5 Ways Parents and the Church Can Help Teens Live Pure Lives
Pornography and masturbation—two words we almost never hear from parents or the church, yet teens are asking questions about them. Children begin watching pornography at younger and younger ages, possibly around four or five years old. Porn becomes a child’s sex education. To help teens live pure lives, we must intentionally invest in their lives and talk about sexuality.
5 Ways Parents and the Church Can Help Teens Live Pure Lives:
1. Have open and honest conversations
One youth pastor shared, “When asking our youth whether their parents ever talked about sex, not one raised their hand.” Parents barely talk about sex past the one time “sex talk.” Talking about purity should be a continual conversation, not a one time talk.
2. Learn about culture
What do teens watch on TV and online? What apps are on their phones that could cause problems? The church must stay up to date with the happenings outside of our walls. Remember that not everything is evil. Perhaps instead of only telling them what they cannot enjoy, we should emphasize the joys of following Christ and let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction.
3. Partner together
Often, parents dump all of the responsibility on the youth pastor, hoping they will talk with their child about sex. Most youth pastors are gifted in their ability to relate to younger generations, but we cannot depend on these few conversations. Paying youth pastors to shepherd the young people in the church does not alleviate the whole church of responsibility. Parents, ministers, and other church members should help in facilitating conversations about sexuality.
4. Talk about the beauty of sex.
Instead of saying, “Sex is bad. Don’t do it,” we need to teach about God’s perfect design for sex. First, we have to believe in the value and significance of our sexuality and how God designed us. We need to teach that our sexuality is significant and needs to be fought for. Example to teens that our desires to be sexually pure should flow out of our desires to worship God with our bodies as well as our minds and hearts. Abstinence for the sake of abstinence means nothing if you aren’t using it to worship God.
5. Parents, stop giving your child a cell phone at such a young age.
Once a child has a phone, they have immediate access to pornography, which could lead to trauma, addiction, and perpetuating rape culture. When a child has beenwatching porn since they were four years old, that child has been training their brain and body for sexual perversion and learning to take pleasure in it.
As the culture looks more and more pornographic, the church needs to talk more and more about God’s design for sexuality. When parents and the church partner together, teens will best understand how to live pure lives.