This afternoon, Jason reminded us that as humans, we are always looking for love. But in our culture today, how do we foster healthy relationships?
Jason began by noting the difference between true and false friendship. True friendship is when we will the good of another, when we hold the other accountable, when we affirm the other and are honest with them. False friendship is when bad company corrupts good morals, when people cause us to gossip, and people use us for their convenience.
We were given the chance to examine the friendships in our own lives and whether or not they lift us up or drag us down. As we looked at those friendships, it was easy to see that over time as we have grown closer to people, we have become more like them. Maybe you became friends with someone based on similar interests, maybe you go to the same school or church, etc. But Jason told us that in authentic friendships, when we become closer to someone, we should be becoming more like ourselves. Real friendships should not require us to change for another. Jason challenged us, instead of saying something negative and then say we’re joking, let’s instead say something positive and then say we’re serious. Because as humans, we long for friendships that are genuine and true.
In order to have a healthy relationship, we first need to begin with the season of friendship. Jason reminded us that it’s good to hold back a little. He used the analogy of a kite – when you want it to go up in the air, you hold back the string a bit so that it can rise. We don’t want to do something called “missionary dating” – where you date someone in the hopes that you will be able to change or fix them because you see potential in them. You don’t want to date someone so you can change them, you want to date them hoping that they will stay who they are for good. In summary, “don’t date the project, date the person.”
Jason shared with us something that a priest once told him. This priest said that the best vocation preparation is to “love the family that God has given to you. The Church calls your family the school of love. If you can love your family you can love anyone.” If you can genuinely say, “I love you, I forgive you, and I am sorry”, you will have a great vocation someday, no matter what the Lord asks of you. God has chosen your family for you so that you can reveal His love to them.
We ended with a Q&A where Jason answered some questions the teens had about relationships. Take a listen to the talk and reflect on the friendships and relationships you have going on in your life right now.
“The saint is not the one that does not have a messy life. The saint is the one that gives his life to Jesus Christ, regardless of their past.”