08 April 2013

Fancy Dress Month - Going to The Prom? part 2

My last blog entry opened up the idea that going to the local prom (high school or secondary school fancy dress dance and banquet) is not the best choice for an old fashioned Christian young person. And if there is an alternative offered for a fancy dress banquet, alternatives also abound for modest fancy dresses.

Today's entry is simply a gathering of other writing on the subject of The Prom and the thoughts of those who are living their lives for Christ in relation to said Prom. For me personally, I saw no real reason to attend The Prom when I was in high school, other than that a Cute Boy asked me to go with him when I was only in 10th grade. I remember having to stop and reconsider going for a moment, though today, I cannot remember why I wanted to go to The Prom, except that I was so elated at being asked by this older boy! The next two years went by, and I had no trouble explaining to my friends that I just didn't want to go. Since they knew that I never attended any of the school dances either, there wasn't any conversation about it that I remember now. I don't regret not going, and as I remember, I did actually "stay home and wash my hair," as I told a few friends that I would do. I'm not sure that I would have attended a "Christian Prom Alternative" if there had been one, given the idea that I still would have had to spend money to buy a fancy dress and tickets, etc. I have always been rather a "hippie" or "flower child" born out of due season, and not really good at understanding these kind of events. More on that topic in a future post, perhaps.

1. "A Teenager's Answer To "Shall I Go To The Prom?", by Sherry Burgess, found in Truth Magazine. This article is the one mentioned in my last post's link, and was written by a young woman back in the 1980's. Things have not changed much, really. In this article, she shares all of the steps that she went to as she made her decision not to attend The Prom. She also wrote how she felt sad when at first she decided against going, but then, "In my prayer that night, I thanked the Lord for giving me the strength to say "no" . . . ."  Sherry is now happily married and has two wonderful children in college and one in high school, and her Christian life has been full of the wonder and magic that can never be found in a dance-and-banquet.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18-A
Purchase this plaque from Lasting Reminders.com

2. "Planning for a Pure Prom Night", By Erin Davis, found in Lies Young Women Believe. This article was written last year, and though she applauds girls who have decided to "swim upstream" and not attend, she writes this article for those who have decided that "It is possible to attend prom with your purity, modesty, and faith still intact." Is it? She lists 10 things that a young woman can do to help her to maintain her purity and still attend The Prom. As we cannot judge others' hearts or intents, we must therefore pray for those who choose to attend and try make a difference at the same time.
Ephesians 5:3 art from Wardrobe of Grace

3. "But It's The Prom!", by Steve Higginbothem, at PreachingHelp.org. This article talks about that difference between "dancing" and "Dancing" ("Not all dancing involves indecent dress, unchaste contact, or illicit movements. . . . The kind of dancing that God’s word condemns is the kind of dancing that stirs one to have impure thoughts, and act in impure ways."), and also lists several things that are associated with Prom in the area where he writes. The big question: "Do we really think that such actions will simply be pardoned or excused because, after all, “It’s the Prom.”"
1Peter 2:11 art from Christian Mingler

4. "Are You Going To Prom? - Lesson 11", found at VSCOC.com.  This is a short little lesson using scripture, including discussion questions and short answers, which could be used privately or in a class. It is a good summary of about all of the articles that you may find on Christians attending dances or Prom events, and includes a discussion of a passage in the book of Job that you may not usually think of when discussing dancing and whether or not there is too much preaching on the subject.
2 Timothy 2:22 artwork from Scent of Faith

5. "Is It Okay For Me To Go To The Prom?", found at Study the Bible. If the other studies are too long or studious, try this simple reply. Written like a short high school essay: "The question for the Christian young person should not be "Is it o.k. for me to go to the prom?". The question should be "Is it best for me to go to the prom?"."

6. "You're Not Going To Prom?",  by Allen Webster, at House to House. This article gives three main ways that you could answer the question (other than the simplistic answer that I gave when I was in school), with Bible words as your main purpose. And it has to do with avoiding sin, whether you hurt yourself, others, or your example.
photo found on tumblr

This last article ends by mentioning that alternatives to The Prom exist, and these next few links deal with doing Something Else, though these next few links are only indicators of the many alternatives available.

In Defense of Prom Alternative,  by Melissa at Christ Crossed my Heart. Melissa lists her reasons for not attending Prom, and positively, her reasons for doing Something Else. This group's plan was a lovely formal dinner, change clothes and go bowling after, then to someone's house to roast s'mores over a campfire. The boys and girls had separate sleepovers and rejoined for breakfast the next day. I love her response: "When all’s said and done, I had a wonderful evening. I grew closer to brothers and sisters in Christ, and I had a fantastic time doing so. I’m so thankful that someone had the idea to give us a special evening free of temptation or worldliness!"

Alternative to the Prom, by Mary at For Christian Girls. Here is a short description of another alternative that was offered in one area, where the kids had "good, clean fun" and enjoyed it. They had dinner at a dress fancy restaurant, strolled around town together and then went for ice cream.

Prim Proms: How Religious Teens Party, by Ellen Leventry at Belief.net. Interesting article that goes beyond conservative Christianity: "From same-sex dancing to modest gowns, conservative Muslim, Jewish and Christian teens are finding prom alternatives." We are not alone. Some of the alternatives list shopping nights, girls only or guys only nights, and senior class dinners.

I personally like the idea that the movie "Courageous" portrayed when the father of the teenaged girl took her out for a fancy dress meal on a "date" to show her how he wanted a man to treat her. (Link to the video clip of this scene at YouTube)
Actor Ken Bevel, portraying a dad in the movie "Courageous"

There's a lot to read and sort through there. No one's requiring you to read every bit, or to agree with every bit. I'm just hoping that some young woman, or young man, or parent, somewhere might stumble upon this list and find something good for their minds to think about for a while.

Philippians 4:8 artwork found at Little Birdie Blessings

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