“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” – Galatians 6:7
“If only I hadn’t …”. “I wish I had…”. “Why didn’t someone stop me?”
Do any of these sayings sound familiar? Perhaps everyone has regrets. One person told me that while he was in college he was “pretty wild”. “You know,” he said, “not one person in the church ever came to me and said, ‘Son, you hadn’t ought to do that’ “. It was not until he and some friends rolled a car into the yard of an undertaker that he began to change.
There are those who would casually say that all young people have to sow some wild oats. The Bible clearly tells us that what we sow, we will reap. Many lives have been badly affected by poor decisions made in a few seconds. Parents and church workers would do well to make sure that children are warned against “sowing wild oats”.
Every spring, many wild oats are sown. High school students have an added opportunity to do so at proms. College students have an opportunity to do so on spring break as many head south to a beach or elsewhere. What are parents and grandparents doing to help our young people deal with these temptations? I was told that one grandmother rented motel rooms for her grandchildren to use on prom night! Many parents go to great lengths to provide money for trips to the beach for their college children. A great deal of money goes into buying a prom dress. Some teens even go to prom in limousines. Chaperones often “look the other way” to allow the teens to enjoy themselves.
Teens feel pressure to make sure they have a date for prom when many may not be ready to date. There are spoken and unspoken pressures put on our young people when many are not able to handle those pressures. Research tells us that the part of the brain that deals with caution is not developed until a person is in the twenties. Teens are simply not ready to handle many temptations at a time when hormones are very strong in their systems.
What is the purpose of a prom? One might say that it is good for the teens to learn manners and to feel good about dressing their best. It is important that young people know how to dress properly and have good manners, but is this goal really being accomplished by having proms?
What is the purpose of having a spring break? Should it not be to revitalize students who have supposedly been working hard on their studies? The images we see each year on TV of behavior on spring breaks hardly convinces us that students are being revitalized!
In recent years there has been an effort to provide activities on graduation night for young people. Perhaps it would be well for churches or others to provide alternatives to proms and activities for spring break. We need to be creative in finding ways to help our young people avoid sowing wild oats!