Creating New Messages for Teens About Sex

I’ve encountered many men and women in Awaken Love classes that felt less than grateful for the messages they received as teens about sex from the church. Not only were the messages ineffective in helping them wait for marriage, they did nothing to help them embrace sex once married. So what can the church learn from the past that will help them create new messages for teens about sex?

The Past

Many women remember horrifying illustrations of flowers losing their petals, or an Oreo cookie passed around for people to spit on. The analogies conveyed that sexual choices outside of marriage ruined your life, but did little to communicate about God’s redemption, or the beauty of sex within marriage. Once kids crossed lines, life often spun out of control. Already ruined and filled with shame, girls figured they might as well just keep going.

“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and father daughter purity rings left strong impressions. While they helped some stay pure, others felt the standards only made things worth. Lines impossible to hold, or already crossed caused many to give up trying. Worse yet, teens resorted to living double lives. The goal of purity and rules outweighed honesty, authenticity and even their relationship with a loving God.

I have no doubt that leaders in church had good intentions as they encouraged men and women to wait until marriage for sex, but I also think we can and must do better. Rather than just talk about purity, we need to clearly communicate the powerful gift that sex is in marriage. Instead of just telling kids they will be damaged goods if they don’t wait, we can share some of the natural consequences of choices made before marriage. We also must do everything to help kids integrate God into their sexuality. Rather than a list of rules we involve God in our choices. A relationship with Christ is the main focus, not coming to the altar unblemished.

What is God’s Design for Sex?

Rather than use scare tactics messages to reinforce the message, “Don’t Do It”, let’s help our kids understand what they are waiting for and why.

Mutuality

Teens must understand that sex is a beautiful, powerful gift from God. It is something to look forward to in marriage. Song of Songs illustrates mutuality in marriage – even when culture did not. Cultures message that sex is a need and a right for men is completely wrong. Husband and wife should redefine sex in a way that will work for both husband and wife in order to make sex mutually enjoyable.

Oneness

Our kids must understand that God created to unify husbands and wives. That takes great trust for a wife. Many messages tell us that men use women for sex. Boys that don’t push boundaries before marriage will help a wife trust that her husband cares more about her than sex.

Teenagers also need to understand the natural consequences of short circuiting the intimate connection that God intended during sex. When teens partake in the hook up culture they treat sex as nothing more than physical pleasure. Once married they will struggle to experience the intimate connection that God intended until , until they grieve the past choices they made and the things done to them.

Knowing

Teens need to understand that sex does not come naturally like it is depicted in media or porn. Great sex that lasts a lifetime requires intentionality and vulnerability. Each time you both show up and say, “what can I discover today?”

Experiences outside of marriage create challenges. Comparing the adrenaline driven sex outside of marriage can mask the satisfaction of real intimacy.

Rather than just teach that porn is wrong, teens need to understand the impact it can have. Porn can cause performance pressure that makes us worry and short circuit the natural responses of our body like arousal, erection and orgasm. We can also waste our time recreating something we’ve seen, rather than discovering our spouse. Past porn can make sex feel dirty, so we don’t enjoy the freedom that God intends. Keeping ourselves pure, is God’s good plan to protect us and our future spouse.

God can heal past experiences but it will take honesty and work. We should help teens understand the importance of getting healthy before marriage. When they seek healing in community, they can enter marriage open about their past committed to work towards intimacy.

Involve God

Not every answer about sexuality is simple or spelled out in the bible. Rather than give our teens a bunch of rules, let’s create new messages about sex that will equip them to make good choices and discern with God. They will use the skill not only use in singleness but in marriage, or any stage of life.

Masturbation is a great discussion to help teens understand how to involve God in their choices. After exploring what the bible says, or doesn’t say about masturbation, challenge them to come up with biblical principles that apply to their choices. Things like.. don’t lust, or you shall have no God before me, or not everything is beneficial… Even God’s character helps us discern. God created us for relationship with Him and with others. If masturbation is making us hide, or lie, then it is probably not beneficial for us.

Don’t make the choice for them. Help them involve God and keep involving God, because choices can change.

We must have the courage to admit we don’t have all the answers about sexuality for teenager, but God does. Challenge teens to pray, ask God, and have the courage to follow Him.

