Scott and Anne came into my office for pre-marital counseling. They had both been in my youth group in a previous season of life. During one of the sessions we talked about sexuality. Both Scott and Anne were virgins and I must admit I was surprised because that is usually not the case today, even among Christian young people. I was intrigued and pleased that they had waited to have sexual intercourse and bring much less baggage into their upcoming marriage. I affirmed them and then asked how they had chosen sexual integrity when most of their generation had not. Their answer was insightful. Both of them mentioned three issues. First, their parents had talked openly and freely about sex education. Secondly, when they were in the high school youth group, they had taken a sexual purity pledge very seriously. Thirdly, they added that they did have a strong sex drive and it had not been easy to wait, but that they both had made a decision to practice the spiritual discipline of sexual abstinence. The wedding was a joyous occasion and since I knew both sets of parents, I made it a point to thank them for the incredible start they gave this young couple on their road to sexual integrity. The parents laughed and said it wasn’t always easy. In fact it was downright uncomfortable at times. I know you would agree with me, that the results were well worth the uncomfortabilty. Scott and Anne have proved what authorities have known for years: Sex is better in marriage. Sex is better with couples who have a spiritual connection and sex is not better if you cohabitate.
So, it should be the goal of the parents to teach a healthy, value-centered sex education to their kids. The problem? Most parents don’t ever do it. That’s where you come in as a youth worker. Notice that even with the story of Scott and Anne; they both had a chance to make a Purity pledge in the youth group. I think as a youth worker you have a chance to teach God honoring sexuality and help kids make those right decisions. Don’t forget whenever you can, to include the parents in at least some of the discussions.
When I first was involved in youth ministry, people were much more nervous about the youth group dealing with sexuality. Today the Church is basically desperate and more open to you helping kids deal with the subject. Make sure you are a role model for sexual integrity yourself and that the discussions with your students are open dialog. Kids learn best when they talk, not just when you talk. Give them a Biblical foundation and challenge them to live by the Purity Code. I define the Purity Code as this, “In honor of God, my family and my future spouse, I will commit my life to sexual purity.”
- Honoring God with your body
- Renewing your mind for good
- Turning your eyes from worthless things
- Guarding your heart above all else
The Purity Code is much more than keeping kids from having sexual intercourse before marriage. It is really about sexual integrity. As you teach healthy sexuality, you will have students like Scott and Anne come back and say thanks. You are now affecting their legacy and that really gets exciting in youth ministry.