“My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. They will keep you from the adulteress” (Proverbs 7:1, 5).
When I was in high school, teenage girls who got pregnant usually married their boyfriends. When I was in college, girls who got pregnant usually had an abortion.
I never remember my parents talking to me about sex. I knew that sex before marriage was wrong, but my parents never gave me any advice about how to cope with the temptations that face any young person who thinks they are in love.
I have a little trouble talking with my own sons about this subject. They are embarrassed or amused. They laugh it off. It is hard to find the right moment to discuss it.
I am sure of this; as parents we must keep trying to talk about this issue. Here are things your teenage child needs to know:
Sexual temptation happens to everyone. They should not feel badly when it happens to them, but they should be prepared to exercise self-control.
When people fall in love, their emotions will be very strong. They must be prepared to deal with these emotions. They should decide before the situations present themselves what their reactions will be.
The Bible says to flee (run from) sexual temptation. One way to do this is for the two people involved to avoid spending long periods of time alone.
Teenagers and young adults need to feel like they can talk about their feelings to their parents. Instead of being embarrassed, or getting angry with your teenager, try to be a good listener. Try not to give advice until you have listened to the whole story.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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