Recently, our preacher, Ron Babbit, sent a question to one of his friends in another state who teaches high school students. He asked the teacher to pose this question to his students: "What is the most difficult thing you have had to deal with growing up?" These are the responses from those students:
Boy (10th grade): "If I said that I have not looked at pornography, it would be a lie. My mom and dad have blockers on the Internet, but I know how to get around them. I wouldn't say that I'm addicted to porn; I just enjoy watching it when I am in the mood."
Girl (12th grade): "I am unsure of my sexuality. Sometimes I feel that I like guys and sometimes I feel that I like girls. I am attracted to both, and I just need to figure out which sex I like more."
Girl (9th grade): "My dad tells me every day that I am not pretty. He asks me why I can't be pretty like the other girls my age. He won't buy me any make-up because he says it won't help me look any better. He says it's a waste of money. I just want my father to like me."
Boy (12th grade): "My mom and I don't have any money. My dad is gone and my mom and I barely get by. We have had to move over 6 times in the past year, because we cannot pay our rent. It is very embarrassing for me because my friends are always asking me why I move."
Girl (10th grade): "I was raped over the summer two years ago and my dad didn't believe me. He said that I probably asked for it. To make matters worse, I became pregnant. Once my dad found out that the rape resulted in a pregnancy he just accused me of being promiscuous and told my family that I made up the rape story so that I wouldn't get in trouble. I had to change schools for a semester, and my father made me abort the baby."
Girl (10th grade): "I cut my thighs all the time. Every time that I feel pain or any time that I feel disappointment, I cut myself for punishment. I have been cutting myself ever since my mom and dad split up. I should have done more to keep them together. My dad is gone now and I never get to see him. It has been over three years since I have last seen him. I feel that my mom resents me but I don't know."
Girl (10th grade): "I have grown up in the church my whole life, and my dad is even a deacon in the church, but I hate church. I just go through the motions. I have to go to all the church functions and I have to put on my church face at school because everyone expects me to be that girl. Honestly, I have times where I can't stand God. I haven't prayed in over two years. I feel bad about it sometimes, but that is just how I feel right now. I'm tired of God being pushed on me from every direction."
Boy (12th grade): "I never feel that I am good enough. No matter what I do, I feel that I could do a better job. I want to succeed but feel that I can never please anyone. I just want to be successful, go to college, and follow in my sister's footsteps so that my folks will be happy with me."
Girl (12th grade): "My mom is a drug addict. My brother and I have to stay with my papa and meme sometimes. My mom never comes to any of my games and, when she is home, is just worried about getting her next fix. She can't hold down a job and is embarrassing. I put on my happy face at school, but really I want to just cry."
Girl (12th grade): "My uncle raped my sister and me when we were younger. We lived in Seattle and all of my other family lived here. We were raped over and over for a period of three years. Finally my aunt found out and got us help. My uncle is now in prison, and our family has no contact with my aunt. My father is in prison and my mom is dead. My sister and I now live with our aunt on the other side of our family. I struggle with trusting men. I actually hate men, all of them!"
Boy (9th grade): "My parents are divorced. It sucks...all my mom does is bad-mouth my dad and my dad just bad-mouths my mom. They don't even try."
Girl (10th grade): "My parents don't have any money. A lot of times, we don't even know where our next meal is going to come from. My dad can't even hold down a job. I guess that it's not all his fault though because he had some medical problems. My grandparents help out a lot but they can only do so much."
Girl (10th grade): "My dad just left mom for a younger girl. My sister and I caught him texting his girlfriend, and when he was sleeping, we stole his phone and showed my mom the texts. I don't get it. Why do men cheat? My mom cries a lot and now we live with my grandmother. I miss my dog the most. My dad won't let me bring my dog to my grandma's."
Boy (12th grade): "All I do is smoke weed. I love weed! My mom and dad know. They found out about four months ago. They were (angry) but I guess that they kind of got over it. My sister still gets me weed and we sometimes do it together. I don't think that it is bad. I just do it for fun and I don't feel that anyone is getting hurt from it. They actually say that weed is better for you than cigarettes. I don't know..."
These are the responses of kids in one small high school in another state, but it reflects life everywhere. We live in a world of hurting souls.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12).