Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(Not So) Shocking Story

Note: This post is not for young readers.

I recently read an article about the prevalence of sexual activity among our nation's teens. According to an anonymous survey, the average age for a girl to lose her virginity is 15. Even more shocking, 14% of girls lose their virginity at school. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the increase, and kids are having sex more now than ever before.

Sadly, this new data does not surprise me. Most of the children I worked with in the schools were "troubled", and their troubles often included sexual issues. (And this was in an elementary school!). When I taught high school, we often made accommodations for girls who were pregnant or recovering from an abortion. Students were constantly getting "caught" in the bathrooms, on the bus, and in deserted classrooms.

Unfortunately, in today's world, these types of data are a natural result of our sex-crazed society. Our children are exposed to so much more in society, on TV, on the computer, and in the classroom than we were as kids. What an awesome responsibility it is as a parent to shelter our kids from as much inappropriate exposure as possible while educating them about what God designed for sex.

And that brings me to my next point: teaching our kids about sex. We should not remain silent on the subject of sex. The Bible does not remain silent, but is very clear about God's perfect design for sex within a marriage. What a precious gift God has given to married couples to express their love and commitment to each other! Believe me, if we remain silent, they will learn and take to heart the sexual philosophies espoused by their peers, music, movies, and TV.

A friend of mine has a daughter who was recently invited to lead a Disciple Now conference for teenagers in a local Baptist church. She couldn't believe how many of the youth were already sexually active....kids who had grown up in the church and were part of Christian families. How easy it is for young people to be drawn into the "normalcy" of sexual activity!

I want to also make the observation that sometimes despite the best intentions by parents and the church to teach children about God's design for sexual intimacy in marriage, young unmarried adults will become sexually active. This is not a failure on our part as a parent or teacher, it is a result of sin and the fall of mankind. We should not lose heart as parents, but remain faithful to love and teach our children about God's grace and forgiveness.

How thankful I am for a God who chose to give the gift of sex within a marriage. What an awesome responsibility it is for Todd and me to raise our daughter in today's world where there are so many mixed messages. Our prayer is that we will remain faithful to our calling and make wise parenting decisions as Grace grows older.

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