Our teenagers are incredibly confused.
The world says that sex is a form of recreational play between two consenting adults. We shouldn't make a big deal of it, beyond doing it "safely."
Then the church comes along, uses that definition as a stepping-off point, but gives a bunch of rules about when we do it. Sure, it is how we make babies, but it is still something that two people can and should enjoy...but only in the context of marriage. And boy, do we talk about that rule a lot.
In fact, it seems that the "wait until you are married" rule is just about the only message our Christian teens are getting. We might say more than that, but the rule is just about all they hear. They hear that sex is awesome, they have drives that affirm that, but they are told that they should put it off until they are married.
And they are not convinced.
A recent study showed that 88% of single adults in their 20's have had sex. When they looked at Christian single adults, that number dropped to 80%. Whoopie. I guess that for most of our kids, true love doesn't wait after all.
The solution is NOT for us to double our efforts at communicating the "wait until you are married" rule. Our kids have most likely heard that enough. What they need is a better definition of what sex is. It is NOT just recreation. Something amazing and spiritual and powerful happens when two people connect sexually. It is more than just recreation.
There are significant ramifications when we give our bodies to another. God designed it that way. When we treat sex as just a biological or recreational act, we are missing the whole point. When we give that away to someone who we are not committed to in a covenant, life-long relationship, it messes everything up.
I write about this at length in The Talk(s). Even if your kids are very young, I encourage you to get a copy of it and start thinking about how you will begin now to paint a picture of God's perspective of sex and marriage.
I also recommend that you watch the video I have posted below. Pastor and author John Mark Comer articulates this message in a three minute video better than I have ever seen it before. It might be worth showing it to your teenagers.
Q. If you grew up in a Christian home, what did your parents communicate to you about sex?
*Check out my brand new book: The Talk(s): A Parent's Guide to Talking about Sex, Dating, and Other Unmentionables. It has been developed to assist parents as they help their kids navigate our hyper-sexualized culture. Whether your kids are 6 or 16, it provides practical help to help your kids to make wise choices in a messed-up world.
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