Often students will ask me – how far is too far?
What they really want to know is – how far can I go physically without having sex while still enjoying the physical benefits and satisfaction?
In other words – I want to have sex. But my parents will kill me.
To all the Christian parents out there doing the hard work I want you to know – I have talked to these kids. They want to live a life honorable to the Lord. They want to figure out ways to navigate and overcome this sexually saturated culture. Everywhere they go our culture feeds their sexual appetite. As soon as they walk out of the door of their homes it’s as if they don’t stand a chance. God made all of us to enjoy sex within the precious, sacred, and safe walls of marriage. Let’s be honest! Most of us didn’t wait until marriage for sex, but our transparency with our kids may be the very thing that God uses to save them from some very heart breaking mistakes.
Our culture has exploited sex so much that when our kids – HECK, when all of us – open our eyes every morning, sex is in the commercials and television shows we watch, the music we hear, and in the images we see all around us. Our appetite for arousal is constantly being fed. It is no wonder our boys (and girls) struggle with their thought life.
So how far is too far? How far will our kids let their relationships go physically? How do we prepare them for these moments? Our kids often look for someone to hand them a set of rules. They have grown accustomed to this especially on the issue of sex. However, if we think back on our generation and the generation before that and the one before that, rules did not prevent much. With most other parenting issues rules restrict behavior, but when it comes to sex our attitude and our approach have to be different. Just like rules didn’t stop our generation they won’t stop this generation either.
Our kids’ behavior toward their sexuality and the way they choose to honor God with it will be born out of their relationship with Jesus Christ. When our kids find themselves alone with their boyfriend/girlfriend and they are now faced with the proverbial question – how far is too far? The answer is – tell them to go as far as they feel comfortable going as if their own father were sitting right there in the room with them. I know! This idea may sound hilarious! But why is this important? Because fathers are the protectors and guardians of their virtue, honor, and dignity. Single mothers? The concept is still the same. For those who have poor earthly fathers as examples? Again, the concept still stands. Why? No matter what, our kids have a Heavenly Father. Whether they know it or not, and whether they feel his presence or not, he is there.
The emphasis is on the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is with them. He is with all of us who have put our trust in him to direct our lives. He is going to be what guides our kids through the tough times, through the trials, and through the temptations. We can’t always save our kids but we can point them to their Savior.
“Our YES to God produces a NO to sin.” – Greg Matte
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Speaking to a group of young people can be very intimidating. Speaking to a group of young people on the topic of sex can be excruciating. Before I begin I always promise them, “This is NOT another lecture on sex.” I also assure them I will not be throwing pictures of STDs on the wall as a scare tactic NOR will I be passing out condoms or describing the graphic details of abortion procedures.
Of course, STDs are a real medical issue in our culture, and I am as pro-life as the next conservative Christian. But in my days of ministry I have come to learn that young people are not as concerned with the consequences of sex as we adults would like them to be. Think back to your own teenage years. Truth be told…someone explaining the physical consequences of sex was not enough to stop you from doing it. The same is true today except for one major, even bigger, temptation – technology.
My encouragement to young people and the task before us, as a culture, is to bring back the importance of purity. What I tell our kids and what I need parents to hear – PURITY IS NOT JUST ABOUT SEX! Purity is a way of life that includes surrendering all areas of our life to Jesus.
In this world our kids are bombarded with sex, but when they come to church they hardly hear the word sex. Yet, we have these expectations of them, morally, but we aren’t training them or equipping them inside the walls of the church. When they walk OUTSIDE the walls of the church the world is waiting on them, ready to devour them. And not just in regards to sex.
“But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, PURIFIES us from all sin.” -1 John 1:7 ESV
Is it any wonder our enemy, Satan, spends so much time convincing us that the word purity is bad when Jesus died so that his blood would PURIFY us from all sin? This is no coincidence!
Parents! Young people! Let us get wise to our enemy and realize that to live a life of purity means to be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Let us live lives worthy of the cross and worthy of the Gospel. Parents, make the sex talks in your home about the Holy Spirit. Instead of saying DON’T, let’s tell our kids, “DO! Do live your life for Jesus. Wait for Him to tell you what to do. Let Him be your Guide.”
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” -1 John 3:1, 3 ESV