Will you have answers when your children and teens ask hard questions about sex? You can be more confident if you have thought about some possible questions beforehand. Here are some common questions I hear from parents and other adults, and from teens themselves, with the answers I give. I hope this will help you think through your responses to similar questions, so that you will be prepared.
A: Things aren’t always what they seem to be. Consider:
(i) For a majority of girls, and many boys, their first sexual experience was not what they expected and they wish they had waited.
(ii) The break-up rate and the rate of abuse are much greater for co-habiting couples than for married couples.
(iii) Married couples report more satisfaction from sex than do non-married partners.
(iv) Many sexually transmitted diseases show no symptoms for a long time, so people may be infected and not know it yet.
A: Lots of things. The three most important:
(i) God has said no one should have sex outside marriage. What did God actually say? “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). A young man is to start his own family by entering into marriage, and only then should he and his wife have sexual intercourse. Read the stories of Shechem and Dinah (Genesis 34) and Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13), young people who had sex without being married. The Bible speaks of their actions as “wrong” and as “something that should not be done.”
(ii) Sex is a wonderful gift of God, intended to bond a man and a woman together for life. But it also bonds two people who have sex with each other outside of marriage. It is a very powerful instinct. The Apostle Paul recognized this (see 1 Corinthians 6:16), and we now know from scientific studies that it is so. Sex with many partners can weaken this bonding effect, so that the more sexual partners one has, the less satisfying is the sexual relationship.
(iii) There can be serious negative consequences, both now and throughout your life. These consequences can be emotional (feelings of having been betrayed, flashbacks later on in marriage, regret); physical (sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy); economic (poverty for the single mother and for her child); spiritual (separation from God). Look again at the accounts of Shechem and Dinah and of Amnon and Tamar and see how much suffering resulted from their actions. God wants to save us from these unintended consequences. But we should always remember that God can forgive and restore, no matter what we have done. He can make us new creatures, as if we had never sinned. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
A: You want what’s best for your teen, and what’s best is saving sex for marriage. Discuss with your teen why this is so. Be honest, without going into detail: “I did things I regret.” Did you do it because of pressure from someone? Talk about that, and how to solve that problem. Did you just not know God’s will on relationships? Talk about what the Bible says.
A: With God, it’s NOW that counts. He forgives and forgets, and in his eyes you are a virgin again. “The sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9,11). That’s a wonderfully freeing message! Besides, by deciding to stop having sex unless and until you marry you are saving your body, your brain, and your emotions from further damage — and from memories that you would rather forget.
A: Here are some things to think about:
(i) Although they many make you feel as if you’re the only virgin left on the planet, remember that you’re not. More than half of teens today are still virgins.
(ii) Even though others may give you a hard time, many will secretly envy you for who you are. A person who is able to stand up for what he or she believes is more worthy of respect than one who just goes along with the crowd.
A: “It isn’t okay to ignore God’s instructions, and it isn’t good for either of us. God put boundaries around sex for our own good” (1 Corinthians 6:12). If someone really loves you, he will not ask you to do anything that will put you at risk — and casual sex puts you at risk.