What your teen needs to know about sex

Teens often hear of the biblical ‘forbiddens’, but they rarely hear of the wondrous nature of human love in God’s divine plan.

Christian chastity – it’s really important, but we really don’t like having to deal with it.

Chastity is conforming our body and our sexual self to God’s vision of human sexuality as laid out in Scripture – for married people we speak of fidelity, and for unmarried people we think of abstinence. Why is chastity so unpopular or difficult to talk about? It is simply because we live in a world that does not give us much support for living chastely.

That is why talking to our children about sexuality is one of the most life-affirming tasks parents face in our sex-saturated society. Throughout their formative years, teens need to hear from their parents the truth about sex, rather than just consuming the daily bombardment of media sex scandals and messages.

Our hyper-sexualised culture now reaches into more homes via cable TV and the Internet through handheld devices – much of it inaccurate, deceptive or plain untrue. How much time do we as parents devote to countering those unwholesome media messages?

Parents’ influence
Most of us have seen our teenage children roll their eyes, contort their faces, or have a glazed-over look when we attempt to speak the truth about sex to them. Push past their skepticism and persevere in talking to them. Talking to your teen about sex can be a daunting task, but research shows they do listen to their parents; we must deliver the right message.

The word ‘sex’ means different things to different people. Many teens have come to wrongly believe that oral sex is not really sex and that it’s ‘safer’. Scripture makes it clear that sex is God’s special gift to a husband and wife within the bonds of marriage. Chastity is important because it involves how we comport our bodies – in Christ, our bodies are no longer our own.

Ideas about setting boundaries
Children and teens need boundaries for their safety. Children should understand the consequences of breaking family rules. Consequences should fit the severity of the rule. The following are some boundaries to discuss with your teen:

• Curfew
• Drinking alcohol or using drugs
• Lying to parents or adults in authority
• Allowing opposite-sex company in bedrooms
• Having friends over while parents are absent
• Dating vs. courting: discuss family values and guidelines

What your teen needs to know about sexual intimacy
Sexual intimacy is difficult to understand before experiencing its power. Parents need to discuss the following points with their teens:

• Physical intimacy can progress quickly
• Intimacy must be controlled by putting up boundaries beforehand. For example, not being alone with someone of the opposite sex, not dating one-on-one until they are older
• The influence of alcohol and drugs eliminates the ability of most people to think rationally and to say “no”

What does God say
The Bible states repeatedly that sex outside one-man-one-woman marriage is dangerous and unacceptable. But more than that, the Bible describes marital love as an ecstatic, mind-boggling mystery so profound that it is an image of the love that exists among the Trinity.

Teens often hear of the biblical ‘forbiddens’, but they rarely hear of the wondrous nature of human love in God’s divine plan. Sex is one of God’s gifts. When enjoyed in its appropriate setting, sex bonds a married couple together emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Share with your teen these truths and this vision, and work to inspire your teen to reach for nothing less than the promise God has reserved for them.


© 2005 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. • Used by permission of Focus on the Family Singapore, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping families thrive through programmes and events such as Date with Dad, an exclusive father-daughter bonding event.
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