When it comes to moral values, most teens don't have a clue about what the Bible says.
In my practice, I keep reliving an all-too-common scenario. My clients, two Christian teens, have been having sex with each other. The parents are distraught and don't understand why their children are living immoral lives.

The teens have the answer: "Sex between two people who love each other and plan to marry is not wrong. We have vowed to marry when we get through college. What's the problem?"

My response: "You can't know who you are going to marry when you are only a junior in high school."

The teens vehemently retort, "We know we will be together, no matter what you or anyone else says." At this point, they are staring at me, totally dumbfounded about why we are having this discussion.

My turn to question. "You are both Christians, right?" They nod their heads. "Absolutely, we love God."

"OK, so where does it say in the Bible that sex between two people who think they love each other is sanctioned outside the covenant of marriage?" They don't know, of course, but they're certain it's in there somewhere. When I point out that it isn't and that their behavior is what the Bible calls fornication, the blank faces return.

The problem is that we are coming from two different perspectives. I, the parent representative, am talking about moral values based on biblical absolutes. The teens don't believe in absolutes; thus, the disconnect.

When it comes to moral values, most teens don't seem to have a clue about what the Bible really says. God and His Word have been made relative to their culture.

The Barna Research Group confirms this fact. In a 2001 national survey among teenagers, here's what they found: Only 6 percent of the teens surveyed believe moral truth is absolute, whereas 83 percent believe moral truth depends on the circumstances. In other words, truth is relative to the situation.

Thus, in the minds of most teens, if you love someone and think you might marry that person, sex is OK. Barna also found that 75 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 35 embrace moral relativism, so it isn't surprising that today's teens think as they do. They learned it from the adults who preceded them!

What is surprising is that the data shows that only 9 percent of teens who claim to be born again believe in moral absolutes! This means that 91 percent of the Christian teens they surveyed make up moral rules according to their own circumstances.

And how do these teens make their moral decisions? By how they feel in a situation, by whatever gives them the most benefit, by whatever makes the most people happy, by expectations of friends and families, and by parental values. A small group of teens (7 percent) reported making moral decisions based on biblical principles.

Obviously, we have a lot of work to do. We've dropped the ball when it comes to transmitting the timelessness of the gospel. Jesus' message was not relative to the culture, the time or a specific situation. Included in His Word are timeless truths about moral behavior.

So if you are a parent, a youth leader or someone who cares about teens and kids, you are in a battle. You have to counteract the daily bombardment of cultural relativity.

Start encouraging teens to check out what the Bible really has to say on numerous moral subjects. Don't moralize with the teens; open a dialogue and explore Scripture. They may be ignorant, but they aren't stupid!

Focus dinner discussions on daily news items and school happenings that allow you to present the biblical view. Use pop culture to comment on the beliefs of non-Christians with the words of Christ. Talk about the impact of relativism on their thoughts and emotions.

Moral absolutes aren't a fad that went out with go-go boots. They are words of life given by our Creator. However you can package this important ongoing discussion about values, have at it, for it's the power of the Word that transforms lives.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit