At this writing I am pondering the typical week of incredible God happenings at my 2nd most favorite place on earth (1st being my home)! This place is a church camp nestled in the Appalachian mountain range. Our church’s youth are on their way home while my husband and I are soaking in a few more days of rest and relaxation at this blessed place.
I could write volumes about why this camp is so special to my family (it’s where my son answered the call to missions) and my church family (approximately 12 of our youth, since my son, have answered the call to missions due to the influence of this camp).
But the reason you will read a post about this amazing camp in my Fiery Darts blog is because of the prompting I received during a week of camp several years ago. Those eventful promptings became the 7th chapter in my book Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.
Here’s an excerpt from that chapter:
During the time of adolescence there is a stirring that becomes keenly apparent to girls early on and typically to the guys a bit later. It has been assumed by our society that this stirring heralds the beginning of “the search” for a future spouse and as a result girls and guys begin counting the days when they will become old enough to date. (p. 51)
Could it be that the stirring in our hearts (as adolescents) that initiates a search for true love is the Holy Spirit calling us to a love relationship with our Creator? (p.55)
This is where the fiery darts come in!
When campers attended this camp, they were presented with some rather antiquated ideas about romance. As I started chaperoning at this camp around 10 years ago, I have had the opportunity to observe the effect of these antiquated ideas. (These ideas included such things as courtship – you know, the old-fashioned idea of a guy approaching the father of a girl for permission to court his daughter because the guy was interested in marrying this girl! That’s the way it use to be done back in the day!)
Young people were encouraged to turn their hearts towards God at the onset of these ‘stirrings’ and learn from Him how true love was to be defined. Then upon that foundation all love relationships were built.
You might think that what I have described no longer fits in with our cultural ideas of love and marriage. And you’d be right. They don’t fit in. Know why?
B/C OF FIERY DART THINKING
Fiery dart thinking will persuade you that the stirring is definitely the start of ‘the search’ for someone to date and someday maybe (but not necessarily) marry. The thought that God is calling you to a love relationship with your Creator is absurd, by this particular worldview.
But over the past 10 years I have made some astounding comparisons between those who applied the instructions from Scriptures taught by the leaders of this camp and those who rejected those outdated ideas for society’s approach to understanding love.
First of all, those young adults who led the camp and were single not only promoted the scriptural teachings about love but they practiced them as well. And as you might suspect, our campers watched in awe as beautiful love stories unfolded for these young adults. And also, as you might expect, they too desired to experience such love stories for themselves. And couple by couple, I have had the pleasure of attending (and my husband has had the honor of performing) beautiful wedding ceremonies for many of our church’s young adults.
So, I ask you,
Who wouldn’t want to be able to experience a pure and beautiful love story such as I have described?
If you accept the fiery darts then,
be prepared for more brokenness than you imagine, more disappointments than you can bare, your happiness will be fleeting and your troubles will be difficult to manage.
It’s a no brainer, isn’t it.
Here’s what God has to offer anyone who would choose to follow Him and His lead.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Do you feel traditional church youth groups are a help or a hindrance during this adolescent stirring? Is the above camp co-
ed? It would seem “youth” groups/camps advertise getting closer in relationship to Christ and seeking Him, but what is actually experienced in many adolescent lives is a derailing and distraction from seeking Christ during these years all while attending church youth functions.
It depends on the camp. The camp that is in my experience is unique! Because of this camp my son and many youth from my church answered the call to foreign missions. But unfortunately that is not the case for some Christian camps.