The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm 17 and in stage 5.1, but I haven't been getting much exercise over the past couple of years. I've just finished high school, and I have a lot more free time to get into an exercise routine to develop muscles. I'm worried that my bones are brittle from not moving much the past couple of years, and that they'd break easily if I played contact sports or lifted weights that were too heavy. Is this a realistic worry?

Also, apparently my chin should be squarer than as a child. But I can't really see it myself. That could be from the slightly pudgy cheeks I get from being unfit, but it isn't as prominent as on my friends who are also 17 turning 18.

Thirdly, I don't feel very masculine at the moment. It's mainly to do with my unfit body image, but also the way I want to talk sometimes seems a bit too animated and lively, with varied tones when speaking, which is what I associate with feminine behavior. Do I need to put the monotone filter on when talking to other dudes?

Lastly (sorry about all the questions, haha) when I make out with my girlfriend, I instantly get aroused and get an erection, which is sort of annoying. But when we just kiss normally or 'peck' I don't really get butterflies. Does this mean our relationship is based on lust? Because I really really like her, and even want to say I love her (but I'm only 17 so what do I know right?) but the butterflies don't happen all the time. Is this because I unfortunately looked at pornography sometimes? Not often at all, but I would be tempted about twice a month. Thanks for your help!


Answer

There would be more concern about straining a muscle than breaking a bone at your age. Most things require building up to a level of competency, and exercise is no different. But one thing is certain, if you don't do something, you won't improve. Either start an exercise routine, start a sport you like that includes training, or join a gym where a trainer can get you started. You'll probably be surprised how quickly you improve.

Not everyone has a distinctive squared chin, but compare a picture from your childhood to a current picture and you'll likely see a distinct difference in your chin.

Masculinity is not defined by other people's opinions. You are male; therefore, you are masculine. Everyone is different and being animated in your speech is a good thing -- you probably would make a good teacher.

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (I Corinthians 13:4-8).

What people typically call "love" has really nothing to do with love. Notice that there is nothing about butterflies or arousal in this description of love. It is the characteristics that Paul lists that you should be looking for in a relationship.

The problem is that relationships can easily get side-tracked into lust because of the desires of our bodies. I don't know what you count as "making out" since terminology has been getting very loose of late, but your body's response says that what you are doing makes it think you are getting ready to have sex. That is a danger because you are not committed to each other in marriage. When your body responds in this way, you need to back off because you are going to far too fast. "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1). By that Paul is talking about sexual touching. It isn't proper to arouse physical passion in each other when you are not married. This doesn't mean the passion won't be there, but you have to maintain control over yourselves.

Pornography is also a danger, and a sin, because it alters your view of women and sex. Pornography depicts sex as self-serving and women as mainly objects to have sex with. That isn't how you build a relationship. I would like you to read several articles about the dangers of pornography and look up the Bible passages that are mentioned: