The term Christian pen pal doesn't mean what it used to--a chance to write to someone in another part of the country or the world and exchange information about life, and thereby become friends. Now sharing this information is often used as a means to find a life partner. If two people are meeting as Christian pen pals, they have a very important ingredient for a lasting relationship, their common faith. It used to be that writing to someone as a pen pal meant taking pen in hand and writing down thoughts onto a piece of stationery, addressing an envelope and affixing a stamp, then posting it. With the popularity of technology, and especially the Internet, relationships can be completed through emails, chat rooms, and instant messages.
Finding a companion on the Internet can be an interesting process. There are many sites to choose from, some geared to specific denominations, and some more general in nature. These sites provide chat rooms where folks can exchange information anonymously, and there are pictures and bios where one can look over the other individuals in a general age bracket who are also looking for a Christian pen pal. Certainly by beginning one's search with the "Christian" designation should eliminate the questions right up front about similar approaches to life. With the moral attitudes commonly expressed today in TV and movies, it has to be a relief to know that the people who are using these sites to find Christian pen pals will share the same or similar moral values. There is no need to wait for weeks or months for a reply with e-mail correspondence. Electronic correspondence can exchange a great deal of information in the first few hours of their acquaintance as pen pals, and if they happen to live near one another, they can take the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
Being a good friend is mentioned in scripture. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." (Proverb 18:24) With this in mind, teenagers with a desire to develop friendships with other Christians have the ability to utilize chat rooms and other sites to develop relationships. The emphasis at those sites is different from the adult oriented sites. A teen Christian pen pal can provide a youngster with a broader view of life by finding out what teens in other places are doing, especially if they are in another country. While young people everywhere have common experiences as teenagers, different cultures handle them differently. This kind of education is invaluable. For some Christian pen pals, the connection is their shared college experience, which can lead to strong bonds. The common faith that is shared between these individuals can be helpful in making it through tough times and forging a lasting friendship based on faith and love for God.