Teens in Trouble

  An article in the New York Times reported not long ago that kids today are engaging in sex at younger and younger ages. Even 13-year-olds, we're told, are to be found in Manhattan clubs, drinking, dancing, and engaging in intimate acts in dimly lit corners. Dr. Cynthia Pegler, a specialist in adolescent medicine, told reporters the kids say it's no big deal anymore. And psychologist Wayne Warren adds, "I see... sixth graders who tell me they're virgins... but... they've had oral sex 50 or 60 times. It's like a goodnight kiss to them." This is shocking. And experts blame this state of affairs on the overt sexual messages of television, music, and films. "Sex is everywhere," they said, "and it's absolutely explicit." Even secular observers acknowledge that this free-for-all is damaging to kids. Dr. Levy-Warren told the Times that kids today are engaging in "body part sex." It's dehumanizing and mechanical, and such acts lead, she says, to an inability to form relationships later in life. What this says to Christians is that we have to become counter-cultural. Our kids have to be told that there's a different, and much better, way to behave. And a young man name Joshua Harris, just a few years out of his teens himself, may be the perfect messenger. Harris is the author of a bestselling book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. After years of dealing with sexual temptation and painful break-ups, Harris concluded that dating -- the way it is done today -- just doesn't make sense anymore. It only encourages physical and emotional intimacy at a time in life when teens aren't ready for it, and too many of them engage in acts that God reserves for marriage. Harris recommends that teens go out in groups, and avoid anything but friendship with the opposite sex until they're old enough to marry. Well, I admit that when I first read Harris's recommendations, I was skeptical. They seemed a bit puritanical. But the more I thought about it -- and especially after reading the awful truth in the Times piece -- I began to think that Harris might be onto something. And that's why I'm devoting this entire week to Harris's book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I hope you'll tune in each day, and encourage your teenagers to do so as well. The advice you'll hear may at first seem radical and, yes, prudish. But the crisis among our teens is so serious that it just may take something drastic to fix it.


Chuck Colson


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