by Jeffrey Dean
Every young adult is in a battle. Did you know that? If this “battle” talk sounds like a bit of a stretch to you, let me tell you about Rhys.
A few summers ago I spoke at a camp. After an evening session, one of the guy counselors—Rhys—asked if we could talk. Rhys was heading into his sophomore year at a well-known Christian college. There was a sadness in his eyes that I couldn’t fathom. He had a lot of nightmares, he said, and a lot of guilt.
During his senior year of high school, Rhys and his girlfriend, Emily, were fairly typical Christian kids. They were both active in youth group, had pledged to abstain from sex until marriage, and were known in their circles of friends as “good kids.” But on the night of their senior prom, everything went crazy.
At a post-prom party, Rhys admitted, “One thing led to another and we pretty much did it all that night. Fooling around, drinking... you name it.”
Tragically, Emily had too much to drink, went into a coma, and never came out of it. A week later, Emily died.
This is an extreme story, yes, but it happened. As I speak to high school and college-age students around the country, I hear stories you wouldn’t believe. Welcome to the world of this generation. It’s a fight—and every young adult today is engaged in it.
This fight is about a tsunami of information, communication, anything-goes ethics, and the inevitable moral experimentation that results. The world of today’s young generation moves at a pace you and I would never have dreamed of when we were teens. Almost weekly, teens write to me about addictions to types of drugs that weren’t around just five years ago. By the time they graduate from high school, most seniors tell me, they have consumed alcohol and been offered drugs. Most college students I meet say that marijuana is easily accessible, and that there is almost always someone who is willing to have sex with them. It doesn’t matter whether they attend public schools or Christian schools; students know where drugs are used, kept, and sold. Many tell me they know a friend or classmate who has abused prescription drugs, or who is addicted to porn.
Here’s a fact: Rhys and Emily could have been anyone’s teens. They are from a generation bombarded by lies, hungry for help, and desperate for truth. Every young adult won’t face exactly what Rhys and Emily faced, but war is the daily reality for all.
You may be asking, “How does this information directly affect me and my work in my pregnancy center?” My experience in ministering to this young generation has proven over and again that the struggles of most students aren’t one-dimensional. A teen dealing with the challenge of a pregnancy, or contemplating having an abortion, is often additionally struggling with a variety of issues such as a low self-worth, an eating disorder, drug usage, cutting, pornography, and, not to mention, a lack of spiritual depth and discipline.
I am also of the belief that as Christians, we should never halt the pursuit of knowledge. Keeping up with what’s up for this generation only better equips us to be ever ready to meet them where they are, as they are, and offer them the hope and true remedy found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Every young adult has to navigate the confusing waters of today’s culture. Additionally, the struggles this generation face share a common underpinning: Satan hates these kids. More specifically, he’s their number-one enemy! His task is, as Jesus warned in John 10:10 (NIV), “to steal, kill, and destroy”, and he wants to lure them away from the truth and lead them toward destruction.
It’s our job to grab our weapons, jump into the battlefield, and be ready to give it all we’ve got. This generation needs us. We must be willing to fight and help them win!
Don't miss Jeffrey Dean's workshop at the 2016 Heartbeat International Annual Conference, The Top 10 for This Gen.
Jeffrey Dean is an ordained pastor, evangelist, and author committed to pro-life and pro-marriage family ministry. He has partnered nationally with over 100 Pregnancy Help Organizations offering a wide range of ministry services such as consulting, fundraising, parent and counselor training, evangelism, and discipleship outreach.