By Joey and Carla Link
February 24, 2021
Everywhere you turn, kids are bombarded with images about love, which in today’s culture is equated with being sexy. From clothing to selfies, it is standard practice for kids ages 10 and up to want to be sexy and “hot” in how they portray themselves to the world. In an article titled “Sex and the Single Evangelical” written in August 2019 for the Institute for Family Studies, it shared studies where statistics show that 45% of kids ages 15-17 have had premarital sex. 30% of these had more than 1 partner at the time of the study. Of 18-22 year old’s attending evangelical Christian churches, 74% had had premarital sex and 50% had had more than one partner and the average was 3 partners. In a study done by Josh McDowell in 1974, 55% of Christian teens had engaged in heavy fondling. Can you imagine what that percentage is now, over 40 years later? While this is a more graphic conversation than we usually have on our blogs, it is a necessary one. Parents cannot naively stick their heads in the sand and pretend their teens won’t be in these statistics. In a study quoted in this same article, it said 41% of Christian adults said sex outside of marriage wasn’t wrong. So even in the church there is a prevailing attitude of “it’s going to happen anyway, so what can you do about it?” Why do Christian kids get involved sexually before marriage?
- They have not learned self-control over their emotions and body in this area of their life. We give a lot of practical teaching to parents on teaching your kids to get self-control in 8 specific areas in the Mom’s Notes presentation “Kids, Get Self-Control!” We spend a lot of time on the area of lust and emotional and physical self-control. We highly recommend you get this session. The mp3 of this teaching is found here.
Years ago I was teaching a High School Bible Study on dating and God’s plan for teens and one teen girl clearly stated what most teens feel. She said “I don’t care what the Bible says I want a boyfriend and if we like each other, so what?!!”
- They have not been taught what God says about sex outside of marriage. Recently I mentioned to a young adult that “sex before marriage is sin” and they had a stunned look on their face and asked where did I read that in the Bible? I took him to I Thessalonians 4:1-8 where God says
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
- They have given their heart away too early! Girls especially get so emotionally involved and give their heart (their emotional trust) away to a guy she is dating or is infatuated with long before an engagement. She loses herself in the emotional hope of a fairy tale life and gives her body away as well.
- Most guys don’t know how to truly treat a girl and in high school they rarely are thinking of marriage. I Thessalonians 4:6 says “no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister”. Most teens don’t have appropriate boundaries set so they don’t violate God’s word before they get together. We say teens shouldn’t have the freedom to date until they can clearly articulate to their parents their boundaries and what they will do when they are tempted to break them.
The #1 way for your kids to have appropriate boundaries in their dating relationship is for parents to talk to them about what a dating relationship should look like. Most parents don’t know how to talk to their kids about dating or their sexual relationship, but this too is part of “training a child up in the way he/she should go”. This is why we created “Dating, Courting and Choosing A Mate…What Works?” which is a 2-part teaching video and workbook for parents and teens to go through together. In it we talk about 4 areas that relationships with the opposite gender need to have equal values and standards. We also teach how to move and adjust those standards as a relationship matures and grows. You can get it here.