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How to Help Your Teenager Regain or Maintain Their Virginity

  • Dr. Gary Smalley & Dr. Greg Smalley
  • 2003 16 Sep
How to Help Your Teenager Regain or Maintain Their Virginity
Adolescence marks a time when opposite-sex relationships become important. During junior high same-sex relationships seem to be more important. Children go from being interested in playing outside, dolls, trading cards, and comic books to being interested in the opposite sex. Although same-sex friendships are still important, relations with the opposite sex become very important. This can be very disturbing to some parents. One night a father discovered just how frightening teenage dating can be. "I think I'll go downstairs and say good-night to Sally's boyfriend," the father suggested, "He's been here long enough."

"Now, Sam," said his wife, "Don't forget how we were when we were young."

"That does it!" shouted Sam, "Out he goes!"

Sadly, many of our teenagers--even Christian teens--are falling sexually by the millions. In a recent national study, 54% of teenagers in grades 9 through 12 said they had had sexual intercourse. Also in this study, 54% of teens reported having had sexual intercourse with two or more partners in their lifetime. 19% reported having had four or more partners.

Since our teenagers are having sex or are being tempted, as parents or other adults working with teens, we can help them maintain their virginity or recover from the consequences of sexual activity by taking several important steps. However, the mere thought of someone “regaining” a lost virginity may seem ludicrous to some. Our intention is not to mislead anyone. The fact that someone has “physically” experienced sex cannot be undone. And the consequences--some of them life-long--that go along with violating God’s principles cannot be dismissed either.


We say a resounding...YES! The answer is yes because to say anything else would make God's Word a fraud. God says “All things become new to those who are in Christ Jesus.” New means new. It’s not second hand or used, but it means brand new.

In this article, we'll show how, through seven steps, anyone can be restored in mind, soul, and body, and regain and maintain their “virginity.” Virginity is so much more than a physical restoration. We are also refering to the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects as well. To say that when losing one’s virginity is only the physical act is to ignore three other distinct and important aspects of a person.


1. Turn to CHRIST. Several researchers discovered that the teens who valued religion and frequently attended religious services had more restrictive attitudes concerning pre-marital sex and less sexual experience. What this study indicates is the same thing that we believe is the first step in helping a teenager to keep or regain his virginity: Turn to Christ. What usually happens when a person has pre-marital sex is that he turns away from the Lord and places his own desires above the Lord’s wishes. Whether your son or daughter ever had a relationship with Christ or has turned away, help him understand that God desires to have a new relationship. As a matter of fact, before anyone can have a truly successful dating relationship, he first needs to experience a love with the Lord.

2. Understand the CONSEQUENCES of Pre-Marital Sex. An important part in maintaining virginity or regaining a lost virginity is by helping teens resist further sexual involvement by sharing truthful consequences of sexual behavior. Here are some of the reasons why having pre-marital sexual involvement is harmful:

  • It reinforces our self-centeredness, strengthens our sensual focus and pulls us away from our loving focus on God and others.
  • It lowers our self-worth by making us feel guilty or shameful.
  • It creates a greater susceptibility to sexual diseases, pregnancy and sexual addiction.
  • It can reduce our satisfaction in the marital sexual relationship because the marital relationship can not compete with the "back seat of a car."
  • It reinforces the wrong notion that sex is an ACT instead of the true meaning of sex which is a reflection of a loving, committed relationship.

Without a clear understanding of what we are getting into, we cannot compare the pros and cons necessary to make a wise decision. When this happens, we rely on impulsive or “heat of the moment” tactics to guide our decision process. We encourage you to create your own list of consequences. Ask others who experienced pre-marital sex. Chances are they’d be willing to assist a younger person to refrain from making the same mistake.

3. Discover WHY a teen might have sex or had sex so he can correct the problem. Attempting to change a particular behavior without first understanding why we did it is very difficult. It would be like telling a chef who made a terrible dinner to simply stop cooking so bad. Unless the chef knows why the meal was so awful then he can’t correct the mistake. With teens having sex, it’s the same rationale. The following reasons for having sex will help provide specific questions to ask your teenager.

  • Did your teen fall into sin and move away from God’s will?
  • Was he vulnerable (e.g., feeling inadequate, low self-worth, or depressed)?
  • Did the sexual experience have something to do with her parents or family?
  • Did she have unresolved anger or experience a closed spirit?
  • Was she curious about sex?
  • Did friends affect his sexual activity?
  • Did she get manipulated into having sex through a faulty belief that “going all the way” is the only means to get or keep a boyfriend?
  • Did he become involved in rebellious kinds of activities such as drinking, drug abuse, and truancy?

