21.8.06

The Separate Supper - Jesus Army Life, Day 388

On Sundays, after church, we've started having segregated supper scenes. The split is along gender lines, and, if you think that's strange, the lads love it! (I can't speak for the sisters because I haven't asked them yet.)

The youngsters weren't really getting the point about not flirting and entering into the strength of same-sex friendships, so we decided to push the issue. The suppers are fairly popular and we usually have a dozen or so guests back after the evening meeting. Upon arriving the men and women split off into separate lounges to eat and drink together and it's that simple! We still have meals together on other days of the week but this helps to make a point about the need for our relationships to be holy and wholesome.

But I was quite surprised that the younger ones would get into it so quickly. "Yeah, it's a time for men to be men and women to be women" summed up one disciple after I explained what we were doing. And that's just it really, we want both the young men and women to feel good about themselves without having to perform/feel uncomfortable around the opposite sex. We want them to grow into maturity without inhibition, knowing who they are for themselves, rather than defining themselves by how sexy they are. You can't reveal your true emotions, laugh without fear, test yourself against people of the same mindset, when you are feeling self-conscious about that girl you fancy.

Of course we want our youngsters to grow in respect for the opposite sex, and this really helps that. And naturally, you can't truly respect others intimately unless you respect yourself.