keep your heart with diligence for God.  Sometimes the fear of saying no or communicating your limits may present itself.  This anxiety typically comes from worrying about what the other person might think.  It can also come from not wanting to be rejected or losing the friendship and attention.  But secure young women who understand their responsibility to respect their own bodies can set and communicate their boundaries – and they should.  They can say no to inappropriate touching regardless of who they might offend –and they should.  Young Sister, you are not responsible for the feelings of the one who crosses your line.  In fact, the offended young man is responsible for his own feelings, and consequently, he’ll learn how you stand.

Young men should also communicate their boundaries when needed.  Young men, it is ok not to allow young women to snuggle up, sit on your lap, or get close to your face.  Communicating your boundaries shows your respect for your own body and helps you keep your heart for Jesus.  If someone’s touching stirs feelings within you that are not proper, this is a good indication for you to tell them to stop it.  It’s necessary to communicate when someone crosses your boundary.  Communicating our boundaries or saying no to unwanted advances is not mean.  Communicating what you stand for is healthy, and the Bible calls it keeping our hearts for Jesus.  People can not read our minds; we must communicate our limits and boundaries so others understand where we stand.

A young man and a young woman’s responsibility begins with their Christian values and ends with their own bodies.  Today we live in a world where people teach experimenting sexually while you are young is normal and keeping yourself for marriage is old-fashioned.  What should be important is making choices that keep us centered in God.  We must understand what God thinks about the subject.  So what does God think about intimacy before marriage?

Mathew 15:18-20

“18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

Notice verse 19.  Jesus describes a heart that has not been kept for God with all diligence.  This heart hasn’t been carefully watched.  In fact, this is a heart that needs Salvation.  Now notice the word fornication in the same verse.  Fornication is a word the Bible uses to describe intimate physical contact before marriage.  So we can conclude that God’s opinion on the issue is fornication defiles a man.  This is what God thinks about sexual relations before marriage.

1Corithians 6:18

“Flee fornication.  Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

Here the Bible teaches us to flee fornication because it is a sin against our bodies, and we know sin separates us from God.  But with healthy boundaries in place, we’re less likely to find ourselves in a position that requires us to run away.

This part of the lesson is for young people at an age-acceptable to have a girlfriend or boyfriend or engaged couples.  My question to you is, do you have boundaries to keep you from falling into temptation with each other?  Let me ask another way.  When you are together, do you plan to be with others too?  Because this would be a healthy boundary that can help keep you pure in mind and body?  Or are you consistently getting alone, where no one else can see you?  If yes, you are more than likely putting yourselves in a position to be tempted – strongly tempted.  We can not forget that we have an enemy, and the enemy of our soul is savvy.

Sometimes this enemy convinces couples, it is ok to become intimate physically because someday they plan to marry each other.  This is a vicious trick the enemy loves to play on couples.  Couples that decide to begin fornicating are at risk of losing their relationship with Christ and each other.  Remember, fornication is sin, and sin equals separation from God?  So the couple that fornicates needs to repent and be restored to Christ if they wish to live for God.  But the damage doesn’t go away that easily.  The enemy of our souls loves to torment people over past mistakes.  And living with this kind of torment is the worst way to start a new marriage in Christ.  Remember these words, young people; it is a blessing to start a marriage with a clear conscience before God.  Two people beginning their lives together with a clear conscience is God’s ultimate plan for couples.  Be patient young person, it may not feel like it now, but God has the right companion for you at the right time in your life.  His thoughts for you are of good and not evil.

In closing, let me extend and an invitation to you.  If you want to set better boundaries in your life and make choices that keep you centered in God, find a place to pray this morning.  Speak to God about the issues confronting your life and ask for greater grace to boldly say no to the things that can defile your body.  Ask for wisdom to learn to set boundaries in your life that will keep God’s temple – your body – for His glory.  Finally, if you have a heart that is defiled like the one Jesus spoke of in Matthew, give your life to Jesus.  He wants to deliver you so you can keep your heart with all diligence for His purpose.  Jesus wants you to live successfully for His glory.  Will you surrender your life to Him today?
I Surrender All 
“All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all
All to Jesus I surrender
Make me Savior wholly thine
May Thy Holy Spirit fill me
May I know Thy power divine
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all”