Even “Good” Peer Pressure Can Be a Bad Thing

I’ve seen several blog posts recently about purity pledges and girls feeling pressured and stressed out about waiting until marriage to have sex. I never led a wild party lifestyle, but I wasn’t a virgin when I married, and trust me when I say, even if you’re not a Christian, it’s a lot less stressful to not have sex until you’re in a committed relationship. Not only do you not have the drama of the current hook-up, but you bring much less baggage into future relationships. Also, you knock your chances of having a “baby daddy” or “baby mama” way down.

But whether it’s about sex, the movies you watch, or the language you use, if you’re doing it (or not doing it) because someone told you “this is the way it should be”, then the results won’t be long-lasting, and it’s pointless. 

If a conference full of teens takes a purity pledge because they’ve been preached at all weekend, and they’re all fired up for Jesus, that’s all well and good, but what happens when they get home and they have no real relationship with God? They start wondering why they took the leap, or the purity ring becomes just another status symbol.

You can really apply this to any aspect of Christian life. If people are only doing something because they’ve been told to by their preacher, youth minister, or discipling partner, then it’s only going to cause stress and it will eventually fall apart. If, however, people are encouraged to build their own relationship with God, start with a firm foundation, and develop their own convictions by reading the Bible and praying, then they are much more likely to “do what they’re supposed to” (which isn’t always the same thing for every person).

So, don’t do something — even something good — just because others are doing it. Do it because you believe it’s the right thing to do. It will make your life so much easier.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. – Acts 17:11