Inspiring purity in your teens doesn’t have to be complicated.
One of the best ways to inspire your teen/pre-teen is to live out purity yourself. When your teens see you living as purely a life as possible, staying committed to your spouse, abstaining from sex if you’re a single parent, not engaging in watching pornography, they’ll naturally be inspired.
Now, will they adopt your habits for themselves? You can’t guarantee it. But you can help them achieve it.
Why do teens have sex or become involved in sexual activity in the first place?
1. They’re confused about “what sex is.”
Educate your teens on what sex actually is. Not so that they’ll have everything they need when they decide to do it but that they’ll realize it’s a serious thing and is something not to be taken lightly.
Sex is more than intercourse. Sex includes anything that involves the private parts, breasts included.
Most girls are not educated properly about oral sex. When asked, they often respond that they didn’t realize that oral sex was sex. It’s often used as an initiation into high school or into a popular group. Of course, boys aren’t going to tell girls that it’s sex. In fact, they’ll tell them it’s not sex.
I found an article on a book written by Hayley DiMarco on being a “technical virgin”. I feel is very enlightening for parents of teens to read. Here is the link!
We must keep the lines of communication open with our pre-teens and teens about oral sex because there are consequences equal to teen pregnancy from doing it. They can contract an STD that will be with them for the rest of their lives!
Often they haven’t been instilled with the values of waiting until marriage for all intimate contact with someone else.
3. They know they shouldn’t but they still want to see how it feels.
We live in a world that says, “If it feels good, do it!” Their friends are doing it. They see teens their age on TV and in movies doing it with little consequences. So why not try it?
4. They do it because they feel peer pressure or bullying.
Some teens will participate in a sexual act just to get everyone off their backs. Just to say they did it.
5. They do it to gain popularity or build their self-esteem.
They may feel like they have little to offer as far as talents and achievements but if they can establish a reputation as the girl or guy who has had sex, then maybe everyone will think they’re “cool”. Sadly, this usually backfires. Too quickly they’re labeled as “easy” or as something offensive, which I’ll spare you from hearing. But, as someone who has been around a while, I’m sure you can imagine what a teen who is sexually promiscuous would be called.
Here’s the facts:
Research shows that most teens want answers to their questions about sex and that they’d like their parents to be the ones to give them the answers. They also would like to confide in their parents about their struggles in this area. Believe it or not, it’s less embarrassing and much safer to talk to a parent than to a friend who might not always be there for them. Teens often think they just have to be in love first in order to have sex. They want to know how they’ll know when they’re ready to have sex. They think sex will bring them closer to their boyfriend/girlfriend. They want to know about contraception and how it works. They want to know how to handle the peer pressure. And they want to know if they can get pregnant on the first time.
This is why we, as parents, must have an open door policy with our children. Let them know from an early age that you’re there for them and that you’re willing to answer any of their questions. By the time they become teens, talking with you about sex will be much easier.
What can you do?
- Keep the lines of communication open. Listen to them—especially when they aren’t talking.
- Make sure they know your values and standards for their behavior.
- Tell them of the importance of not being alone with someone of the opposite sex and not to be in group settings that foster sexual activity such as orgies or other sexual activity with multiple people.
- Remind them that sexual activity often includes alcohol and drugs (alcohol and drugs sometimes lead to sex and sometimes regret over having been sexual leads to alcohol and drug abuse).
- Know who their friends are.
- Know what they’re looking at on the Internet, what movies and TV programs they’re watching.
- Be ready for “the” conversation you may be dreading. The one where they say they’ve already been sexually active and they need help. And forgiveness. Be willing to show them the same grace God has shown you.
- Most importantly, let them know God loves them and cherishes them. That’s reason enough to wait!
If you want to talk about sex with your teen but you’re not sure how to “go there”, you can start with one of these questions:
“Have you ever felt pressure to have sex with someone?”
“Have you pressured someone to have sex? Has one of your friends ever felt pressured?”
“Are you interested in having sex?”
“Are you scared you might lose your boyfriend/girlfriend if you don’t have sex?”
“Have you thought about the responsibilities and consequences of having sex?” (birth control, STD prevention, STD contraction, pregnancy, regret, reputation, etc.)
“Will you reconsider having sex?”
If our teens don’t know that kissing, fondling, and intimate touching can lead to sex, they’ll do it if they’re given opportunity to do so. They’ll participate in things that they didn’t know were sex. They’ll be deceived by Satan to think that they can touch someone else’s private parts and let someone touch theirs, and as long as they don’t have intercourse, it’s not sex and they’re still virgins.
As Christian parents, we can share with our teens what God says about sex and all sexual contact—that it’s for marriage. That once you’re married, you’re to stay faithful to your spouse and have no sexual contact with anyone else.
But even non-Christian parents can encourage their children to stay sexually pure because it’s healthy for them to do so. It prevents disease and pregnancy and low self-esteem. It greatly reduces their chances of suffering from depression and dealing with regret.
Even though your teens don’t want to think about their parents having sex, deep inside they know you do. And that makes you the resident expert on the subject. You can use this expertise to your advantage in inspiring your teens to abstain from sex. You can be an open book with them about the importance of waiting to have sex until they’re married.
If you didn’t wait, that’s okay! You can share with them the reasons that you wish you had waited. That can inspire them more than you know!