The Battles of Raising Today’s Teens Day 2: Battling Sexual Promiscuity
How can a young man [or young woman] keep his [her] way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (Psalm 119:9, ESV)
Why, as humans, do we intensely desire what’s prohibited? Just as Eve fell for the forbidden fruit, we have followed the same errant sin patterns as our predecessors. As believers, sexual purity should be taught to our youth and strongly encouraged. It should be promoted in our churches and openly communicated with our own children at home. While it’s true that many kids are having sex before marriage, it’s also true that the Bible teaches against it. Why? Because it causes pain and heartache, and was never meant to be outside of marriage between a man and his wife.
Studying social media posts among our youth can be eye-opening and uncomfortable. Young girls are promoting themselves in suggestive clothing and poses. Their peers are perusing these posts and either lusting after these girls or possibly targeting them for cyberbullying. Boys are also posting inappropriate posts that open them up for a host of issues among their peers. When we consider yesterday’s topic on social media/cellphone usage, we must remember that we have a responsibility to encourage our kids to be modest and to monitor what they are posting.
Sexual purity consists of many mini decisions rolled into a lifestyle. It involves how we dress, think, act and treat others. It’s crucial, as parents, to discuss the many possible scenarios that may arise among our teenagers and offer advice to avoid bad judgment. It’s important that we, ourselves, are sexually pure and live in a way that honors God with our bodies. Our children need to know the truth about sex—that it’s a beautiful expression of love and intimacy created by God and reserved for marriage. They need to know that their bodies are beautiful and that they have been given a valuable treasure to guard for their future spouse.
Did you know that the average age for most males and females to become sexually active is around 16? This statistic doesn’t include oral sex, which most studies suggest begins a few years prior. Then there are those who have had multiple sex partners—around 15 percent of high schoolers have had 4 or more sex partners. The amount of sexual baggage these youths will take into a marriage relationship can’t be ignored; statistics show that they have a higher divorce rate than those who remain sexually pure.
One of the biggest challenges we have as parents is teaching our children the importance of honoring God with our bodies. If your child claims to be a Christian, the responsibility to obey biblical principles transfers to their own shoulders in their sexual choices. As parents, we can teach and encourage our kids about purity, but it’s the decision of the child to honor their parents and God with their own bodies when they are found in situations where temptation will be present. So the best groundwork we can do in preparing them for big decisions regarding sex is before they have freedom to find themselves in sexually tempting situations.
Scripture is clear in what God desires for us when it comes to a sexual relationship. It’s not hard to figure out what God expects from us, and as Christian parents, this needs to be our Textbook as we teach our children. They may see our view as old fashioned or too restrictive, but it’s a good opportunity to show them examples of people who refused to follow the pattern of sexuality that God established and the harm and pain it’s brought to so many. God withholds His approval for promiscuity because He loves us and wants to protect us from harm. Sex is a good gift from God and is not meant to be practiced outside of marriage.
Here are a few really simple questions you can have your child consider:
Would you post this, knowing Jesus would see it?
Would you do this if Jesus were sitting right here with you?
Would you go there if Jesus was in the car with you?
Would you wear that if Jesus is who you were meeting with?
Would you say that if Jesus heard?
These may sound elementary, but if you respond to these questions with respect for Christ, you will make good judgments that will lead to a life of purity and avoid the pain and heartache that come from falling into promiscuity and sexual sin.
In closing, I would like to share a few Scripture references that speak of His plan for our bodies:
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. (Psalm 119:37, ESV)
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immortality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5, ESV)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality. (1 Thessalonians 4:3, ESV)Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4, ESV)