When we grasp the depth of God’s love for us, our love for others is awakened. This kind of love rescues us from idea viruses that make us feel lonely and inadequate. Read More
Am I Loved?
Our culture challenges students to engage in “games” like the Blue Whale Challenge and the Momo Challenge. Why do students fall into these traps by cyberbullies that encourage players to commit suicide? What makes them accept an unknown friend request? According to Barna research, Gen Z uses technology for the same activities as adults. However, Gen Z is much more likely than older generations to use social media to branch outside of their existing personal network. More than half say they also use these media to meet new people. They are twice as likely as adults to say, “I enjoy interacting online with people I have not met in real life.
The same study also tells us, “as the offspring of mostly Gen X parents, many in Gen Z appear to have a complicated dynamic with their family.” Students want to be a part of a community that loves them. These studies reveal that students can’t solely rely on earthly relationships to fulfill the type of agape love they are looking for. And they don’t have to.
Students need to know that they are loved. Deep, unconditional love exists, and they can have it.
Students are created for community and long for love, but the world tells them that love is just a chemical reaction that should be satisfied in whatever means possible. The trouble is that there are consequences when people try to satisfy an intrinsic need by earthly methods. The idea that they can feel love from more likes on Instagram, through sex with their girlfriend or boyfriend, or through online communities is what we at Summit call an idea virus.
These viruses—counterfeit truths about life—directly oppose the teachings of a Christian worldview. Remember this about counterfeit worldviews: they present just enough truth to get people to believe a bigger lie. This is especially true in what each worldview says about love, sex, and intimacy.
As a youth leader, your students long to know “Am I loved?” You and your youth team have the influence to guide students as they seek this answer. The author of Hebrews addresses our need for community and the present assurances we have through Christian fellowship that helps us all persevere to the end (Hebrews 10:24).
Guide students to identify why the Christian worldview gives them the true meaning of love. In Jesus, each student is loved because of who they belong to, not because of their performance at school, a job, or in the context of a relationship with friends and family. You can help them start to uncover the important answer they seek. They are loved by their Creator.
Christian Worldview Key
When students dwell in God’s love, self-love is transformed into selfless love. Here are three things they can do right now to experience love:
- Experience forgiveness and offer it. Before you can expect your students to understand how to offer forgiveness, you must first teach them how much they are loved and forgiven by their savior.
- Let God take care of the timing. Help students who want to repair the broken relationships around them understand that they can let go of them and depend on God to repair hearts and restore relationships.
- Don’t just give to others what they want from you. Teach students how to set time aside for Bible reading, devotions, and prayer. By allowing the Holy Spirit to breathe life and refreshment over them, they will be able to better discern how to pour truth into those around them and give them what they need.
Message for Students
When we grasp the depth of God’s love for us, our love for others is awakened. This kind of love rescues us from idea viruses that make us feel lonely and inadequate.
Jeff Myers, The Secret Battle of Ideas about God (Colorado Springs, Colorado, David C. Cook, 2017).
Portions of this section come from chapters 3 and 4.