Teen-Agers want A Real Man or Woman

Lori and Philip Hainline and Rebecca Chandler, aged from 16 to 20, students at Summit Ministries, Manitou Springs, USA, made a list of what constitutes a real person.

They write: "When you first read these lists they may seem idealistic, unrealistic and impossible to conform to, but wait, it's not that bad... Relax! These points aren't here to condemn you. They are a "goal". Just because every point doesn't de-scribe you, doesn't make you a failure. When the three of us put these together; we knew we didn't measure up either, but we know we had to "press on." We want to encourage you to do the same. Be noble. Be different, and strive for Excellence!!!"

A Real Man
· Understands and lives according to the basic purpose for which he was created: to worship, honour and serve God. - "Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-2)

· Values and carefully handles the Scriptures. - "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

· Isn't embarrassed to worship God and pray in a group setting. - "If anyone is ashamed of me [Jesus] and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)

· Is wise, yet humble. - "Call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding. For the LORD gives wisdom. He holds victory in store for the upright. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair - every good path." Prov.2:1-10 "Young men, be submissive to those who are older. Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5) - "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." (Romans 12:16)

· Takes leadership in a self-sacrificing way. - "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blamesless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." (Ephesians 5:25-28)

· Is kind because, "What is desirable in a man is his kindness." (Proverbs 19:22)

· Doesn't try to prove himself but is simply confident as he walks in the fear of the Lord. - "He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress... The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death." Pr. 14:26-27.

· Doesn't put others down with his actions, attitude, words or his strength, but affirms and builds others up. - "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." (Prov. 15:4) - "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

· Uses his strength as a protector of those who cannot protect themselves.
- "I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, 'Don't be afraid of them [the enemy]. Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes'." (Nehemiah 4:13-14)

· Not only respects but appreciates a young lady's purity and innocence. Innocence isn't retained by accident. - "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

· Values his own purity as much as he values a young lady's purity. He is not ashamed to live and act differently from the world in order to guard himself. - "It is God's will that you should be holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality, that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God... God did not call us to be impure but to live a holy life." (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8) - "I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare." (Ecclesiastes 7:26)

· Can look a girl straight in the eye without communicating any impurity. - "Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right." (Proverbs 20:11)

· The list continues with: respectful treatment of his sister and mother, love of children, identifying with his family, being a gentleman, being joyful, mature, responsible, intelligent, clean and neat.

A Real Woman
· Withdraws herself from the evil ways of the world and follows after what is good. - "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world." (1 John 2:15-17) - "It [the grace of God] teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." (Titus 2:12)

· Considers the Biblical role of homemaker challenging and exciting. - "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies... Her husband has full confidence in her... She brings him good all the days of her life... She provides food for her family... She considers a field and buys it... She sees that her trading is profitable... She opens her arms to the poor... Her husband is respected... She is clothed with strength and dignity... She speaks with wisdom... Her children arise and call her blessed... A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised..." (Prov. 31:10-31)

· Values the cultivation of her mind and seeks after wisdom and knowledge. - "Pay attention to the sayings of the wise... so that your trust may be in the LORD... so that you can give sound answers..." (Prov. 22:17-21) - "Turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding... for the LORD gives... knowledge... and understanding." Prov. 2:2-6.

· Realises her need to allow the Holy spirit to control her emotions. - "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:19)

· Does not wallow in self-pity, but radiates cheerfulness.
- "The cheerful heart has a continual feast." (Prov. 15:15) - "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Prov. 17:22)

· Appreciates her father's protection and respects and submits to his authority. In so doing she is preparing herself to exercise the Biblical role in her relationship with a possible future husband. - "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honour your father and mother' - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. (Ephesians 5:33-6:3) - "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without talk by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." (1 Peter 3:1-2)

· Does not relate to members of the opposite sex in a flirtatious or forward manner, but instead saves all her passion for her future husband.
- "It is God's will that you should be holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no-one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins..." (1 Thess. 4:3-8) - "Do not lust in your heart..." (Prov. 6:25)

· Enjoys gentlemanly courtesies, such as opening doors etc.
- "Husbands... be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life..." (1 Peter 3:7)

· Is trustworthy and gains the respect of those around her.
- "Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." (Proverbs 31:11)

· Refrains from listening to or passing on gossip, speaking instead with wisdom and discretion. - "A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbour, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." (Proverbs 11:12-13) - "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion." (Prov. 11:22) - "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much." (Prov. 20:19)

· Encourages and builds up those around her instead of criticising and tearing them down.
- "Encourage one another and build each other up." (1 Thess. 5:11) - "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

· The list continues with
: being non-contentious, non-manipulative, and gentle, quiet and feminine.

Source: Summit Ministries P O Box 207, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, USA, quoted by Miriam Cain in Make a Difference! A Christian Action Handbook for Southern Africa, Africa Christian Action, Cape Town, 1999. PO Box 36129, 7702 Glosderry, RSA, Tel 021-6894480; Fax 021-685-5884. - (NIV Bible)

With the following imaginary conversation, Miriam Cain offers "Smart Answers" to all young people who want to remain pure and healthy:
"I love you so much that I want to give you more." - "Great, give me your self-control!"
"If we care for each other it's not wrong." - "If you care for me you won't destroy my values."
"But I need to have sex to be a man." - "Even mice have sex. Does that make them men?"
"Come on, aren't you a real man?" - "You're right. It takes a real man to respect a woman."
"You can't get pregnant if we do it just once." - "You won't but I could!"
"I'll stop when you tell me." - "STOP!

If you really cared for me, you would acccept NO as my final answer.
I respect your feelings so please respect my choice: NO thank you!
I have decided NO premarital sex - so don't pressure me."

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