Tag Archives: God

Why Being “Just Friends” is Stupid

No, you didn’t read that wrong.  I know, I know—last week, I wrote a post called “Satisfying the Urge for Teen Romance”.  In that post, I talked about how dating in high school is overrated, and in a lot of cases, not smart.  I accepted the fact that we’re made for love and that, as teenagers, our bodies and our God-given desires urge us to love.  Lastly, I stated that all of our desires could be fulfilled if we placed them in Jesus, and especially if we directed our desires for love towards Jesus.

‘Cause He’s the bomb.


TOB friends

MOVING ON…

So why am I saying being “just friends” is stupid?  (And yes, I’m talking about being “just friends” with members of the opposite sex that I like.)  Why would I think being “just friends” is dumb, when that seems like the reasonable alternative to dating in high school?

I’m suggesting this idea to all of my fellow teenagers.  Perhaps it’s just a suggestion, but try to have an open mind.

Does it ever bother you that whenever people see a boy and a girl in a close friendship, they immediately think the boy and girl are in love?  Or that they will fall in love?  Or do you find it annoying that in so many movies and books, the two lead characters, one a guy and the other a girl, start out as “just friends”, but then they fall in love in the end?

Does all friendship between a guy and a girl have to end in romance?

Now don’t get me wrong: I understand quite clearly where our culture is coming from.  Naturally, if you’re close friends with someone, and you slowly grow closer as time goes on, OF COURSE you might develop feelings for each other.  That’s natural.  That’s human.  Guys will be attracted to girls no matter what their relationship, and vice versa!

But not all friendship between a teenage guy and a teenage girl needs to end in romance.  Nor is being “just friends” the correct alternative.

Where am I going with this????

You want to know why being “just friends” is stupid?  Here’s why: Why is the word “just” in there?  

Uh-huh, that’s why.

We use the word “just” in that situation to describe that there’s nothing more to our relationship—that the current state of our relationship lacks the intensity or closeness that people initially believe it has.  But if we always view our friendships with members of the opposite sex in that way, OF COURSE it will seem lame.  We won’t ever be satisfied with being “just friends”…because, well, we’re “just” friends.  

This perfectly relates to my last post concerning the desire to date in high school.  There’s nothing wrong with that desire in the first place…but if we make the alternative—healthy, close friendships—seem unappealing, then we’re always going to want to date.  We’re going to forget willing that dating may not be best for us, or best for the person that we claim to love.  We’re going to go with what seems more exciting…and maybe dating is.  But that doesn’t mean it’s what is best.  Maybe loving the person we want to date will mean being just friends with them.

But not “just friends”.  Friends.

Friendship is awesome.  Stop minimizing how beautiful it is.  In fact, in most cases, I think friendship in high school will help you to build a better relationship with anybody.  If you like a girl or a guy, I’d be willing to bet that becoming friends first, or deepening your current friendship, will help you to form a closer, healthier relationship than if you’d begun dating.

With friendship, you don’t need to be worried about being perfect around the person you like.  You don’t need to worry about cheating on each other.  You don’t need to be tied down by your relationship.  I’m not encouraging infidelity in your friendship.  But believe me (and I know that you know what I’m talking about), there’s just a different feel to being close friends as opposed to dating.  There’s more freedom, there’s more honesty, there’s less fear, less drama, less stress.

Just be happy.  Be free.  Grow together.  Grow closer.  Love each other—definitely do that—whether you’re romantically interested in each other or not.  And do what’s best for each other.  Teach each other how to grow.  Learn to be honest.  Learn to be faithful.  Learn to put others first.

Don’t be “just friends”.  Be friends.

anime friendship

Because being friends is awesome.


What do you think?

 

In case any of y’all forgot…

I’m so thankful for all the support my fellow bloggers/readers have shown.  Check out what they’ve been saying about my first book!

