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Pliable's Slough

The Wrong Roads to Sexual Purity



When it comes to talking with young people about sex, certain tactics should be avoided. I’ll explain, next on BreakPoint.

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John Stonestreet

Most of you have probably read or heard of “Pilgrim’s Progress,” John Bunyan’s classic allegory about the life of a believer. It begins when Christian, a resident of the City of Destruction, reads a book that tells him that his city will soon be destroyed. After receiving instructions from a man called Evangelist, Christian flees the city and begins his journey toward the Cross.

He hasn’t gotten very far when he meets another fellow by the name of Pliable. He tells Pliable about the coming destruction and the rewards awaiting anyone who flees for the Celestial City. Pliable, not surprisingly, goes right along with Christian—that is, until they fall into a bog and things aren’t so easy anymore. At this point, Pliable turns tail and leaves Christian to struggle on alone.

“If we have such ill speed at our first setting out,” complains Pliable, “what may we expect betwixt this and our journey’s end?”

You know, I’ve had students and 20-somethings ask me basically the same thing when it comes to sex. And you know what? They’re right.

Our job as parents, siblings, pastors and mentors is to spur this generation toward wholeness and conviction, and that includes sexual purity. But if we give them the wrong reasons, they’ll find themselves mired in discouragement when the going gets tough. And it will get tough - more so for this generation than almost any other.

In her soon to be released book, “Guardians of Purity,” Julie Hiramine, Founder of Generations of Virtue, lays out the hard reality of what our teens and young adults face: Ninety percent of kids will have viewed online pornography by age sixteen. And the typical teenager spends almost two hours a week intentionally looking for it. And the internet isn’t the only danger zone; a sex scene now appears on television every nine minutes. And one in three teenage boys admit to having nude pictures sent to them on their phones.

And the consequences are expected: The majority of high schoolers have sexual intercourse by graduation, and almost eighty percent of guys say they feel pressured by society to find a girl who’s willing to have sex. As a result, one in four young people will have contracted a sexually-transmitted infection before turning twenty, and a third of girls will get pregnant as well.

Now look, I’m a dad. I know the knee-jerk response to all of this: Shut down the internet and the TV. Take away the cell phones and the iPads. Lock your kids in the house; scare them straight with horror stories about STDs and pregnancy.

Wrong solution. As I point out in today’s "Two-Minute Warning," fear tactics fail. Besides, the medical world is coming up with more and more effective ways of preventing STDs and pregnancy all the time. And even though more people than ever are getting infected and pregnant, sex appears safer and safer by the world’s standards. If we encourage our teens to base their sexual ethic only on consequences, we’re setting them up for compromise and heartbreak.

There are better ways to talk to your children about sex. And more than just talk, there are ways to get involved in their lives, to strengthen family time, and to help them grow in their faith. That’s the approach Julie Hiramine lays out so well in her book “Guardians of Purity.” And she includes practical suggestions. So get a copy. Right now you can pre-order at our online bookstore at BreakPoint.org. Click on this commentary and we’ll link you to it.

And while you’re at BreakPoint.org, check out my "Two Minute Warning," where in addition to fear tactics I give two more wrong ways to talk about sex. It’s part three in our series about God’s response to sexual brokenness.  More than 10,000 people have viewed parts one and two on line — and they’re making tons of comments. Join the discussion. I’d love to read what you have to say.

Further Reading and Information

Guardians of Purity: A Parent's Guide to Winning the War Against Media, Peer Pressure, and Eroding Sexual Values
Julie Hiramine | Charisma House | August 2012

The Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan

How NOT to Respond to Sexual Brokenness
John Stonestreet | ColsonCenter.org| July 26,2012

 


Comments:

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Integrity and Purity
Thanks for a great article! Just wanted to point out a couple of things, having been an Abstinence Until Marriage State program director for nearly 9 years with a nationally ranked program and presence...since 1991 the sexual activity rate has been falling (thanks totally to ATM programs as there has been no other changes and the 'free sex' ideologists do nothing to truly promote abstinence or attempt to reduce sexual activity other than lip service). While I agree with the comments above regarding this being a 'breeding experiment', the sexual activity rate has dropped from a high of nearly 55% down to around 41% (a significant cultural shift). This is still way too high and costly but it is not the 'majority of high schoolers' engaging in sexual intercourse as stated in the posting. Also, I don't think this is your intention but please remember, any time anyone gives credence to the contraceptive/condom promotion sex ed agenda, they help create the lies and deception repeatedly used and help to convince young adults and teens that sexual activity is OK with the "sex, anytime, anywhere is OK as long as your 'protected'" mantra. Your comments, 'Besides, the medical world is coming up with more and more effective ways of preventing STDs and pregnancy all the time," are only 'partially true.' While you recant them in your next couple of statements, the only way this can be stated truly is if you do it the same way the 'free sex' folks do... convince folks that if they use contraception/ condom and don't get pregnant or an STD each time they engage, they are 'safe'. The major problem with this, and they know it and the data all shows it, is that even if this is the case, we were designed to enjoy sex in marriage, and by God's wisdom and will, we would then desire it more and more with our spouse - what an amazing plan by an amazing God. However, this plays out whether married or not and they can't come up with a single study outside of 3 months (which is ludicrous) where they can show that their 'safe sex' ideology works. Beyond the 3 months (and as any half-brained person knows, 3 months can be used with any group of people to show that 'something' keeps one group from getting pregnant or STD in comparison with another...we would call it God's sovereignty), they can't produce any positive results that they claim make this 'safe', so they know they are producing more and more sexually active teens/young adults and ultimately most of the groups, i.e., Planned Parenthood and their govt and other cronies, know the 'safety' doesn't really 'stick' and they make a killing financially off of killing the babies that are a result of their 'safe sex' programs as well as off of STD test kits, meds and other related resources. Hope you understand what I'm saying here is simply... There is no such thing as 'safe sex' outside of married sex (lifelong monogamous commitment with an uninfected person). Everything else is relatively unsafe and the more sex you have, the higher the risk...they know it and the research proves it! Even if there are medical advances that keep one from getting pregnant (or STD) for a longer period of time (and this certainly helps some married couples if they are OK to use contraception/condoms), the ultimate result will be either eventual pregnancy, disease and always brokenness and pain in relationships! Can't put a condom on your heart! I know you know this but I'm very sensitive to the nuances used in wording and ideas when it comes to this issue. Thanks for all you do and God bless in Christ!
What do you expect?
Excellent article.

John wrote: "And the consequences are expected: The majority of high schoolers have sexual intercourse by graduation, and almost eighty percent of guys say they feel pressured by society to find a girl who’s willing to have sex. As a result, one in four young people will have contracted a sexually-transmitted infection before turning twenty, and a third of girls will get pregnant as well."

What exactly do you expect to happen when you age segregate hormone-flooded, sexually mature young adults together for long periods of time in an amoral, atheistic environment and then give them condoms and tell them it's OK? It's like some kind of sick breeding experiment.
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