Should teens sign pledge forms?

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I remember when I was a teen, our Church had a special pledge signing one Sunday night.

Things were simpler then, we only pledged not to smoke and drink.

Fast forward to the 90s, when my teen daughter signed a pledge to save herself for marriage.

Fast forward again to 2008 and I have found a whole new pledge – one I wasn’t expecting.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this…

There is no official form to sign, but some of the youth in my daughter’s youth group have decided to take a pledge that they will not date until God lets them know that the “right” one (for marriage) has arrived.

My daughter is 17, she has already dated – she started dating at 16. Her boyfriend now (for the past year) lives in another state. She only sees him on holidays and a few weeks during the summer. His parents don’t allow him to date, so she is never alone with him.

However, she still doesn’t feel she should take this pledge. Apparently only 3 of the girls have not taken the vow, and she is feeling like they are judging her. I told her that “following the Leader” is not the way to please God and that she should continue to pray over it and then act accordingly. If they judge her for it, that is their problem.

Personally, I don’t like these church “pledges” because it seems to me that you are setting up a young person to feel like a failure if they “betray” the pledge before they reach adulthood.

Keep in mind too, that God has not asked our young people to sign “pledges.”

He simply expects them to keep the faith, walk the faith, and to grow in wisdom and in stature with God and man.

As Proverbs says… “Let no man despise thy youth…”

Why are we “humans” trying to lock our children into obedience by having them make pledges?

I have taught my children to think for themselves – not following any human’s teachings – only God’s. I am proud to say that they have been nothing but a blessing to me.

What are your thoughts on this?

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