It is not an exaggeration to say that we live in a highly sexualized culture here in America. Here is the scary part, this sexualized culture is discipling our kids. Friends, schools, movies, and social media are having a huge impact on our children and much of it is not good. It makes no sense that the culture is talking about sex all the time but all too often the church (and parents) have nothing to say about it. As parents we must be willing to have uncomfortable conversations with our kids about all the issues they are facing on a daily basis.
This past week I went away for an overnight trip with my youngest son. I used a resource called “Passport to Purity” by Dennis and Barb Rainey. With the help of this resource (cds and workbook) we probably spent about 6 hours talking about peer pressure, dating, sex, pornography, etc. We also did some fun things like going out to dinner and watching the new Spider-Man movie. I consider it my responsibility, and honor, to talk to my children about such important topics. A number of years ago I did the same thing with my oldest son and Marcie (my wife) has done so with our daughter.
One of the things that I am proud of as a father is that both of my sons learned about the birds and the bees from me. Not from some friends on the school bus. Not from a dirty movie. I love the fact that I was able to step into their life and tell them about sex, dating, and what the bible has to say about it.
I would strongly encourage you as a parent to take the time to talk openly, and honestly, to your kids about dating, sex and peer pressure. Passport to Purity is geared for kids who are between the ages of 10-14. If they are much older than 14 they will think Passport to Purity is a bit too childish.
So Passport to Purity is a great tool for younger kids, but what do you do if your kids are older? I would like to share with you a few parenting ideas and then give you some questions that you could use to generate a good discussion between you and your son or daughter.
A Few Ideas To Ponder
- Get to know the young man or young woman that your child is dating. This is not weird! The only reason we think it is weird is because our culture has completely lost its way when it comes to the role parents should play in the lives of their children. What is weird is allowing your child to date someone that you don’t know.
- You need to talk to your kids about dealing with peer pressure. There is a HUGE amount of pressure at school to conform to a worldly lifestyle. You need to help your kids think about some biblical ways to resist negative peer pressure.
- You need to give your kids a biblical reason to save sex for marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 1 Corinthians 7:2, Hebrews 13:4, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
- You need to give your kids a biblical reason to pursue purity in general (Leviticus 11:44-45, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Titus 2:11-12, Ephesians 5:3-4).
- You need to make sure that your kids know that God’s boundaries are meant to lead them to deeper joy and contentment. God gives boundaries because he loves us and wants what is best for us.
- Talk to your kids about the importance of dating someone who knows and loves Jesus. Missionary dating is a really bad idea. Look up and discuss 2 Corinthians 6:14 (unequally yoked).
A Few Questions To Ask Your Kids
- What are some of the ways that you feel the impact of peer pressure? Especially in regards to dating and sex?
- Our kids are under constant peer pressure in a variety of ways. We need to guide them and help them to understand how to resist negative peer pressure. The story of Daniel is a great place to go. A teen-age boy who glorified God by standing up under tremendous pressure.
- Read and discuss 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. Ask your child how these verses relate to dating, sex and peer pressure.
- What kind of boundaries should you set when it comes to dating?
- It’s best to set these boundaries before they begin dating.
- Are there any other challenges you are having right now at school or life in general?
- Are you struggling with lust or pornography?
- “Finally Free” by Heath Lambert is a good resource for purity, pornography, and sex.
- How should you respond to someone who is pressuring you to have sex (or is pushing past your boundaries)?
- As parents we need to give our kids the tools to say no!
- As a parent write down some of your own questions.
- Ask your son or daughter if they have any questions.
- If your child is dealing with some guilt and shame give them heavy doses of God’s grace (Psalm 86:15. 2 Corinthian 5:21, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 14:6). HERE are a few books that talk about guilt, shame and the gospel.
If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear from you!