001.001

“This is a well-paced story with compelling main characters and plenty of action.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“Lots of action and interesting philosophy on good versus evil, with a nice set of mysteries. The battle scenes are well-described., and am looking forward to further stories.” (Author Christy Nicholas, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“This is a great fast-paced, action-packed adventure story. I kinda wish the fight with the dragon lasted a little longer though.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“After I read the prologue on the author’s blog, I knew I had to read the rest of the book, so as soon as I heard that it was published, I got it. I was not disappointed.

John Hedekira and Faith Pinck are both realistic characters with depth, and the story is fast-paced and exciting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a action-packed adventure story. I can’t wait to read the next one!” (Fan, five star review) (Smashwords.com)

This is an intense action/fiction. The book is well written. The characters, landscape, and especially fight scenes are artfully described by the author. The plot is extremely fast-paced. This was hard to get used to at first, but I have a feeling that the length of the whole series will make up for any trace of a rushed plot in each volume. Despite the fast-pace of the story, the author seems very determined to slowly develop his characters, which, coupled with the awesome action really makes for a good story. I would recommend this short novel to anyone, especially people who enjoy fantasy, anime, or manga.” (Fan, four star review) (Amazon.com)

“This book was one of the best books I ever read! Everything was clear and easy to read. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves action and adventure.” (Fan, five star review) (Amazon.com)

Click here to read a book review of Volume 1 at Thoughts and Theories

Interested in downloading a copy?  Volume 1 is free!  Feel free to click the picture of Volume 1 in the sidebar or just click here.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!


Stay awesome!

Dom

TGL Arc 1 Opening/Prologue

001.001

(In case you missed it, here’s the prologue for Volume 1!  I will be releasing episodes shortly.  If you’re interested in getting a head start on the normal “showtimes”, click here!)

“He” has always existed.

Or at least that’s what the stories say.  I’ve never found “him” in all my childhood years.  I’m not so sure if I believe in “him” anymore.

In a small house near the edge of a wood, looking out into a grassy plain, lives a humble family; me, my sister, and my brother, both of which are younger than me.  I love them; I just don’t know them.  We have never been close, not because we don’t get along, but because we are often separated.  For years, ever since our parents disappeared, I have spent my time scouring the woods every day, searching for food, gathering firewood, doing everything I can to keep them alive.  I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, but I care for them.

Sometimes, I feel like they don’t know that they’re dying, that without the meager care I give them, things would grow worse.  It’s hard to imagine worse.  With only me to provide for them, I don’t know how else they would survive.

But “he” has always existed.  My parents used to tell me of “him”.  They said “he” was a great warrior—a wielder of strange, mystical powers.  His sword flashed quicker than lightning, they told me, and his strength was mightier than a giant’s, and his endurance could not be matched.  And they said that, in difficult times, “he” would keep me going.  “He” would help me fight through my trials.  “He” aided all.  “He” was a lender of inner, mystical strength.

That’s what my parents said.  That was before they disappeared.  I wish I knew more about who “he” was.  But I don’t.  As the days go by, I want to travel the large, beautiful forests and the wide, windy plains, and look for “him”.  I could use “his” help.  But I can’t—I can’t go in search of “him”.  My brother and sister wouldn’t be able to survive on their own.

My parents always said that there was Evil in these lands.  It came from afar, not from the Golden Lands, but elsewhere.  They said that it would find us; all of us.  We had to be careful, they would say—there was evil in all of us.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen “him”.   Maybe I can’t see “him” because of the Evil.  Or maybe not seeing “him” is the Evil.

But then it came.  Like my parents said, Evil would find us.  It only seeks to grow, they said.  The evil inside of us, it beckons to more evil.  If we do not defeat the evil inside us, then we might as well let Evil walk right through our door.  If we do not cast out darkness, then it will only grow inside of us.  And once it does that, it will consume those around us.

The day I forgot this advice will be the day I will never forget.

Chains

Rukia sad pic

The chain is cold around her throat.  It is tight and cruel, stubborn and stiff.  She’s tried to pull it off; she’s tried wrenching it from her skin.  But it won’t budge.  She’s trapped.

