In the sex-crazed culture of today, this question still begs to be answered.
“Can we really expect teens to avoid pre-marital sex?”
The real answer to the question may, in large part, depend on who you ask. Or on what we believe to be true about sex, and where our ideas are founded.
In a world that says sex before marriage is “normal and expected,” anything else is viewed as ancient and archaic thinking.
“Did God really say….” the voices of our culture ask, lured by the same familiar voice that confronted Eve in the garden one fateful day. “Surely He did not mean…” Doubts start to rise and overshadow truth. We feel pressured to try and rationalize behavior or choices in order to find acceptance and update our thinking. To get with the times. To be more “relevant” for today.
Though the Bible speaks with great clarity about the dangers of sex outside marriage, some still argue that if they’re in a “consensual, loving relationship,” it should be “OK” to have sex.
And many will.
But many others will choose to wait.
No matter what we hear in the latest headlines or see in top Hollywood movies, the truth that no one’s really talking about is this: not everyone is saying “yes” to sex before marriage. Many teens, and young adults, are choosing to wait for marriage.
And they’re setting new trends.
Recent statistics show that the number of teens participating in sex has dramatically decreased over the last years, in fact it is lower now than 20 years ago.
An article from U.S. News this past year stated, “Teens today are having less sex than their parents were at the same age, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC data released Wednesday show dramatic decreases in teen sexual activity since 1988, when the rate was 22 percent higher among males and 14 percent higher among females.”
This may be attributed to the fact that families are talking. Conversations are happening, discussions on tough topics. Truth is being shared. Parents are praying. Young people are choosing to respect themselves and others. They are feeling empowered to say “no,” instead of being pressured into saying “yes.” They are believing God’s words to be true and are choosing to stand strong against the lies of the enemy.
And really, maybe the questions we should be asking are these:
Who will we choose to listen to?
Who will our kids listen to?
The lies of our world and media messages?
Or the Truth that sets us free?
Raising kids in a world saturated with sex and technology demands more attention than ever from parents. Whether or not we decide to talk openly and honestly with our kids, our culture certainly will. It’s been talking, already, straight to hearts and minds, for a very long time. And as we know, it has quite a lot to say - about sex.
The good news is, we’re not alone. God has a lot to say about sex too. After all, He created it. And it seems that the soundest of wisdom would come straight from the One who thought it all up.
Many people falsely believe that the Bible is only a bunch of rules meant to restrict our fun and happiness. But God’s Word is what gives safe boundaries to live by. Christ came so that we can live abundant, full lives. And the only way to truly live that out is by living according to His words.
He came to set free, not to enslave us to a standard we could never live up to. The lie says that we are most free when we’re just doing our own thing, living how we choose. But the truth is, we’re enslaved, living captive to sin, and we can never fully escape those chains of temptation and defeat outside of His power and strength.
His Word isn’t based on changing trends. It doesn’t shift with the latest hot topics. It isn’t an old fashioned book with little significance for today. It doesn’t speak in shades of gray but with clarity and wisdom. It is living and active, relevant for our culture, even in this technology driven, sex-saturated world.
Because our God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Sex is a gift. And the best gifts in life often come with the greatest cautions. Enjoying this gift within the boundaries of marriage, the way that God intends, is worth the wait.
God’s Spirit is moving in this generation and He is raising up young warriors to be strong leaders in our world today, who understand the times, but base their relevancy, not on culture’s shifting sands, but on the word of God that stands forever.
May He continue to fill them with courage to make hard choices based on His words of truth. May He guard their ways, leading them on paths of what is right, walking beside them every day, and covering their steps from behind. May He draw their hearts to want to know Him more, and give them a desire for godliness over the temptations the enemy will hurl their way. And in the times when they stumble, may they quickly find their way back to Him, knowing that His forgiveness is real and His love covers all.
There is power in the One who breathes new life…who gives hope, forgiveness, and courage, to live differently…to live set apart.
Let’s keep praying for our young people, sharing Truth and not being afraid to have hard conversations. Let’s keep believing that God has a future and great hope in store, that as they journey into a world that seems dark, we can know they are safe in His hands.
For His power is greater.
10 Verses of Truth for Living Wisely:
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Prov. 14:12
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;” 1 Thess. 4:3
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” 1 Cor. 6:18
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.…” Eph. 6:10-11
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Rom. 8:1-2
“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
“…the word of the Lord stands forever…” 1 Pet. 1:25
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel.
Publication date: January 26, 2016