When I was approached to be the Camp Speaker for Brethren Church Bukit Arang’s Youth Camp, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It began as a get-to-know-you session early this year with the Youth Pastor, Michael Yeong. Then came the shocker many months later – the leaders decided that it would be good to address the issue on Relationships, specifically BGR and dating! OH MAN!? What do I know about BGR? For one, it’s been so many years ago. For another, I was such a backslidden Christian at the time I was dating! What can I possibly share with the youths except all my mistakes? Well, there was no getting out of this one so I had to read up on it, pray really hard, and get into the presence of God!
The camp took place on 8 – 12 Dec, and I was given five sessions to speak on the topic. By the grace of God, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, it went really well. I shared first on “God’s Will for Relationships”, and then went on to talk about “God’s Will for Marriages” and a godly husband and wife would look like. These sessions were a little heavy and didn’t seem too relevant for the youths, but I kept asking them to be patient and to keep their eyes on the ideal, rather than be only concerned with dating and having a good time. In the 3rd session, I exposed “The Ways of the World”, and the light started to come on in many of them. They began to understand the huge difference between what God wanted for them and what the world is practising through casual dating. When it came to the 4th session, they saw the great need (and struggle) for “The Renewing of Minds”. Finally, I summed up the teachings with “The Presentation of Our Bodies”, where I focused on the guarding and preservation of purity in our bodies and our minds. During altar call, many of the youths responded to re-commit their lives to God. I also led them to pray and to trust God for a life partner and to pledge themselves to stay pure and to wait for that right time and person. It was an emotional time as they prayed for one another, cried and hugged. God’s presence was so strong in that place. Later, Pastor Michael encouraged me to say that the words of knowledge released were “spot-on”. Praise God for that!!
This report may be a little overdue, but it’s never too late to praise God and to give Him glory. Through the preparation for the camp, I myself was blessed to learn new things and to receive new insights from the Lord about the subjects of dating, courtship and relationships. Truly, we live in an upside-down world with loose morals and warped ideas. All these have affected and are affecting the relationships of our younger ones leaving many disappointed, discouraged and broken. And yet, to stand firm upon God’s Word will mean being radical and totally out-of-sync with what friends and contemporaries are doing. I daresay, even Christian parents will baulk and wonder if their children will lose out in the dating game and end up being single.
All said, God’s principles do not change. The key is still for the individual to seek Him and His righteousness first, and all these things will be added unto him/her (Matt 6:33) … and that, I believe, includes a life partner too! Too simplistic, you feel? I think not. Our God is able and He knows best!