4. TREASURE HUNT the Pain of the Sexual Experience. God instructs us to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. As this verse reveals, we gain valuable rewards for going through trials. However, it’s our job to locate the precious gifts by “Treasure Hunting.” We treasure hunt by looking for any shred of love a person has gained by experiencing a trial. In other words, anything that this person now possesses as a direct result of the trial. For example, a trail such as pre-marital sex might produce things like increased sensitivity, empathy, humility, or a renewed desire for a relationship with Christ. Whatever gifts are buried under the pain or hurt of losing one’s virginity, help your teenagers to find them. By discovering these treasures, teens can greatly increase the value of their painful experiences.

5. What are your teen’s VALUES and CONVICTIONS? Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. This old country song illustrates the fifth step toward regaining a lost virginity: convictions are the foundation that virginity is built upon. Without clear convictions and values, keeping pure becomes extremely difficult. Convictions enable us to know where to draw the line. They help us to know when to say no and when to proceed. Teenagers need virtuous, clear convictions before they ever attempt to remain pure. With the types of temptations that teenagers are faced with today, when a conviction is unclear it’s like tumbling on a one inch wide balance beam over the grand canyon.

The Bible is the source we need to teach teenagers to review when they have a question regarding purity. Although the Bible may not provide answers to all their questions; however, it should be the first place they look. The more teenagers read about the Bible and its teachings, the wiser they will become when they face a purity decision. If turning to the Scripture does not provide the necessary answer, then we need to teach teenagers to turn to a parent, youth minister, coach, teacher, mentor, counselor or someone who knows or can help find the answer.

6. Becoming AWARE OF OUR CHOICES and drawing a line to provide a BUFFER ZONE away from sexual temptation. Edwin Hubbel Chapin stated the sixth way to develop purity when he said: "Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity." As your teenager maintains or regains her virginity, it's important for her to realize that every action she takes leaves a lasting impact on herself and others. Even the smallest movement can have a major impact. In other words: Every choice we make has consequences for ourselves and others. One of the things that can lead to a poor choice is when we start to rationalize. Rationalization is when we use statements like: “It's no big deal;” “It's all right--every one's doing it;” “I'm not really hurting anyone;” “It's only wrong if you get caught;” or “Trust me!” These statements can start a tragic pattern. Each time the line is crossed (no matter how small the step), you risk stepping over the line.

Stepping over the line is a major factor in the battle for one’s virginity. As a teenager develops purity, he or she must learn where to draw new lines. Personal lines consist of things like: how far to go on a date, what type of clothes we wear, how much time to spend together alone, watching "R" rated movies, or how much kissing we can do. Everyone is different where they need to draw their own lines. But we all need to draw many lines or the results can be tragic.

Teenagers need to learn how to keep from stepping over the line. As Dr. Gary Oliver notes in the book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, the key is teaching teens to create a new line--ten yards away from the original line. In other words, they need to leave room for error (Buffer Zone). For example, if a teenager has had sex, then he needs to develop a new purity line. For some, the new line he won’t go beyond might be kissing, holding hands, or no contact period. If the new line is kissing, then stepping ten yards back might be not kissing while lying down or no “passionate” kissing. Since everyone makes mistakes, having room before you step out of bounds can be the difference between losing a few yards and losing the game of virginity.

7. Seek out ACCOUNTABILITY. One of the most important ways to help teens maintain or regain their virginity is to get them to be accountable to someone. This person could be a family member, friend, coach, or youth pastor. Or it can be a group of people who have made a similar commitment towards purity. Whomever provides the accountability, we have found that it greatly affects a teen’s ability to say “No” to sex before marriage.

In conclusion, if teenagers want to maintain their virginity or want it back, they need to be PERSISTENT! Essentially, persistance involves three important aspects:

  • Making their requests known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
  • Imagining themselves standing in line before God every day--”praying without ceasing.” (I Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Start acting like virgins because God will restore them if they’re persistent. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

Remember that it is God's timing and not ours. Although God promises to grant any request we make known to Him, this does not mean that we should expect God to give it to us in our timing. We may get our petition the next day, week, month or year. But the bottom line is that if teenagers desire to have their virginity restored, then God will be faithful if they remain persistent.