A lot of young people today shy away from dating or committing to 'go out' with a single person. There is a new term that's developed over the last five years that has replaced boyfriend and girlfriend, it's "friends with benefits." If you're not sure what a friend with benefit is, it's a pretty easy formula:
Friends with Benefits = friend + sex (or messing around) - commitment
Here is a quote from a 16 year old that describes this idea and mindset well, "Being in a real relationship just complicates everything. You feel obligated to be all, like, couply. And that gets really boring after a while. When you're friends with benefits, you go over, hook up, then play video games or something. It rocks.''
If you're a parent or you interact with teenagers then you need to understand and be aware of this. This is how young people are thinking today.
Where did they learn to think and view relationships this way? From us adults. They don't have to look very far to find adults in their own lives that are 'messing around', having affairs, hooking up with people outside of marriage and doing it with no commitment. This is something we taught them.
It's also the way most of us view our relationship with God. Here is the formula for the typical Christian:
Friend of God with Benefits = friend + blessing + answered prayer - commitment - suffering - sacrifice
We want to be close to God, to know Him, to have His blessing on our life, to have Him answer our prayers while not committing our life to Him, not suffering or sacrificing anything He might ask us to give up. We want all the benefits on our terms. No wonder young people do the exact same thing in their own relationships.
Life for God is costly. It requires we give up our old life to discover His new life for us. Jesus paid His life on our behalf. Am I willing to pay anything? Many Christians today are not experiencing all God has for them because they are unwilling to make the commitment and cost God asks of us. Here is the formula for a life fully lived with God:
Life Fully Committed to God = God's love + fully alive + eternity with God + sacrifice + suffering + commitment
Is God your friend with benefit or have you fully committed?