Can your teenager remain Abstinent until Marriage?


In today's world, where sex is dominant, it is hard to believe that anyone does or can remain abstinent until marriage. With the media and society accepting that pre-marital sex is the norm, many of our youth have mixed signals. So many of the TV shows and movies that our youth are watching promote sexual activity before marriage, and, very rarely do these shows inform them of the consequences of pre-marital sexual activity. they portray that "sex" is something you do with anyone at anytime.  Many of our youth don’t think about the risks associated with pre-marital sexual activity, such as STDs*, pregnancy, low self-esteem, guilt, rejection and more.
There are quite a few reasons why teens choose to engage in sexual activity:
Sexual attraction, Social and Media Pressure, Peer Pressure, Pressure from Partner, Parental Example of Permissiveness, Low Self-Esteem, and Mistaken Beliefs.
(1) However, the number one factor that teens cited that influenced their decisions regarding their sexual behavior is their parents!!
(2) It is important for parents to make their expectations clear to their child. If we continuously send the message that we expect them to wait until marriage and talk about it openly with them, there is a higher percentage that your child will abstain.
However, by putting our daughters on the birth control pill....
~ we are telling them that we expect them to have sex
~we are telling them that we don't believe that they will remain abstinent
  What message do you want to give your child? It is so important for parents to talk to their children about pre-marital sex and its harmful consequences. Don’t wait until your child comes to you – talk to them now before they get their information from someone else. One of the mistaken beliefs is that “everyone is doing it”; however, less than 50% of teens are sexually active. And two-thirds of teens that have had sex wish they had waited. Tell your children that you BELIEVE in them!  That you believe they have self respect, that you believe they will make the right choices, that you believe they will say "NO" when pressured!  They need to know we believe in them 100%.  If we don't believe in our children, who will?
(3) It is also important to stress that any genital contact is sex. Many teenagers believe that if they avoid intercourse, but do “other things” that is alright. In regards to any sexual activity, abstinence is the only method that guarantees 100% that they won’t get pregnant or get one of over 60 different STDs* that are so common. Many critics of abstinence education, believe that we should also inform our youth of the birth control methods that are available. However, this is only increasing the mixed signals that the teens of today are facing. To tell them “abstain from sex, but if you do it, use a condom” is like telling a toddler she can’t have a cookie, but showing her where the cookies are kept. How unfair is that!

To take abstinence one step further, is to encourage your teens to practice chastity. By practicing chastity they are asking God to help them make the right decisions when dating! Chastity means asking God to guide their thoughts, their words and their actions on every date they have.
(4) It is so important that we ask God for His help. It is much harder to be strong and do the right thing on our own. However, with God, all things are possible. Chastity is a virtue, which helps our youth realize that sex is not a bad thing,but a beautiful act when performed in the appropriate time and place of marriage. It is important to let your teens know that their body is a gift from God and He wants us to live a life of purity and respect. If we don’t respect our own bodies, how can we expect our partner to do so. Respect is such an important aspect in any relationship. Loss of respect is the number one reason of divorce in our country. If a relationship lacks respect it has no solid ground to build upon.

There is so much information on this topic and so many things you can tell your child about abstaining from sexual activity. However,my favorite thing to tell them is “if you are not sure “how far to go”with your boyfriend/girlfriend, pretend he/she is your sibling and only kiss them or do things with them that you would do with your brother or sister”. This gets them every time.

Great websites on this topic: lovematters.com    .rockforlife.org     

abstinence.net·        chastitycall.org       disciplesnow.com