The Christian youth are facing a lot of challenges. In a world which is increasingly becoming skeptical about anything related to God. A young Christian, for example, is unable to reconcile the ideas of evolution taught in school and the creation story they learned in church. There is also the pressure to conform to fit in a group. Preteen, teenage, and early adulthood years is the period when we strongly crave affirmation from our peers. The problem for the Christian youth is that conforming means abandoning Christian values in part or wholly. A sense of being untrue to our values may later bring regret or shame, which is detrimental to emotional well being. At this critical time, therefore, it is important for Christian youth to look for guidance to avoid problems later.
Christians are daily confronted by issues that pressure us to conform. When this happens, our initial reaction is to avoid the problem, but later, though, we start asking ourselves questions. For example, if all our peers are having intimate relationships, why not me? Why not smoke? Why should I go to church when everybody else seems to be having fun somewhere else?-and so many other questions. Asking these questions is the initial step in overcoming challenges. The second step, which is the most important, is looking for the right answers from a Christian perspective.
As true Christians, we are not called to conform, but to a renewal in Christ Jesus. That is what St. Paul told Christians in Rome in Romans 6: 3-4. The act of baptism is a sign of new life all Christians, including Christian youths, are called to. The bible says clearly that we should strive to be right with God, as opposed to pleasing our friends or striving for their affirmation.
As a youth who is under pressure do conform to sinful practices, the meaning of baptism should not be lost to them. But in a very fast world, it’s easy to compromise. The solution lies in commitment to faith. One way of growing in faith and reinforce defense against harmful peer pressure is becoming a member of a bible study group. The bible itself contains answers to the problems that youths face. Studying the bible in a group is a useful way not only on learning the word as written, but also offers a forum where Christians can openly discuss the challenges they face daily, how they overcome them, or how one can overcome in reference to bible teachings.
Often, Christian youths think that the challenges they face are unique to them. The truth, however, is that all of us, including the older Christians, faced the same problems during their youth. Talking to them therefore, is a great way of learning how to overcome the challenges. Lastly, it is very important to keep the right company. Writing to Corinthians, St Paul said that “good company destroys good morals.” While it is good to have non-Christian friends, hanging out with them all the time may cause more harm than good.