She knows crying is useless.  But as she lowers her soft, once patient eyes to the chain, she feels like giving up.  And it just happens; her glistening, gentle tears drop dully against the chain around her throat.

She is alone with the chain.  No one else can see it.  No one else knows what she’s going through.  She is alone.  Cold steel with an iron grip is not a companion.  It is her against the chain.

….

But then she raises her head.  The breeze picking up around her, causing her smooth black hair to rustle, she suddenly feels like she understands something.  And for a moment, her tears stop falling.

She realizes we’re chained by so many things.  Things that we can’t even control.  The chains come from the outside…and the inside.  The worst part is, we aren’t even strong enough to break the chains.  And, most of the time, we’re the ones that chain ourselves.

It’s a struggle.  It’s her struggle.  It’s everyone’s struggle.

That’s when she realizes that we need help.  We need to help each other break our chains.

But she’s alone.  In a way, we’re all alone.  Even when we’re with other people.

So what can she do?  Who will break her chain?  Who will shatter her bonds?  Who will set her free?  Does anyone have the power to do this?

If only she realized.  If only she realized that she’s already been set free.  Her chains have already been broken.  Gripped with such a powerful embrace, the chains couldn’t hold on.  They shattered.  They fell to the ground.  And she was set free.

There’s a scar, yes.  But she shouldn’t let this hold her down.  She shouldn’t let the scar hold her back.

She needs to realize that the struggle is real.  But she’s not alone.  The chains have been broken.  She’s been set free.  And the very hand that broke her chains will also wipe her tears away…

…and hold her…

…until she’s found that place where tears are no more.


“But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life.”-Romans 6:22

I have nothing more to say.

Stay awesome!

Dom (Aul)

 

 

Satisfying the Urge for Teen Romance

Friend

Everyone wants romance.  Everyone wants love.  It’s something so natural, something so human to want these things.  Our desires and our bodies start telling us this since the time we’re eleven, twelve, thirteen.  It’s not a bad thing.  It never has been.

As a Christian, I’m well aware that God created the human body, along with all of the natural and even good desires that our bodies give to us.  In his Theology of the Body, Pope Saint John Paul II described, in a most profound and beautiful way, how the bodies of men and women reflect who they are to themselves, and who they are to each other.  Most importantly, our bodies have “sacramentality”: we have the ability to become a living, visible sign of what is invisible (e.i. we reveal God to ourselves and each other through our bodies, which were made in His image and likeness).

If God is Love, as St. John tells us, and we were made in God’s image and likeness, then we were made in the image and likeness of Love (I believe Christopher West said that).

Now plug all of that into being a teen guy.  I’m made for love.  My body (to a greater degree than a girl’s) is constantly reminding me of the fact that I’m made to love.  And that’s good.  It’s a part of who I am.  God designed me that way.

However, I don’t believe that just because I have these God-given desires, I should fulfill them in the way I most immediately contrive them.  Have I ever had a natural, but pure desire to just walk up and kiss a girl?  Yes, I have.  Have I ever wanted to have sex with a girl? Yes, I have.  Was I just being dirty and lustful? Nope, just heterosexual and masculine.  Have I ever wanted to date a girl? Absolutely.  Am I just a bored teenager? Sorta.  But there’s more to it than that.

Today’s culture does place a lot of pressure on teens.   We are pressured to date.   We are pressured to act like the characters we see in TV shows, movies, etc.  Basically, if you sincerely look at a high school dating relationship, you actually just see two kids trying to act like adults.  And I understand that; I understand where they’re coming from.  They have “adult feelings”.  But they’re not adults.  They’re just kids.  There’s a part of me that wants to jump into dating too.  It’s something extremely exciting.

But especially for me, as a home-schooler, it’s not exactly a “pressure” feeling.  I personally don’t feel pressured to date, and I believe that for most high schoolers, it’s the same way.  Maybe there’s a little bit of pressure.  But it’s more the fact that everyone is dating, the fact that it’s just so natural and normal to date at a young age.  That’s the problem.

