In 30 years of speaking on the topic of sexual purity to youth and college groups, the question, “How far is too far?” is most asked by kids raised in Christian homes.
The task of taking your teen from looking for ways to go as far as they can with the person to whom they’re attracted, to helping them understand the value of sexual purity, is not for the faint of heart. The struggle is real. But dear parent, it’s worth it!
To help, let’s visit 10 things to tell your kids about sex:
1. Sex pleases God.
Reminding your teen that God created the act of sexual intimacy may seem like common sense. However, they need to realize that God is good and has gifted husband and wife with the most incredibly enjoyable act imaginable––when it is enjoyed within the safety of His perfect plan.
2. Sex is amazing.
In an attempt to defer your child’s interest in sex, to sidestep the idea of how pleasurable sex can be will only serve to frustrate them. Rather, acknowledge how intercourse and all that leads up to the act is extremely enjoyable.
Equipping your teen to understand how God made their bodies to enjoy sex (within the safety of His plan) will keep them from one day being surprised by how much they long for physical intimacy with a person they come to have feelings for.
3. Sex is to be a sign of a covenant between two people.
If you were to study covenants in Scripture, you would find there are always signs of accompanying a covenant. For example, in the New Testament Jesus instructs believers to partake of communion as a remembrance of His flesh broken for us in the New Covenant. When God made a covenant with Abraham, He passed through pieces of flesh as a sign of His covenant with him.
In the same way, when a husband passes through the flesh of his wife through intercourse, it is a remembrance of the covenant the two have made to be one with each other for the rest of their lives. Sex outside of marriage makes a mockery of the marriage covenant, and will bring heartache to anyone who dishonors God’s perfect way to celebrate the lifelong commitment between husband and wife in covenant.
4. Sex is designed to make you one with your partner.
Malachi 2:15 describes the mystery of how God makes two in marriage become one spirit. Sex in marriage is what knits two souls together.
Imagine if you glued together a pink and blue heart. And after a time you pulled it apart. On both hearts you would see remnants of pink and blue left behind after their separation. In the same way, when unmarried people attach themselves to others through intercourse, the result is pieces of their heart will be left on the other. Over time, the more sexual encounters a person has, the more pieces of their hearts are pulled away and pieces of other’s hearts are left on them. Thus making for a fragmented person, rather than the whole person God would have your child one day present himself to their spouse.
5. Sex outside of marriage steals your joy.
In 18 years of youth ministry, my husband and I repeatedly watched kids who were at one time passionate Christ followers become without zeal for Him and lose the joy of the Lord that once marked their character.
This was always a red flag that the teen was involved in some sort of sinful behavior. More often than not, good kids from good homes ended up having sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend. And that sin stole away their joy and robbed them of their passion to follow Christ’s amazing plan for their lives. Remember it was David who realized how much his sexual sin cost him when he pleaded, “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation” (Psalm 51:12).
6. Sex before marriage quenches the Spirit’s leading.
To be led by God to choose a godly spouse is the prayer of every parent for our kids. Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy God’s plan for them.
Help your child realize that Satan’s scheme would be to seduce them into sexual sin so they quench the Spirit in their lives. Then they won’t be led by the Lord to choose a spouse who will walk with and encourage them in the plan He has for their lives. The enemy is crafty and we must equip our kids to not be swayed by his deceptions (see 1 Thess. 5:19, 2 Cor. 2:11).
7. It’s all sex.
I’ve sat across from more teenaged girls than I care to count who ended up “going all the way” when their intent was to “only make out” with their boyfriend.
My husband and I do premarital counseling, and the final week walks the couple through the way God created our bodies to prepare for and respond to an amazing sex life as husband and wife. Learning how all of the steps involved in foreplay can bring about a most satisfying sexual experience is also a real eye opener as to “how far is too far” for a couple to go outside of marriage.
Bottom line – it’s all sex. Short of intercourse, everything that couples attempt to do outside of marriage is foreplay. There’s no way around it. Your kids are naive when they’re telling themselves, I’ll know when to stop. I can handle this. Help them understand they are engaged in foreplay and their minds are preparing their bodies for intercourse. And eventually they will give in to sex.
8. Pornography is sex.
Chuck was raised in a Christian home, but he fooled himself to think looking at pornography would keep him from having sex until he got married. What Chuck failed to realize was viewing porn became an addiction that would not let go of him once he married.
Jesus said it’s as much a sin to engage in premarital sex as lusting over it. Help your teens realize how porn will bring long term consequences that will steal their sexual enjoyment in the marriage bed. (Read more about Chuck’s story in my new book Real Life Romance to release January 2018.)
9. You can be pure again.
God promises, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they’ll be white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
If your child has been sexually active, hold out the hope of Jesus and the purity He offers to all who cry out to Him in repentance.
10. It is possible to wait.
Although culture says everyone is having sex, God’s remnant is remaining pure until marriage, and He is blessing a whole new generation for their obedience.
Exposing your kids to godly young adults who are waiting until marriage will speak more to them than your words.