True Love Waits - or does it?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, May 4, 2004.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    The latest research on teenagers who pledge to remain pure until marriage is astonishing, to say the least. According to a joint study from Columbia and Yale, only 12% of students who pledge abstinent actually do so. In other words, true love really doesn't wait. What are the implications for us as a society? As the Church? This is the stuff I get to deal with as a youth minister, and as many of you get to deal with as parents.

    http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=22603
     
  2. Johnv

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    Since the start of movements like "True Love Waits", the number of teens getting pregnant has declined gradually, as have the number of teen abortions. The average teen who does decide to have sex for the first time is waiting until a later age, and the number of sexual partners they have before marriage is less.

    Making a "true love waits" commitment is not a cure-all. But it is a shift in the social mentality. Making a commitment to wait is seen as not only beneficial in religious communities, but in secular social circles as well. The pressure to have sex is gradually lessening.

    Inch by inch, anything's s cinch. But to expect results overnight is somewhat unreasonable. If we were to belittle the importance of teens making a conscious commitment not to have sex, should we also tell people getting married, "don't bother making a marital commitment, since the chances of you keeping your promise is only 50%? Of course not.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    I think tough open authentic relationships with people is the way to addres this. Signing your name on a card won't do it. This is a problem even for adults. We deal with divorced people in the church who are "dating" people and having the same struggle. Be authentic and real ... be tough and straightforward. Take it head on ...

    I think we make a mistake in thinking that kids are okay because they went forward at a special service adn signed a card. You can't prevent it all but you can create an atmosphere in which authenticity screams its head off that we need to be talking to each other about this stuff ... of course guys with guys and girls with girls.

    For the most part, if people say they have no struggles with sex, they are either dead or lying. And if they actually say it, that rules out one of the options. It may be an issue to different degrees for different people. But we need to fact it head on ... I think we dance around these things too often ...
     
  4. Alcott

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    Matthew 5:37-- Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

    Signing a commitment card, for anything, is more than a 'simple Yes or No.' Frankly it's little wonder people don't follow through with 'commitments.'
     
  5. gb93433

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    When I was pastoring I was shocked at how few parents took a strong stance on the issue of sex before marriage. If parents don't, then how will their children take much of a stance either?

    Recently I spoke with my daughter who is in eighth grade about how premarital sex affects men and women mentally, permanently. When children see parents having a fifty percent divorce rate why should they listen on success in marriage and relationships. When they see others who are not doctrinally sound who should they listen to? When they see their leaders not holding to the standard who should they believe?

    When parents tell their children it is possible to abstain their children will most likely do that. But if the parents tell their children about how many are doing it and how hard it is to raise kids today then what will they believe? How is today any harder than Corinth? It is not!

    The problem is not so much the kids it is their leaders. Kids will do what we expect. If we expect nothing of ourselves and our children we will get it every time.
     
  6. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    The people who can best impact children in any area are their parents. I have a real problem with parents who let an abstinence rally or a good youth pastor take their place. Whether its drugs or sex or dress or music or any other area of growing up parents can have an impact. Many parents are scared to death to face this issue head on and want to ignore it.

    Here is what I have found. Most parents have a hard time dealing with this issue because they have sin in their own lives. Even as married adults the temptation of sexual sin is still strong. It can manifest itself in adultery, pornography, or only as impure thoughts and desires. The parents are unwilling to address the sin in their own lives, past and present, and can't help their children without feeling like hypocrites. Sometimes guilt of past sin is all it takes.

    I had a parent come to me some time ago who found a bag of marijuana in his daughters room. He told me, "I really don't want her to smoke it, but when I was her age I smoked grass by the bale. How do I tell her not to when I did it?" There is no real problem here. You be honest. You tell your children what you did. You tell them it was wrong, it was a sin, you wish you had not done it and if you had the chance again you would choose differently. The only hypocrisy here is if you don't believe that. If you want to excuse the sin in your life while condemning theirs, well that is hypocrisy.

    The same argument applies to sexual sin. You can't say, well that was the 60's or that was the 70's. You can't say well that was before aids. You can't say, well I was much older. Sin is sin. It can't be OK for you and not OK for your children. The first step every parent needs to take in dealing with this is to address the sexual sins (past and present) in their own lives. Remember the mote and the beam? Confess and repent of your own sins and then you can help your children.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Why tell your child what you did?? Just tell them it was wrong. If they ask "Did you do it?" tell them. But I wouldn't volunteer that. There is no need to, IMO.
     
  8. HankD

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    Or, "yes I did and I want you to learn from my mistakes and sins".

    My father told me this when I was a young man and I took his advice.

    HankD
     
  9. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    It seems that since "actions speak louder than words" and "you did it and turned out okay" means that the child will get a different message.

