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A Rock and a Hard Place: Teens and Peer Pressure

No matter your age, pressure to conform is a factor in everyone’s life.  We want to fit in, but God’s Word calls us to stand out, in a good way, but for teens, standing out can be the last thing they want to do.  As our children grow into young adults, the pressure only increases.  Suddenly, there are issues facing them they may not be ready to address.

The teen years are usually when dating begins, and along with that comes additional pressure to have a physical relationship.  This often comes before young adults are ready to deal with the emotional issues that come along with sexual intimacy, not to mention pregnancy or other problems.

Unfortunately, in the times we live in, it seems that social boundaries have all but disappeared.  They certainly have moved a great deal.  Where once it would be shocking to hear of teenagers having a physical relationship within the context of dating now seems to not only be expected, but accepted as normal.  Things have gone in the opposite direction.  If teens within a dating relationship of some length are not having sex, it seems unusual.  It is not that teens do not believe that sex should be within the context of a love relationship, it is the illusion that the person they are with is the one.  The problem lies when the relationship falls apart, in some cases.  Once the barrier of virginity is gone, it opens the way for intimacy in subsequent relationships without the hesitancy.

The pressure to conform is intense sometimes.  But what about the Christian teen?  Peer pressure is still intense, but with the Word of God in hand, the Christian teen has more tools in their life toolbox to avoid mistakes that, once made, cannot be taken back.  God has made a way for us to escape temptation, but it takes persistence and commitment.  If we arm ourselves with God’s laws, along with common sense, we can be victorious.

Teens in every situation (adults as well) need to set boundaries.  With any temptation we must know our limitations.  Sexual situations can get out of hand quickly.  Things that may seem extreme to some, can be the best protection.  Each one must decide for himself.  Will you agree to not be alone where temptation can flourish?  Will you limit your physical contact to kissing, or just hand holding?  Will there be some restrictions on where you will go, or wear?

Look to the Lord for help; read the Word, and know your limitations.  Peer pressure does not have to be fatal, but you must be ready.

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