If Purity is Taboo, How Do You Get Your Teens to Embrace It?

“So when do you think you’ll do it?”

That was the question marking every conversation amongst my friends in high school. I was one of those girls obsessed with boys. It was so bad we had to give all the guys I liked numbers, just so we could talk in code when we passed them in the hallway. In our free periods, we dreamed about who might ask me out. Oh would it be number 1 or number 5?  When I finally landed with number 8 (yes, a bad choice), the question became, “So when do you think you’ll do it?”

Yes do it.

“Doing it,” was like a coveted prize that declared true independence and accomplishment. It was never a question about who I’d lose my virginity to nor a matter of waiting until marriage. It was a question of how soon, as there was no good reason to wait. It was just sex, of course.

Purity

Is purity in their vocabulary?

I was never a part of a youth group or involved in any mentoring relationship where the topic of purity would have made it into my vocabulary much less my philosophy.  Of course, the romance novels and movies I watched taught me that sex with a boyfriend was the greatest sign of being truly loved, and so what teenage girl wouldn’t spend hours dreaming about such a moment!

As much as my parents loved me to the moon and back, talking about boys…and the birds and bees…well, let’s just say it never made into a conversation I remember having. Or maybe the noise of my peers drowned out the words from my parents?

Either way, I made up my own mind. I foolishly gave my purity away to a boy and lived for years in the shadow of a broken heart with busted up self esteem. I wish I could say it was a one time mistake, but without the Truth to guide my decisions, I continued on a path of promiscuity in a search of being known and fully loved. Of course, it never happened. I only found authentic love when Jesus grabbed my heart and made it fully His, giving me a place to lay down my bruised body and find hope to heal my soul.

As least in my journey, I have a good reason why I wasn’t guarded about my purity.

I didn’t know any better.

But what about the girls who do know better? What about the boys who should do better?

Or worse yet, what if purity is taboo?

I wonder about this when it comes to my own children and the girls I mentor, and as I think about this generation raised in Christian families who are immersed in a culture that says purity is taboo?  The noise is louder than ever before, simply because the technology age screams sex across nearly every screen. The visuals being fed into their minds communicate that being sexy is everything. And, whether or not it is true, they believe their peers proclamations about whose doing it as though it is a blood-pact from elementary school days.

Everyone is doing it.

Yes, they believe that is a fact!  I’ve heard the confessions and fears from girls who are sexually active and those who think they are the last virgin standing…in 9th grade (and younger, mind you).  Our seemingly “good” Christian kids are tempted to play with the promiscuity fire for fear of being left out.  Like generations before, they’re duped into believing that sex is worth the risk, the compromise, the giving up of something that is already good, but not yet fully known.

So how can we get our teens to embrace purity?

In my humble opinion, we can’t get our teens to do anything.

They have a will all their own — and we should be thankful for that, as one day it will help them to live independent lives. However, we can become a primary influence in their lives on a topic that is of number one priority to them —  Yes, sex.  But not just that. If they want to be known and loved unconditionally, then we need to answer that cry of their heart with our attention overflowing onto them with the love of Christ laced in our words and responses.  Oh, they may not be able to put it into words, but this is really what they want and are willing to do just about anything to get it (and depending on their wiring, that risk may be intensified).

If sex is a means to an end, then the topic is a perfect opportunity to talk about much more than the birds and bees.

Why wouldn’t we want to harness what our teens are already focused on so that we can impress upon them truth?  To tell them about God’s deepest desire that they would know Christ personally and find true unconditional love in Him? From there, we can share about His design for marriage and purity. We can talk about the bonds we form with others and how to guard our heart. We can dig into identity and worth. We can open up the truth about grace and forgiveness, for some already need this message! And we can give them hope as we explain the gift they’ll get to open when their future relationship with a spouse starts with a pure commitment to Christ and His ways.

Oh friend, I know this type of conversation with your tween or teen could be scary. Or maybe you feel like you’re giving it everything you got, but nothing seems to be getting through. Please don’t give up. They need you to give them your time and your ear, without a screen in the way. Approach with questions and humility, and trust God to equip you and sustain you. He will. He always does.

If you want your teen to embrace purity, you need to embrace the opportunity to influence them again and again on the topics that matter most to them.

Your past doesn’t forbid you to do so.

His grace is good enough for you, too.

So will you download our free guide to Dating and Courting (and other FREE resources), which is full of biblical principles for cultivating pure relationships, and work through it with your tweens {no, they are not too young} and teens?

Click Here to Download our Free Dating Resource!

Get the guide for Moms, Mentors, and Youth Leaders!

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PureHope

I’m honored to be linking up with a group of bloggers reflecting on the matter of purity.

  May you be inspired to pursue purity for yourself and
influence the next generation in the process.

 

1 thought on “If Purity is Taboo, How Do You Get Your Teens to Embrace It?”

  1. Teens have a lot of “urges”. They are growing out of puberty and into adulthood, so their sexuality is not quite understood in the physical sense. How should we advice our children to deal with their sexual urges?

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