As a parent who desires to communicate God’s truth about sex to your teen, you need to make sure to rely on biblical principles — and, quite possibly, trust Him to go beyond your comfort zone. The message you want to send should go beyond a “don’t do it” concept. Instead, you need to provide biblical principles that both relate to and go beyond sex.
Appreciating a Changing Body
God’s Word makes it clear that our bodies are God’s creations (Psalm 139:14). In learning about our bodies, we need to make sure not to elevate them in importance and yet not view them as evil or shameful, in themselves. Neither our bodies nor our sexuality is sinful. The purpose of modesty is not to communicate that certain parts of our anatomy are bad, but that they are, as the term “private parts” would suggest, intended to remain private. Learning about how our bodies work and the changes they undergo during adolescence, though, are healthy and should not be seen as shameful. In fact, they should cause us to worship our amazing Creator!
Focusing on Healthy Relationships
In our quest to encourage sexual purity, we need to be careful not to encourage prioritizing other activities or pursuits over sexual activity. People are important. Relationships are important. One of the major contributing factors in the rise of anxiety and depression among teens is the kind of non-relational priorities they see modeled. When we tell our kids that it isn’t time for sex or marriage, but to focus on their education and careers, we can be doing them a disservice and reflecting our world’s values, where “relationships take a back seat, and work, success, material gains take precedence” (ABC News).
If we don’t think our teens are ready for romantic involvement or would be better prepared to serve God and their future families through further preparation and education, that’s another story. But we need to be careful about how we say it and what we make the focus.
Establishing Goals Beyond Human Relationships
Even though relational connectedness is important, even that can become an idol of our hearts. In fact, many young people engage in sexual relationships simply because they’re “desperately yearning for relational happiness, whether married or not.” As counselor Holly Stratton continues to explain, “Even the best and the kindest just do not satisfy. Only Christ can satisfy. I can’t say that too many times. Only. Christ. Can. Satisfy. Relationships were never intended to be vehicles for human happiness; rather, they were sovereignly designed to be instruments of redemption that conform us to Christ and bring glory to God.”
When we understand who we are and why we were created, we can enjoy the many good gifts God gives us — including sex within marriage.
Continue reading with Part 3.