Teens also need to understand that God cares about all of them – even their sexuality. God can forgive and heal sexual sin just like he can other sins. More than our purity, he desires their heart. He wants them to fall in love with Him, and to fall down at His feet and receive His unfailing love when they feel broken. Create new messages for teens about sex by including messages about redemption.  Many will stumble, and God can help them get back up and give them a fresh start.

Responsibility

Too many times, we give teens someone to blame for their choices about sexuality. “If girls just didn’t wear those clothes”. “If he hadn’t slept with his past girl friends then I would not have had to sleep with him”.” If she hadn’t flirted with me, I wouldn’t have lost control.” Teens need to learn to take responsibility for their choices, regardless of anyone else’s actions.

Boys can learn to battle lust. They can turn their head and find something else to do. They can even control their mind and decide not to bring those images up in their mind to enjoy later. Affirm the courage for teenagers to reach out for help when they struggle with porn, questions about sexual feelings, or choices about masturbation. Boys can also be taught to protect and respect women regardless of what they wear or how they act. Waiting for marriage should be a goal for boys as well as girls.

Girls should be taught not to turn a boy’s head to feel important or noticed. They need to dress in a way that  they respect themselves and honor God. They must take responsibility for their own choices, but not for ones taken from them. Encourage them to reach out for help if they’ve been wounded sexually, or struggles with sexual addiction. Girls must learn not to put themselves in unsafe situations and must look out for their friends when they go out.

Final Thoughts

Have the courage to create new messages for teens about sex. Most have been exposed to far more than we realize. To gain their ear, we can no longer resort to simple answers of “Don’t do it” before marriage. Our kids need to understand what they are waiting for and how their current choices impact them. Messages about purity must be balanced with messages about God’s redemption. Rather than teaching our teens simple rules, we must equip them to discern God’s will for their life. We must value honesty and integrity more than purity. We all have sinned and fallen short, but God loves us and can give us a fresh start. Let’s help our teens start working towards sexual heath and wholeness today.

Discover the Power of Words for Excitement

Just like God designed men to get excited by looking at a woman’s body , He designed women to get aroused through words. Women can read a romance novel with a juicy scene and suddenly we can’t wait for sex. It is similar to how God designed men’s eyes to arouse them. But just like men need to reserve their eyes to feast on their wives, we need to reserve our words for the marriage bed. In fact, we need to cultivate the use of words in our marriage bed. Instead of escaping into a book when our own sex life becomes stale, we must learn use  the power of words to create the sex life we want.

Words have been a huge area of growth for my husband and me.  We have gone from literally not saying a word during sex to freely expressing our needs and our delights. I am so thankful that my husband took my needs seriously. He could have minimized my desires, thinking words can’t be that big a deal. Or he could have used excuses like, that not who I am, or it is too hard. Men, it takes courage for your wife to visually share her body with  you. It will take courage for you to learn how to create excitement using your words. But trust me, learning to use your words is a powerful way to make your sex life mutually enjoyable.

I have had nights when I literally told Jim, “I need your words more than your touch.” With my mind in so many different places, I knew Jim’s words could engage and excite me for sex much faster than his touch. Don’t discount the power of words.

Realizing the Power

I remember the first time I realized just how much power words held. My husband was on a business trip for 2 weeks and I was determined to push the boundaries to connect while separated. While lying in bed with my laptop early in the morning I could feel the silky sheets against my skin and missed my husband terribly. So, as I lay there visiting with my husband I began to type using the instant messaging system on Skype,

“like what you see?”

After a bit of confusion, he replied, “uh, yeah”.

“want to see more?”, I teased.

I could see his eyes light up as he gathered his response.

“Tell me what you want…”

As we typed back and forth, we didn’t yet have the courage to speak the words out loud, but we knew there was something more for us to learn. Instant messaging began our journey of tapping into the power of words.

Growth

The need to incorporate words in my marriage bed was driven by my desire and not my husband’s. Rather than nagging him or voicing my disappointment, I created games and scenarios to reinforce how powerful and fun words could be. If you need ideas then check out my article on Using Our Words During Sex, or Using Words to Fuel Passion. 

Our sex life has thrived because Jim was willing to stretch and grow, and he has witnessed the change words have made both for me and for him. The twinkle in my husband’s eyes bears witness to his enjoyment of our words.

