"I’m embarrassed to say this, but I’ll say it. I’ve had a really hard time finding work, so I’ve been living with my grandmother. And she’s told me recently that she doesn’t have the money to feed me. So I’ve been eating at my friend’s house. I go over there, and I’m too embarrassed to ask for anything, but his dad always insists. He says: ‘Why aren’t you eating? Please, eat!’ This has really caused my idea of ‘family’ to widen. I’ve learned that your family can be anyone."
(Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)
I'm kind of conflicted about the Lauren Dubinsky quote you posted, so I went to her site and read a lot of her writings to get a feel for her and I'm in awe of the lady she is. But, while I see Truth in that quote and I know I'm not "responsible" for the sin of men or women around me, I also believe that Christians are called to protect the body as a whole, to battle against sin together, and to honour their [all] bodies as temples. Maybe it's too big an issue to put into so few words...
If you believe that Christians are called to protect the body as a whole, then the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit must be viewed as something much greater than a sexual being. You are not an object—you are a human. In your conviction to honor the body, don’t narrow this mentality to sexuality because that is only a fraction of your identity. If you’re going to have extreme conditions in your conviction to protect your temple, why is modesty the focal point? What about tanning? What about eating McDonalds? What about drinking alcohol? What about smoking? Stay with me…
I’m not trying to be obnoxious, but I want to point out that the life of a Christian must be marked with grace, balance, and discernment. You should live a life marked equally by freedom and conviction. Live in grace, enjoy life, but don’t spend your energy on a single conviction—spend it on Jesus. This means that we seek His glory by living life and loving life by using our lives as a sacrificial offering of love to Him and to others. If 100 people did this, none of their lives would look the same. There are distinct commandments we’ve been given (see the ten commandments), and the rest that falls within what I call the “shrug space.” The shrug space is the stuff that neither glorifies nor dishonors God for the thing itself, but is a matter of your underlying motives—it’s a matter of your own discernment. Different things are stumbling blocks for different people, so ultimately you can only dedicate your actions to God trusting that there is grace. I wear crop tops, I lay out in the summer, I drink, sometimes I smoke, sometimes I eat fast food… do you see how insane it is for these things to be classified as wrong vs. right? It’s so much more dynamic than that. Context is what matters. I’m not wearing crop tops to church. I’m not tanning excessively. I’m not drinking with young impressionable friends who look up to me. I’m not smoking on a regular basis. I’m not eating fast-food regularly. Context matters. Don’t be legalistic. Don’t burden yourself with the mentality that you’re responsible for the holiness of others. It’s one thing to dedicate your life to the glorification of God and the edification of others. It’s another thing—an unhealthy and impractical way of living—to waste your life in legalism worrying about things out of your control. There’s a balance and in that balance, you can rest in the promises of God who says it is He—not you—who will carry out the work He began in you.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Read all of Romans 14, but here is an excerpt: Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.
You’re right though—this could discussed so much more thoroughly.
Every single time I’ve lowered my guard, dropped my pride, and approached God confessing my need for him, he meets me. He never turns me away, embarrasses me, or rejects my vulnerability. He relentlessly extends himself to us and willingly restores our identity in Christ. Don’t be confused—our identity is secure. It’s not security He’s restoring, but our mindset so we can live in the boldness that comes with knowing who we are. It’s a heavy proclamation, but it’s true—that we have been made the righteousness of Christ.
SOMEONE FINALLY SAID IT
So if a teenager is at school for roughly 8 hours, and they are doing homework for 6+ hours, and they need AT LEAST 9 HOURS OF SLEEP FOR THEIR DEVELOPING BRAINS, then they may have 0-1 hours for other activities like eating, bathing, exercise, socializing (which is actually incredibly important for emotional, mental, and physical health, as well as the development of skills vital to their future career and having healthy romantic relationships among other things), religious activities, hobbies, extra curriculars, medical care of any kind, chores (also a skill/habit development thing and required by many parents), relaxation, and family time? Not to mention that your parents may or may not pressure you to get a job, or you might need to get one for economic reasons.
I will never not reblog this
"…but teenagers have no reason to be stressed."
you also didn’t mention that they need time to, you know, get to and from school…