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Monday, May 21, 2012

Teen Stresses: Marriage, Biblical Reflections

    Since this episode in the Teen Stresses series has been looking, primarily, at Sojourner’s part to play in the crisis of her teen friend, these reflections will be focused on Sojourner, rather than Susan, the central figure. Nevertheless, the first passage of Scripture has the potential to bring comfort to all concerned in this tragic story.

      In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

     Even if we have done something that does not please the Lord, we can come to Him. He doesn’t just toss us away because we messed up; He doesn’t want our lives to be troubled. However, we are not to come with an arrogance that says this is what I want and I don’t care what Your plan for my life might be. This is what I want you to do for me… and present a list of demands to the Lord. Jesus says “Come” but includes what it is you are coming for… to take His yoke upon you and learn from Jesus. Then you will find rest; then your burden will be light.

      If, however, your burden is as it was for Sojourner… the friend of the one in trouble, you can still be pretty heavy-ladened with the burden of your friend. Sojourner was worried about Susan’s choice and feared she may be missing a crucial piece of information. Would having the information cause Susan to reverse direction, call off the wedding and just return to finish school… ending in a university education and an outstanding career in music or academics? Would it make a difference if Sojourner gave her that piece of information? And, the burden was added to when Sojourner could not be certain that Susan would not just totally reject her because of the nature of the information, rather than being glad to know before Susan committed her life to David. Yup, this definitely came under the heading heavy burden.

     At last, Sojourner did what she felt was the right thing and, indeed, Susan couldn’t accept the truth. Sojourner was crushed but, at least, she no longer had the burden of what to do; the choice had been made and the ball was in Susan’s court. While it was a painful interaction with Susan and, certainly, didn’t seem to change a thing, Sojourner was glad to have the agony of just keeping her friend in the dark finished. But Sojourner’s part did not end there. She did not wash her hands of Susan because she went ahead and married the guy anyway. Sojourner tried to help Susan adjust to married life in Susan’s weakest area, cooking.

     Sojourner didn’t do this because Jesus, specifically, told her to help Susan learn to cook. Sadly, it was a time in Sojourner’s life when she did not have the closeness with God that she had enjoyed as a young child. No, she did it because it was part of the “light yoke” that Jesus had said we should take upon us—doing the right thing. It was the right thing to help Susan. This is exactly what Jesus does in our lives. Jesus doesn’t just give up on us when we make a mistake and say, “Well, I tried to tell you not to do that so now you’re on your own.” No, Jesus tries to help us get back on the right path and even aids us with the adjustment process.

     But, helping the friend is not all Sojourner had to learn from this experience with Susan. The Apostle Paul had a bit to say about these situations when he wrote to the Galatians.

                   *Names have been changed.

****Teen Stresses: Marriage, Biblical Reflections Concluded… Coming Tomorrow

If you missed the beginning, the Episode began with:  Teen Stresses: Marriage

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