Sometimes, more than touch, I need my husband to take me someplace using his words. Words can turn vanilla sex into steaming hot sex, even though we are in the same bed, wearing the same outfit and doing the same things. Words can transport me in a way that touch cannot. They communicate a presence and a connection beyond the physical that integrates your mind and soul.

How have you discovered the power of words?

Include God in Your Conversations About Sex

Conversations about sex and God rarely take place together. Somehow we have separated our creator from one of the  most powerful experiences He made for us. Yet God has a lots to say about our sexuality and any hard topic that the world challenges us with. When I made my list about what I want to communicate to my kids about sex, many of the truths involved God. Don’t depend on your church to talk about sex or other hard topics with your kids. Include God in your conversations.

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Start Talking to Your Kids About Sex Today

When I speak to moms groups about sex they often ask, “When should I start talking to my kids about sex?” They are probably hoping for a little more time to prepare. But none of us have more time. Culture, media, schools and porn are educating our kids everyday about sex. If you want your kids to have a biblical view about sex and other hard topics, then you can no longer remain silent.  One of the most important choices we will make as a parent is to start talking to our kids about sex, today.

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How to Have Conversations with Your Kids About Tough Topics

Conversations about hard topics like sex, masturbation, or porn can feel scary and awkward for everyone involved. A simple formula can help make the experience positive so that it happens again and again. Create a great conversation by sandwiching the contents of your conversation between Affirmation and Availability. Just like a good book, your kids will remember most how the conversation started and how it ended.

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Before You Talk About Sex, Work On Yourself

Even though you might know what you want to say, most people cannot just decide to talk about sex and effectively communicate.  Our reaction, tone, attitude and even silence communicate more about sex than our words. Before your kids even hear your words, they will pick up on your emotions. Things like fear, discomfort and awkwardness powerfully convey how you really feel. If you want your kids to believe your words than you have you have to believe them yourself. The most important thing that you can do to help your kids embrace God’s truth about sex, is for you to work on yourself.

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What Do You Want to Communicate to Your Kids?

When we think about talking to our kids about sex, we worry about fielding the embarrassing questions our kids might ask. Questions like, “How are babies made?” or “What is a blowjob?” But what if our kids never ask questions about sex? What if they’ve already picked up on how uncomfortable the topic makes us. Or maybe the world is already providing plenty of answers. Do you really want to leave your kids education about hard topic like sex, masturbation, pornography or LGBTQ to someone else? What truths do you want to communicate?

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Using Words to Fuel Passion During Sex

Words add excitement during sex. Women that masturbate often imagine what is being said to them. Even saying or imagining their own verbal enthusiasm can coax their body’s response. When my husband lets down his guard enough to ask for what his body aches for, it adds to my arousal in powerful ways. When our filters finally disappear, the “Oh yes!!”, “Don’t stop!” or “Harder” fuel passion. But what words can Christian couples use in the marriage bed?

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Talking About Sex – Even in Kenya

On our mantle sits a hand painted African plate from a fundraiser for a girl’s school and orphanage in Kenya. From the time we met the founders, I always knew that one day Jim and I would make the long trek to visit the orphanage.

Maybe it is because I admired how one couple’s obedience to God’s calling could impact so many lives. From its’ humble beginnings in 2004, the orphanage now houses, feeds, clothes and educates over 120 girls. Or maybe the founder wore me down, after repeatedly telling me his girls needed to meet a woman that crossed boundaries into fields like Engineering and Woodworking. Or maybe… after putting it off for over 8 years because of our kid’s college tuition payments and ministry involvement with Awaken-Love, I just needed to trust God.

This month Jim and I went to the orphanage in Kenya and it was amazing!!

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Practicalities of Talking About Sex in the Church

The world is screaming at us about sex. Non stop sexual advertising, pornography, TV shows and movies all constantly communicate the worlds standards and ideas. The church remains shockingly silent. Which in itself communicates something about sex, doesn’t it?The only way for the church to take sex back for the world is to start talking about sex. And not just in vague spiritual ways. People are looking for real answers!

You don’t wait for your pastor to lead the charge. They have their own brokenness they are dealing with. If you know and understand God’s truth about sex, then you need to start talking about sex. With your kids, your friends, and people  you mentor. We have to speak the truth about sex , but how?

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