So why not?  Why not date?  I’m already aware of how I should keep my desires in check.  I “Socrates-know-myself”.   So why not just date and take it slow?

I am not good enough to date.  I am not pure enough to give myself to a girl, even if we are just “taking it slow”.  And I probably wouldn’t be able to control my desires enough to take it slow.  I’m not trying to condemn any of the teens out there that are dating, but I’d be willing to guess that most teens shouldn’t be dating for these same reasons.

So what’s the answer?  Repression?  Just bottle up your desires?

No.  Of course not.

First of all, meet chastity: chastity is the virtue by which we exercise self control and make sacrifices for the good of the person that we love.  Basically, chastity and pulling out selfishness by the root and focusing all our attention on the ultimate, not the immediate, happiness of the person that we claim to love.  And it’s loving someone as a person, not as an object.  It’s understanding that that person has had a past, that they’re right in front of us in the present, and that they will have a future based upon how we treat them.  Chastity is “placing yourself under the demands of real love” (Jason Evert).  Now be honest with yourself: chastity is an awesome virtue.

But there’s another thing that we should be focusing on.  Something, or Someone, that deserves our love, all of our desires, right here, right now.  He’s also the Person that will help us to become the master of our God-given desires so that we sinful, little humans, will actually be able to love one another in the way that He designed.

Jesus is amazing.  Don’t roll your eyes just yet.  I mean He’s literally amazing.  He’s been waiting for you since the eternity before you were born.  He’s been with you since you came into existence.  And He wants to be with you for every second of your life both now and forever.  He’s that Friend that walks with you, that listens to you, that hears you, that lifts you up, that knows you, that understands you, and that wants you more than you could possibly ever know.

Jesus can satisfy that urge for a teen romance.  There’s nothing wrong with that urge to begin with.  But, if we’re honest with ourselves, the chaste decision, the decision that places us under the demands of real love, would be the decision to wait to date.  Because we’re not good enough yet.  We’re not strong enough yet.  We’re not in control yet.  We’d end up hurting the people that we’re actually trying to love.  We’d “miss the mark” (which, by the way, is another definition for sin).

Jesus can take all of those God-given desires and order them.  He can make it so that our desires fit our place in life.  I’ll be honest; I’m not old enough to date.  I don’t have a job.  I don’t have a car.  I don’t have enough time.  I’m a student.  I’m young.  I’m dumb.  And I’m selfish.  I still have pure desires from time to time to give of myself to girls and to date them.  But right now, the Person who can satisfy me, and will always be able to no matter where I am right now, is Jesus.

Recently, I was spending some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament (I’m a Catholic, so I believe that Jesus is literally right there in front of me).  And I felt that He gave me this piece of advice, and so I wrote it down.  I feel like me reasons for how Jesus can satisfy the urge for a teen romance haven’t been so convincing thus far.  Maybe you really just need to try it in order to understand it.  But here’s what I feel like Jesus was telling me to understand:

There was never meant to be just one. There was always meant to be Two. It will always be you and Him. It always has been. Whether it’s Him through another person, this will never change. It is you and Him, walking this path of life, walking alone by the sea, the whole world before you. And you are content. Because He is your friend. And you have “found the one that you love”. You are His, and He is yours.

I’m just a kid.  I’ve got to focus on being what I am in life.  And I am a kid.  We might feel like we should be in a relationship because everyone else is, or our desires tell us to.  But no matter where we are, we are always supposed to be in a deep, profound relationship with God.  So, because of where I am in life, I can devote myself entirely to God.  It’s not like Jesus is the “fall back plan”.  “Oh well, I can’t date, so I guess I should just focus on Jesus.”  It doesn’t work that way.  Jesus isn’t the “fall back plan”.  He is and always will be THE plan.  And He wants me right now.

“For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never about you and them [other people] anyway.” -Mother Teresa

See that picture at the top of this post?  That’s you and Jesus.  It always has been.  It always will be, whether you like it or not.  Whether you believe it or not.  Now, at some point in your life, you might be walking with Jesus, and He’ll be at your side through another person.  And you’ll love Him through that other person.  That’s what dating and marriage should be like (I mean, all relationships too.  But especially dating and marriage).  But either way, all of this, everything, is about you and Him.

