As a high school teacher, I spend hours of my week interacting with teenagers and I see so much potential, life, and possibilities in each young soul that walks through my door. So much so that my heart breaks for the many who have chosen to give away so much of themselves to their boyfriends/girlfriends. They miss the truth that they are very valuable… so valuable the one they give themselves to should care for them enough to want marriage and commitment first. Is this idea contrary to our culture? ABSOLUTELY! Our culture specializes in devaluing people. How? Let me just list a few… casual sex, commercials that tell us we are not beautiful unless we look a certain way, abortions so we don’t have to care for the young, euthanasia options so we don’t have to care for the old. The worst part is that so many people young and old buy into the lies that they are not beautiful, valuable, or lovable. O, how I wish I could help people see they shouldn’t sell themselves short!
For a biblical example of someone not valuing what they had, we can look at Esau. Born just moments before his twin Jacob, Esau was Isaac’s firstborn. As such, he stood in line to be the head of the family after his father’s eventual death. He was in line to be part of the Edenic promise that Adam’s line would be a Satan-bruiser. And he stood in line as firstborn to be in the direct line of Abraham through which God would bless all peoples of the earth. His birthright as firstborn was quite valuable! Yet he gave it away for a bowl of soup.
A what, you ask? Yes, a bowl of soup!! Jacob has some stew cooked and Esau came in famished and asked for food. Jacob took advantage of the situation and told Esau he could trade his birthright for a bowl. Jacob knew the value of the firstborn positon… Esau apparently didn’t or didn’t care.
Too many of our teens willingly trade in their bodies, their morality and their futures for what? Sex without love? Popularity that will fade? Success that is short lived? If those same teens knew of Esau’s story, they would probably laugh at him or call him an idiot… yet they go on to make similar trades with their valuables.
Before closing, what about us as adults? Let’s take a moment and do some self-reflection. Are we trading in things of true value for the temporary? Do we neglect our families to get ahead at work? Do we forsake the value of a committed spouse for office flings? Do we exchange integrity with our finances to get a little more back on taxes? Are we trading what is valuable for a poor substitute? If so, we are making an unfair trade for we are giving up something of greater value than we are getting in return.
God, help me to see what is of true value in my life. My relationship with you, my family, my integrity. Help me to hold on to them dearly. I don’t want to make an unfair trade like Esau did. Open my eyes… Amen