Parties are one of the biggest sources of temptation for many students, whether they are parties where drinking is involved, parties where parents are not present, or parties put on by folks much older than the students themselves. The pull of popularity is strong while you’re in school. You want to be noticed by the upperclassmen or “cool kids” on campus, and oftentimes attending a certain party is one of the primary ways to achieve that.
But what is a Christian girl to do? For someone who wants to honor God with her life and avoid the appearance of evil, what are the right steps to take when invited to attend a questionable party?
3 Things to Consider
Ask yourself questions about the particular party you are considering attending, such as:
- What will the atmosphere be?
- Will I be heeding the admonition to flee temptation if I go to this party?
- Who will be there?
- Will this help me avoid the appearance of evil?
- Will parents be present?
- What kind of behavior will be deemed acceptable at this party?
- If those who know I am a believer saw me at this party, would it tarnish my witness in any way?
- Does Galatians 5:19-21a (“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar”) describe this party?
- Can I obey 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (“Stay away from every kind of evil.”) and still go to this party?
- How does this party stand up to the Ephesians 5:8-10a test (“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth.”)?
If, after asking yourself these questions, you are still unsure about attending the party, seek out wise counsel from mature Christians in your community. After all, “where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
If, upon seeking counsel and exercising wisdom, you decide that the party in question would not be a good one for you to attend, consider the various alternative options you have available, such as:
- Plan your own separate party.
- Pray for the kids attending the other party.
- Do something else that night (seek advice and ideas from trusted friends, family, and counselors; perhaps serve in your local church, host a fun girls night or Bible study, volunteer at the local homeless shelter, call someone you haven’t spoken with in a while and seek to be an encouragement, have a special night with the Lord in His Word and prayer, etc.)
Ask Yourself: What Would Jesus Do?
Though a popular phrase from the 90s that has now become a bit cliche, this is still an incredibly important question to ask. After all, how can we be Christ’s ambassadors unless we are considering and doing what He would do?. There are two important sides to this question which we have to consider:
- Christ dined with sinners.
On the one hand, Christ’s example throughout the gospels shows that He chose to spend time, commune, and dine with sinners; in spite of the anger of the religious leaders over His doing such a thing!. After all, “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12). Christ by no means shunned those within the community of His day who had a soiled reputation – they were the very ones who needed Him most.
- Christ never sinned, and He calls us to a life of holiness, as well.
However, just because Christ loved, ate with, and ministered to the sinners of the day does not mean that He partook in their sin. He entered into their spaces, but not into their actions or behavior. This means then that you will have to walk by the Spirit and follow His guidance when it comes to deciding which parties to attend and which to not.
Regardless of what your precise decision is, however, remember these two things: love God and love people. Don’t shun those who are in need of God, but don’t soil your own Christian witness in your efforts to reach them, either. Walk by the Spirit, and He will show you the way.