This one goes out to all my youth worker friends out there. It seems we share a common problem. No, it's not too much pizza. That's not a problem for me. It's not late nights and teenage drama. That's what we signed up for.
It's our desire to see teens get interested in the Bible. The problem, clearly, is not our desire. We want to see teens open up God's Word and actually be excited about doing so.
Solutions abound, from teen Bibles and devotionals to reading plans and even prize motivators. But I have an idea that I think trumps them all. You won't need to plan an entire lesson around it. You won't need to make it a special focus for a month. Just plan what looks like an unintended tangent in an otherwise normal lesson. Oh, and use the word 'emasculated'.
That's right. Emasculated.
Intrigued? Here's how it works. I was teaching on healthy relationships when we started talking about the unhealthy examples we see around us and portrayed in the media. I mentioned that too many wives emasculate their husbands' spiritual leadership. (Agree or disagree, we can save that topic for another day.)
The hook was set and you know what happened next. One of the teens asked what emasculated meant. And I defined. This isn't a children's blog, so I'll clue you in as well and save you the trip to dictionary.com.
Back in the day, when kings would conquer countries and want the young men of the defeated nation to serve his wife and his daughters, he had to make sure they wouldn't try and do what men often try and do with women. So they would remove temptation by removing the man's....er.....stuff.
I said this and every guy in my group winced as one. Then I named some examples of eunuchs (guys who have been emasculated) in the Bible. Among them, Daniel and Rack, Shack and Benny (of Veggie Tales fame).
I only wish I could have taken a picture of one junior high guy's face in particular, as his jaw was left dropped for the next ten minutes. See, the Bible is very interesting. We just need to point out some of the finer details.