Abstinence is Not a Bad Word

Our body is a temple created to honor God. The Bible clearly states that we should abstain from everything that’s immoral including sexual immorality. As Christian parents we have a responsibility to educate our children on the Biblical principals put forth by God. The debate on whether sex education should be taught in school is ongoing. Should our schools have the responsibility of teaching our children about sex, birth control, etc. or should this important subject matter be better left to the parents? My concern is when the subject of sex is broached, it appears as though all the options are covered except one very important option and that is abstinence.

In today’s culture abstinence has unfortunately become a bad word. Abstinence by many is considered old fashioned and unrealistic when in reality abstinence is exactly what we should be teaching our children. Parents have given too much control over to the schools, allowing them to be responsible for the reproduction education that children should be receiving at home.

Parents should have an open dialogue with their children about sex in a spiritual and Biblical context. Pretending sexual temptation doesn’t exist won’t make it disappear. Kids need to be educated on the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental implications of having sex when they are teenagers. Abstinence is realistic and it can be promoted within the family. Society is more interested in providing birth control than being an advocate of abstinence and getting to the root of the issue.

The most important reason we need to promote abstinence with our children is one that is often overlooked. The reason is it is what God wants from his children. Beyond all of the obvious reasons, our children should understand that their body is sacred, a temple, that is to glorify the Lord and only to be shared in marriage. It seems God is ignored when there are debates about sex education.

Our culture screams sex around every corner. Television shows like, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” whose focus is on teens having sex is one example of how our culture promotes promiscuity. One character, Amy has a baby, but that doesn’t deter the rest of the teenagers from having sex and with multiple partners. Even the parents have a nonchalant attitude when it comes to their teens sleeping around. What is amazing to me is this show is on ABC Family! Television irresponsibly glamorizes sex making it seem enticing without dealing with the consequences of having premarital sex. It neglects to show the real hardships of teenage pregnancy, the emotional turmoil of sexual relationships, the spiritual damage, and the physical risks. It also teaches kids to not respect their bodies, especially girls who more often than not face the real consequences of having sex. Media teaches our girls that giving up their virginity is not a big deal, that their bodies are merely vehicles for pleasure,giving them a false sense of who they really are and who God wants them to be.

As Christian parents it is our job to be aware of what our teens are doing, who they are friends with, and if the type of relationships they’re engaging in are appropriate. We can’t just tell them, “Don’t have sex, because I said so.” We have to explain why sex is meant for marriage, why God tells us not to engage in premarital sex, and we need to make them aware of the consequences. Don’t be afraid to tell your children that sex outside of marriage is a sin. There are spiritual boundaries and it is okay to talk about them. When the time is right share your own experiences, whether they fell in line with God’s will or not, these are teachable moments for your kids. Don’t forget to tell them about the consequences, I know it is embarrassing especially when we fall short, but often our personal experience is the most influential teacher. Conversations about abstinence should originate in the home. Let’s teach our children that abstinence is not a bad word, but a way of life that honors God. Remember the foundation is not built in school, but built under your roof.

Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved

1 Comment

  1. StephanieL. on October 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I was just having this conversation the other day with a friend. My issue was with a parenting book my husband was reading. I decided to read it as well and found that their were 3 full chapters dedicated to creating “non-gay” children but not a mention of teaching sons and daughters to remain abstinent. My husband and I waited, best decision we ever made!

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