Watching parents over the past ten years of ministry with students I have noticed several subjects that can strike fear into the hearts of parents. The biggest subject that strikes fear into the hearts of parents is the subject of sex. There are a lot of different reasons for this. Let’s take a closer look at several of these fears:
- I don’t know what to say: This has to be one of the biggest fears in talking with our teens about sex. We are not sure what to say or sometimes even how to say it. Sometimes the most difficult challenge is even starting the conversation. What I have seen over the years is that the initiation process for starting the conversation is awkward no matter the person or teenager; however it is extremely important to do. Too often we avoid it because we don’t know what to say, and end up setting our teens up for failure in this area.
- What if they ask me something that I don’t know the answer to: I am with you on this one. As a youth pastor I face this almost weekly with students and leaders. It never fails that someone will ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to. What I have discovered is that most people, including your teen, are okay with “I am not sure”, and taking time to find the answer and getting back with them.
- What if they ask about my past: Most of us have a past that we are not too proud of, and we fear that if our teens ask about it, then our failures in the area might encourage them to not pursue purity in their relationships because we did not.
- I will destroy their innocence by talking about it: This is a very common fear among parents, especially parent of younger teens. The reality is that they are already hearing about it even as early as late elementary age. We don’t destroy their innocence because we talk about sex and educate them on it from a biblical standpoint.
In hearing parent’s concerns and fears in talking with their teen about sex, I felt moved to put something in the hands of parents to help them overcome their fears and talk with their teens about sex. As a family ministry one of our milestones for middle schoolers is “commitment to purity”. That commitment starts when we as parents take the responsibility to have frank conversations with our teens about sex. Because of this, I have put together a resource called “Commitment to Purity”. It is a resource designed to help parents over the above mentioned and other fears in talking about sex and purity with their teen, and start the dialogue with their teen about sex. It also provides an outline for a “rite of passage” experience that you can do with your family and friends when your student is ready to commit themselves to purity. You can get the resource here, or by calling our student ministry office at 865-251-2590 ex. 1305. I would love to hear your thoughts on how helpful this is, and what we should add to the resource.