So, if you’re like me, why don’t you give yourself to Him right now?  Why don’t you let Him purify your desires so that you can actually love the person you want to date?  Why don’t you love the Person that has always loved you, that will always want you?

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”


Well, what do you guys think?  I apologize if some of my explanations were incomplete.  If you have any questions, or you think I was wrong about something, please comment.

Stay awesome!

Dom

 

TGL Arc 1 Opening/Prologue

001.001

“He” has always existed.

Or at least that’s what the stories say.  I’ve never found “him” in all my childhood years.  I’m not so sure if I believe in “him” anymore.

In a small house near the edge of a wood, looking out into a grassy plain, lives a humble family; me, my sister, and my brother, both of which are younger than me.  I love them; I just don’t know them.  We have never been close, not because we don’t get along, but because we are often separated.  For years, ever since our parents disappeared, I have spent my time scouring the woods every day, searching for food, gathering firewood, doing everything I can to keep them alive.  I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, but I care for them.

Sometimes, I feel like they don’t know that they’re dying, that without the meager care I give them, things would grow worse.  It’s hard to imagine worse.  With only me to provide for them, I don’t know how else they would survive.

But “he” has always existed.  My parents used to tell me of “him”.  They said “he” was a great warrior—a wielder of strange, mystical powers.  His sword flashed quicker than lightning, they told me, and his strength was mightier than a giant’s, and his endurance could not be matched.  And they said that, in difficult times, “he” would keep me going.  “He” would help me fight through my trials.  “He” aided all.  “He” was a lender of inner, mystical strength.

That’s what my parents said.  That was before they disappeared.  I wish I knew more about who “he” was.  But I don’t.  As the days go by, I want to travel the large, beautiful forests and the wide, windy plains, and look for “him”.  I could use “his” help.  But I can’t—I can’t go in search of “him”.  My brother and sister wouldn’t be able to survive on their own.

My parents always said that there was Evil in these lands.  It came from afar, not from the Golden Lands, but elsewhere.  They said that it would find us; all of us.  We had to be careful, they would say—there was evil in all of us.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen “him”.   Maybe I can’t see “him” because of the Evil.  Or maybe not seeing “him” is the Evil.

But then it came.  Like my parents said, Evil would find us.  It only seeks to grow, they said.  The evil inside of us, it beckons to more evil.  If we do not defeat the evil inside us, then we might as well let Evil walk right through our door.  If we do not cast out darkness, then it will only grow inside of us.  And once it does that, it will consume those around us.

The day I forgot this advice will be the day I will never forget.

My Evil Plan….*Maniacal laughter*

just as planned

Are you ready for it?

I’ve been working out just HOW I’m going to present to you each of my books.  I want everyone to be able to read my books on my blog for the sake of convenience.  But how should I go about it?

I decided that I would do so in the form of “episodes”.  Basically, I’d convert every chapter into an individual episode, and then you could go through my book like you would a TV series.

Only I’m going to take that a step further….*evil grin*

Every week, I’ll post an episode from Volume 1.  Now, all of Volume 1’s episodes can already be found here, with a complete table of contents and a description of each episode (you should REALLY check it out.  I worked very hard on that page!).  But I perfectly understand if you’d rather read the episodes in your Reader.  What’s more, that’s just a better way to remind you that the episodes are there.

So I’ll be posting each episode of Volume 1, one after another each week.  When I’ve posted every episode from Volume 1, I will loop back around and go through Volume 1 again.  In other words, there will be re-runs of Volume 1, leading up to the beginning of Volume 2.  I’ll do the same thing with Volume 2, and etc.

I think you get the picture.  My book series is going to run exactly like a television series.  There will be re-runs in case you missed anything, and there might be a slight pause in between books (or seasons).  

I hope you like this idea…and I hope it works!

Stay awesome!

Dominic (Aul)