Someone Is Watching
Someone is watching you right now. That’s right, someone is always watching.
Scary thought, right? Well yes. But thankfully, it’s not a psycho stalker or a peeping tom who has his eye on you (at least we hope not), but it’s the young boy in your youth group, longing to be accepted. He’s crying out for your attention. He is watching the way you carry yourself, interact with friends, treat women, and respect the authority in your life. He is watching you, learning how to be a man from the man you are becoming.
It is the eyes of the preteen girl who is already developing self-image problems because she sees what society flashes as “beauty”. She recognizes she is far from what media portrays, and she knows there is no way she can ever live up to that fantasy. It is a constant battle, but she is watching you because she thinks her worth is in her image. She desperately needs to know that she is beautiful the way she is without revealing her body.
Those are the eyes watching you. Their ideas and decisions are being shaped and steered by your words and actions.
What a responsibility! It’s safe to say that none of us have asked for that pressure. Nevertheless, we have an obligation. We cannot run and hide to escape their radar. We cannot cower from what we know they need. They need godly influences in their lives. We must show how the Word teaches them to live in this world that is pulling them in the opposite direction, and we must actively engage them in the life God has offered each of us.
While preaching and Bible lessons definitely have their place, the effectiveness of a present role model cannot be overlooked. In the day in which we live, we cannot assume that each child has a perfect home life, because let’s be real—not everyone does. While parents are generally the first image of a role model, they are not the only ones. There comes a time when most children, preteens, and teenagers assume Dad and Mom do not know anything, and they subconsciously or consciously begin looking outside their home for guidance.
We must take the extra step to ensure those walking behind us have quality, godly role models. We must think with the mind of a mentor. Although organized mentoring programs are awesome, not everyone has the luxury of being a part of one. We can, however, take the responsibility on our own to invest in students younger than us. We can volunteer with youth group activities, offer help at summer camps and Vacation Bible School, and take the time to know the children and students who look up to us. Summer activities are a perfect way to lend a hand and be a blessing to the children in our churches and communities.
There are many influences battling for our attention, as well as those who are a few steps behind us. It is crucial that the younger students have godly role models who care about them and are active in their lives. If we are to truly relay the message and truth of who God desires them to be, we must be even more engaged with the next generation—with who they are and who they’re becoming. We must be even more engaged with them than the media and the rest of society is. Because whether we asked for it or not; whether we realize it or not; there are young minds being molded by our words and actions.
Sarah is the Hyphen contributor for InsideOut. She hails from South Carolina and attends Urshan College in Florissant, Missouri. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.