Talking With Your Teen about Premarital Sex
- Tuesday, September 16, 2008
As the news of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy has made its way to the general public, I want to remind the Christian body of a few timely truths:
I commend the Palin family for choosing life, especially at time when the political stakes are so high. I dare say, many might have sought a quick-fix solution to an untimely pregnancy in an effort to squelch rumors and prosper careers.
I have had many Christian women cry on my shoulder over the heartache of a past abortion when sharing my own testimony over the years. Some are ministers' daughters, seminary students' wives, and other prominent Christians who opted for abortion as a quick-fix to save face and guard reputations. Let us not minimize the difficulty of the choice the Palin family is making.
I mentioned above that we as parents could easily find our families facing the same situation. Ironically, I currently find myself buried in this very topic because I’m putting the finishing touches on my book Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter. So, I want to share what it looks like to step into the fray of a cultural battle raging out of control and address this topic with our children. Many of the mistakes our teens make today result from false information fed to them through the media or sadly, “sex education” programs that promote an unhealthy, unbiblical worldview.
Here’s an except from the section entitled "Sex is great...and worth the wait." It doesn't cover every aspect of the issue, but it's a great start. Enjoy and adapt it accordingly if you have sons rather than daughters. Most importantly, let's start talking!
What the culture is not telling your daughter about sex
If I had to sum up the culture’s message regarding sex, it would match a customer review on Amazon for one of my books to teen girls. Apparently my suggestion that God created sex for the confines of marriage didn’t sit well with one reader who gave my book a one star review and offered the following comments:
“90 percent of world’s population will have sex before they are married…People will always want to have sex, it's human nature!”
Unfortunately, she failed to include the scripture verse where she gleaned that wisdom—Oh but wait, there isn’t one. While I would agree with her that it is human nature to want to have sex, I’m not sure I follow her logic when she comes to the conclusion that because 90% of the world’s population will have sex before they are married, it therefore, must be okay.
The majority of Americans are also in debt and overweight, so I guess that’s okay too? And I wonder if 90 percent of the population jumped off a bridge if this reader would join them? Perhaps God created us with a “human nature” to want to have sex in order that it might be enjoyed in marriage and serve as a means to procreate the world. And perhaps 90% of the population has failed to follow His game plan for sex, opting instead to write their own rules for the game.
In addition to ignoring the fallout from having sex outside of marriage, the media also fails to address the benefits of saving sex for marriage. Think about it. When was the last time you heard a media report announcing that those who abstain from sex outside of marriage have the best sex once they are married? The Family Research Council surveyed 1,100 people about their sexual satisfaction and found 72 percent of all married “traditionalists” (those who ‘strongly believe out of wedlock sex is wrong’) reported a higher sexual satisfaction. ‘Traditionalists’ scored “roughly 31 percentage points higher than the level registered by unmarried ‘non-traditionalists’ (those who have no or only some objection to sex outside of marriage) and 13 percentage points higher than that registered by married non-traditionalists.
And the perks don’t stop there. Several researchers with the Heritage Foundation analyzed data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth and found that for women 30 or older, those who were monogamous (only one sexual partner in a lifetime) were by far most likely to be still in a stable relationship (80 percent). Sleeping with just one extra partner dropped that probability to 54 percent. Two extra partners brought it down to 44 percent.
Clearly, there is a link between self-restraint practiced before marriage and a lasting and fruitful marriage. Most of our girls would admit to wanting a healthy and happy marriage as a long-term goal. I wonder how many might alter their behavior and choose to abstain if they knew that, in doing so, they would greatly increase their likelihood of remaining in a lasting, monogamous marriage.
Let me put this into perspective. Here is the exact conversation I had with my own daughter to illustrate this powerful finding:
“Paige, if you apply this finding to your peer group and you line up ten of your friends who have already had two or more sexual partners, approximately six will be divorced by their 20th high school reunion. However, if you line up ten girls who successfully abstain from sex prior to marriage (of which I hope you will be one), only two will be divorced by their 20th high school reunion. In other words, if you sleep with just two guys prior to marriage, you will be three times more likely to divorce than if you abstain.”
Of course, you don’t hear the media highlighting any of the above data. The culture will continue to tell our daughters that sex is a natural, normal part of life. They will scream and fight to abolish abstinence-based sex education and continue to peddle the “safe sex” message ad nauseam. It is imperative that we as parents pick up the slack and share with our daughters the details that the culture refuses to address.
I can't imagine that most girls, including those with no religious foundation, wouldn’t want to be fully informed when making a decision that could impact their future happiness .
(c) Vicki Courtney; Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter; 2008
Article adapted from Vicki Courtney's blog "Virtue Alert" (c) Vicki Courtney, 2008. Used by permission.
Vicki Courtney is the founder of Virtuous Reality Ministries® which reaches over 150,000 girls and mothers a year. A mother herself of three teens, she seeks to provide both teens and their parents with the tools necessary to navigate today's promiscuous culture. She has done hundreds of radio and newspaper interviews and appeared on CNN, Fox News, and CNN Headline News as a youth culture commentator to address various issues impacting tweens and teens. She is the creator of VirtuousReality.com, an online magazine for teen girls, which has attracted visitors from all 50 states and over 30 countries. She is a national speaker to women of all ages and the best-selling author of numerous books including, "Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World" and its counterpart, "Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World," and “The Virtuous Woman…Shattering the Superwoman Myth.”
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