Thursday, February 24, 2011

True Love Waits...but only a little while

If you haven't read my first post in this series, click here.

In today's post, I want to address some specific dangers when our teens choose to date. We've already seen a retrospective look at attitudes, mindsets and character issues many parents recall from their own dating years, but we've also seen that time seems to dull our memories as parents. In fact, many parents may see dating as a "harmless phase" that all teens go through. I would even argue that many Christian parents feel a false sense of security because of the heavy emphasis on Abstinence Education in both the public and private sector.

Abstinence programs are a great idea, but we have the misguided notion that they offer protections for our dating kids. Let's think about it though... Isn’t it unrealistic to expect a teenager who has been pursuing emotional romance since age 12, and a limited physical relationship for about the same length of time, to refrain from sexual relations until he marries a decade later? What about those kids who 'take the pledge?' It’s interesting to note that a study done in 2001 by the American Journal of Sociology states that virginity pledges were found to delay intercourse only by an average of 18 months.In other words, for many kids, a pledge might delay activity for a while, but not until they are married.

Make no mistake, I am THRILLED with the moves towards abstinence education, but I believe educating our kids about sexual purity and expecting them to remain sexually pure while they date is a lot like an Alcoholics Anonymous group choosing to hold their meetings in a bar.

Equally as sobering is the sad statistic Josh McDowell quotes in his book Why True Love Waits: The Definitive Book on How to Help Your Kids Resist Sexual Pressure regarding 'churched kids.' Lest we assume, as Christian parents, that because of our faith and church involvement that our kids are safe, we should be aware that while “religion conscious” girls are 86% more likely to say that it is important to be a virgin at marriage than “non-religion-conscious” girls, those same religious conscious girls are only 14% more likely to actually be virgins. Thus, being active in church is no guarantee that a young person is immune to the pressures pushing teens into premarital sexual involvement.

If our kids become sexually active, 1 in 4 will get an STD. Out of all the teen girls you know, 4 out of 10 of them are likely to get pregnant. 

Makes you want to lock them in a tower a la Rapunzel, doesn't it? 

As parent, we need to be careful to not reduce purity to just sexual purity...the term purity encompasses to much more. That's the subject of my next post. Hope you'll be back.


Aunt Alice said...

Those are some scary statistics.

I wish every mother who thinks it's "cute" for her pre-teen daughter to have a boyfriend would take a look at the statistics and really understand where that road is is likely to lead.

Locking them in a tower may be too extreme (tempting as it might be), but it's time that parents took the dangers dating seriously enough to at least insist that their children wait until a reasonable age to begin dating.