The Teenage Q & A BookThe Teenage Q & A Book
Josh McDowell, Bill Jones
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Honest, frank and straight to the point, youth experts Josh McDowell and Bill Jones answer over 230 questions from teens on topics of interest like parents, self-image, peer pressure, dating and sex. From "How can I get along with my parents?" to "How can I resist drugs when all my friends do it?" to "How far can I go physically before it's wrong?" their answers are candid, straight to the point and most importantly: biblical!

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Sample Questions and Answers from the Chapter Entitled "PEER PRESSURE"

Q. What is peer pressure?

A. School starts in about ten minutes, so you figure it's about time to roll out of bed and get ready. You look in your closet and pull out a black shirt, black pants and a black belt, black socks and black shoes. You hurry into the bathroom where you put two cans of mousse into your hair, then part it just above your left ear and brush it all over to the other side of your head. You take one last glance in the mirror. Perfect. As your race through the kitchen you bump into Mom. She takes one look at you and scrams. Near hysteria, she raves about the way you look.

Undisturbed (you've been through this so many times before) you tell her, "But Mom, this is how all my friends dress." As if that were the ultimate answer to all mankind's questions.

As you jump in the car you ask yourself,

"Why am I dressed this way? It's the dumbest looking outfit I've ever worn!"

Why do you wear it? Peer Pressure. Peer Pressure is that powerful influence your friends have over you that dictates the clothes you wear, the words you use, the people you associate with, the places you go and the attitude you have. It is the pressure you experience to conform to the standards of your friends even if you don't want to. It can be either good or bad, depending on where your friends are coming from.

In the 1960s the most powerful influence in a teenager's life was his parents, followed by teachers and then his peers. But in the 1980s peer pressure ranked first, followed by parents and then the media (adapted from Teenage Morality Study, p. 25, Josh McDowell Ministry).

Q. My girlfriends at school keep making fun of me because I'm still a virgin. What can I do?

A. What would you guess it the number one pressure on a girl to become sexually active? If you guessed guys, you're wrong. The greatest pressure often comes from her own girlfriends. If you find yourself in a situation like this, remember there are some things that you can give away only once. And your virginity is one of them. Don't sacrifice, like so many women do, the things that are eternal on the alter of the immediate. That is, don't give away something you can never give away again to some guy (who buys you a lousy hamburger and takes you to see a movie you have already seen before), just because your girlfriends are pressuring you. The next time they begin to hassle you, you might want to tell them what one young lady told her friends. "In five minutes, I can become like you. But try as hard as your can, you can never again become like me."

Q. My boyfriend keeps telling me if I loved him, I would let him. I don't know if I can resist much longer. What should I do?

A. When the Bible talks about love, the first characteristic it mentions is patience. First Corinthians 13:4 says, "Love is patient." Real love can always wait to give. Lust, however, is different. Whereas love can always wait to give it, lust can never wait to get it. It sounds like your boyfriend has confused lust for love. He is pressuring you to get something that if he really loved you, he would wait for.

You don't have to put up with the pressure. Tell him that if he really loved you, he would wait. That puts the pressure back on him where it belongs.

Q. My boyfriend keeps telling me to trust him. Should I?

A. Guys have had a proverb that goes back to the beginning of time. "Tell a girl what she wants to hear and you have what you want to have." Guys know that saying the right words, like "I love you," "You are the only one I have ever really cared for," or "You're the most beautiful girl in the whole world," can get a girl's emotions going crazy. You hear those words and get attacked by a severe case of the "fuzzy-wuzzies." Then while you're vulnerable, he makes his moves.

If your boyfriend is constantly having to convince you that he is trustworthy, chances are, he isn't. Be careful of dropping your guard even for a moment, regardless of what someone says. What's most important is how he acts, not what he says. When it comes to trust, actions speak much louder than words.

Q. My friends tell me if I want to be popular, I need to drink. Is that true?

A. Here's a radical statement. Popularity isn't everything. Drinking may make you popular with your friends now. But what if they next decide that popping a few pills is what it takes to be popular? Is it worth it? At some point you have to draw a line that you refuse to cross. Why not draw that line now? It may make you unpopular for a while with the group you hang around with now. The Bible says that God is constantly looking for guys and gals who are completely sold out to Him. Second Chronicles 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth the He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." When He finds a person like that He backs him up 100 percent.

In the long run, you will find that it is better to stick to your convictions and be unpopular than to compromise your convictions and be popular. Your friends may reject you at first. But that's okay. If they do, they weren't the greatest of friends to begin with.

Q. Why are the fun things always wrong?

A. God has placed you on planet Earth and has released you to have a great time. He wants you to experience life to its fullest. That's why He's made certain things off limits. He knows not everything is good for you. He knows there are certain play areas where you can get killed.

God isn't down on your fun. Not at all. He wants you to have fun and not regret it. God has placed limits to protect you. He loves you and doesn't want to scrape you up off the pavement somewhere.