Often, female purity is seen as positive, while sexual purity for males comes across as wimpy or unmanly. Consider the main character in the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin: He looks like a complete dork. Well, for every dork out there, there’s an outspoken jock like Tim Tebow. Okay, maybe there’s not a one-for-one, but positive role models are out there. Regardless of what the celebs are doing, it’s important to encourage and expect abstinence from our sons.
Telling the Truth About Safe Sex
Especially if your son is enrolled in public school, they’re getting plenty of voices telling them that abstinence-based sex ed is unrealistic. You need to counteract that silliness by truly educating him with information from the other side, like the straight talk by this Fox News columnist that describes himself as “a young, sexless, STD-free-moron in love.”
Your son also needs to know the truth about condoms. “Determining a fail rate for a condom is difficult. Failure for what? Clamydia? HPV? Pregnancy? The end result is that they have a controversial failure rate in preventing any sexually transmitted infection. You can research it yourself on the Internet to see how varied the estimates are, but they range from 18-30%. Those just aren’t good odds.”
Considering the Goal: a Godly Marriage
Unlike the Fox reporter, does your son want to say of his wedding night, “Nothing’s really changed”? Probably not. Besides, practicing self control now can give him practice for being faithful to his wife after that wedding day.
Keep that goal before him, but don’t lose sight of the over-arching goal of pleasing a holy God. They need help, coaching, and encouragement along the way. Two winning resources to help you do provide the needed coaching are from Pure Freedom; one is Who Moved the Goalpost?: 7 Winning Strategies in the Sexual Integrity Gameplan, and the other is Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy: Guiding Your Son from His Tweens to His Teens.
Getting Involved with Abstinence Education
What do we communicate to our sons when we make sex a taboo topic? Our society doesn’t, so the only side they’re getting will be more likely to win. Unfortunately, many of our churches still make it taboo. If your church is among them, there is something you can do.
Even though Acts 20:27 requires pastors to teach the whole counsel of God, many shirk behind critical eyes of those in the pews. Especially older congregants who remember a day when sex was a word rarely mentioned in public may find its mention in church to be on par with heresy. Perhaps you could talk with other parents of teens at your church and then address the issue with the pastor or youth pastor or leader(s). Suggest gender-specific teaching can be made available, or teens could be encouraged to attend a weekend youth retreat focusing on purity. When they know they’re not alone, teens are often encouraged to make wise biblical choices.