Information Related to "Questions and Answers - Jul/Sep 2002"
Question: Why is it hard for us girls to resist temptation when someone shows us love?
Answer: Being attracted to the opposite sex is the way God has made us. From creation, His intent was that we humans marry and have children (Genesis 1:28). It is a blessing from God that He created within us a natural attraction between the sexes. And although some boys and girls grow up not liking the other sex, this usually changes as they mature.
When it comes to love, all of us, male and female alike, enjoy being appreciated by someone else. This is a healthy and beautiful experience that God says should only be fully experienced within marriage. In dating and marriage, however, our emotions and feelings also serve as powerful influences. They can influence us for good or evil. God expects us to control these feelings prior to marriage. After we are married, we are to direct these feelings to our mate.
If you would like to learn more about God's instructions regarding dating, please request our free booklet, Making Life Work. Chapter one deals with this subject.
Question: Do you think that a person would go to hell for killing himself? It is murder, but at the same time God knows where the person's heart is at the time.
Answer: Sadly, some people get so despondent that they conclude that taking their own lives would be a relief. Of course, there are many reasons a person may come to the decision to commit suicide—none of which would be justified in the eyes of God. God says that murdering a human being is a sin, even if it is taking one's own life (Exodus 20:13).
It is true that many people (and young people in particular) who make such decisions are consumed with loneliness, despair and rejection. Some are suffering from mental health problems that can add to the emotional burdens they are bearing. In many cases, they perceive they are trapped in their circumstances and simply cannot change them or "get out."
We live in a world that is ruled by Satan the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). He influences the attitudes and actions of all that he can. His goal is to supplant God's great plan of salvation. He will do so any way he can. If Satan cannot get people to destroy each other, he will encourage them to destroy themselves. Satan takes advantage of the limitations of the human mind and attitudes that we have. So, a person in a seemingly hopeless and despondent state can be affected by the influence of Satan to consider alternatives (such as taking one's life) that God would never approve of.
Yet God is a God of mercy. If a person makes such a horrible and needless mistake, God can forgive them, but only after the resurrection and their realization that taking their own life was a needless and wrong thing to have done.
God's desire is for us to change, to overcome, and realize the benefits of living His way. That may seem tough sometimes in a world that is going the opposite direction. However, it is possible, and God promises us we will reap what we sow. If we are striving to serve God and live His way of life, God will bless us in so many ways. God's Word and His plan can give us many reasons to live. God's way ultimately gives us the hope of the future that should make us want to live. God wants us to deeply respect and appreciate the sanctity of life—since He is the giver of life itself and human life is a precursor of eternal life.
As for what happens after one dies, there are many opinions but only one biblical answer. The Bible says those who die go to their graves until they are resurrected (John 5:28,29; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). If you would like to learn more about this subject, we recommend you read our free booklet, Heaven or Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach? which can read on-line or downloaded.
Question: How do you live with older siblings who do not attend church?
Answer: Families that attend church together enjoy a great blessing, provided they all attend for the right reasons. It is the parents' responsibility to teach their children about God and provide them with a spiritual diet that includes reading the Bible and discussing important life lessons. Worshiping God as a family is God's desire for all. However, God allows people to rebel and reject Him. Satan the devil, the god of this world (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4), our human nature and the pulls of flesh, all work against the truth of God.
Sometimes when a person is uninterested, distracted or even rebellious, attending church will not be very helpful. A person with a bad attitude might make it difficult for others who want to learn and grow. While it is a difficult and often very emotional situation, parents may need to allow older children to choose to reject attending church. To have harmony in the family, however, certain rules must be obeyed and parents are given the authority to enforce those rules in a household. These decisions need wisdom, and counsel is recommended.
If you have an older sibling who doesn't attend church and chooses a lifestyle that you are uncomfortable with, remember that you might be able, without a word, to win him or her over. Paul gave similar advice to wives whose husbands did not obey God's Word (1 Peter 3:1). Always treat others with respect and remember to love the sinner but hate the sin. (This is not to imply that sin is always involved.)
Because every individual must work out his or her own salvation, you will have to decide whether to accept or reject the teachings of the Bible, your parents and the church you attend. There are serious consequences to the decisions that you make in life. Please choose wisely.
Question: Is it OK to go to parties? What types of clothes are appropriate for Christian youth?
Answer: Parties are not necessarily wrong. Some parties can be quite enjoyable and in line with God's intentions. The real key to deciding whether to attend is asking yourself, "What kind of party is it?" If the parties you are referring to will be hosted by people who encourage drug usage or alcohol for minors, it is best not to go. Attending such parties can only lead to more difficulties or trouble for a young person striving to serve God.
Clothing is linked to our culture and is affected by current fads. Because God advises us to practice moderation (1 Timothy 2:9) and live holy lives (Ephesians 1:4), it is best that our clothing be modest and that it not be worn to draw undue attention to the person.
There are many clothing styles that are modest as well as attractive and functional. Of course, there are also clothing styles that reflect very immodest tastes and these should be avoided. Also, according to Deuteronomy 22:5, individuals should wear clothing that is typical for their gender (male or female).
Question: Is it OK to wear jeans?
Answer: The wearing of jeans or denim slacks is acceptable in most Western societies today (see above). Of course, the activity or occasion one wears them can be an issue. Some clothing is appropriate for some activities, and less so for others. The style and "fit" of jeans can also vary greatly, as well. Very frayed jeans or extremely tight-fitting jeans or slacks can be immodest and, thus, inappropriate. One should also always comply with parents' wishes on what clothing they feel is appropriate, as well.
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