    Children and teens are notoriously good rationalizers and though you tell them that it wasn't good, they see your life and see that you are doing alright and they think they can get away with it.
     
  10. Johnv

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    I disagree. By that interpretation, signing a loan document, or title to property, or even a marriage license, would be a violation. I don't think that's what the verse is implying.
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    The problem if you don't tell them is that when they find out then you will seem like a hypocrite. Honesty is always the best idea. Kids almost always figure out your lies and nothing will alienate your teen ager faster than lying to them. Do you want them to be honest with you? It goes both ways.

    In my own case I can remember the day when I realized that my birthday and my parents wedding were less than 9 months apart. When I asked about it and learned of the struggles my parents went through it did not give me a license to sin, but an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
     
  12. Dina

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    North Carolina Tentmaker,
    I agreee.

    I was raised in a Christian home, my husband was raised in a Christian home. We now have two children. One is 11, the other is 7. Our 11 year olds birthday is 11-18-92. My wedding date was 9-4-92.

    There have been several people who have asked me how we are going to handle explaining that to our children. And some have even suggested lying, by only telling our children the main date of Sept. 4 or telling them 9-4-91. I will not lie to my children about this. When I got preg I was 22 and DH was 23. I had been out of my parents house since I was 17. DH had been out of his parents house and in the Marine Corp since he was 17. I had my own apt. He was in the barracks.

    I have been honest with my kids about this and will continue to do so. My hope is that by telling them the struggles that we went thru as adults, and stressing that even as ADULTS how hard it was, that it will impact them ans they can learn from us.
     
  13. C.R. Gordon

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    I agree 100 % Larry!
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    IF they find out, that doesn't make you a hypocrite. You tell them that you were wrong and that your mistakes don't justify theirs. You would be a hypocrite if you were continuing to do it while telling them not to. But if you are no longer doing it than you are not a hypocrite.
     
  15. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Dina:

    I think your right about this. You don't have to advertise it but be honest and don't hide it either. One other thing though Dina is not to make excuses. Yes you were 22 not 16, but don't use that as an excuse to say that you were not wrong. As long as you recognize and repent of your own sin it can be a blessing to others instead of a hindrance to your ability to minister.

    My mother got pregnant as an unmarried teenager. She is still married to my father and they will celebrate 37 years of marriage this year. (easy to remember because its the same as my age) For the last 30 years my mother has been a high school teacher and administrator. God has taken that which was sin in her life (even if it gave me life) and turned it into an opportunity to minister to hundreds of girls over the years.

    Some came to her to late, already in the same condition she found herself in. Even these she was able to help through difficult times. Many she was able to keep from making that same mistake.
     
  16. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I see where your coming from Larry and I agree with you. You do not need to advertise the sin and we don't want to get to the point that we are bragging about our past. We have all heard "testimonies" anong that line. But I would be careful to avoid even the appearance of covering it up. Sin is shameful and we should be reluctant to share it, but again we are talking about our own children here. They should know us pretty well.
     
  17. Glory Bound

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    Who would understand the repercussions of sin better than one who has experienced those repercussions?

    My teenage son though he had me when I had confronted him with a sinful action in his life. He told me I had no right to tell him what was right or wrong because I had done the same thing he had.

    I quickly told him that his statement wasn't logical - that because of my sin I had a very good idea of the problems he would have if he continued along his present path. I may not walk on water, but I do know right from wrong, and as a parent it was my responsibility to see that he stay on the Right path.

    A drug addict is fully capable of warning others of the pitfalls of drug addiction. How many smokers have you heard say that they wish they had never started, and advise others of not following in their footsteps?

    I wouldn't necessarily volunteer info on past sins, but I wouldn't shrink back in fear from them, either.
     
  18. Dina

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    &gt;&gt;One other thing though Dina is not to make excuses. Yes you were 22 not 16, but don't use that as an excuse to say that you were not wrong.&lt;&lt;

    If I gave that impression, I am sorry. That was not my intent. Most "kids" have the idea that just being an adult is a breeze. The intent with stressing our ages at the time was that even though we were 22 and 23 it was STILL a stuggle.
     
  19. KeithKorg19

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    Maybe I can add a different perspective on this since I am still pretty young.

    I think that a parent's advice can make a big difference in their kid's life. But, all kids have a rebelious side to them. A person can know the exact consequences of their actions, and still do those things.
    My dad has told me stories about things he did when he was my age. He did a lot of things that I'm sure he wouldn't want me to do, but I don't think that makes him a hypocrite. If he were to lie about what he did and not expect me to do them, then he would be a hypocrite.
    My parents have given me lots of advice, but they know that it is my choice to follow it or not.
     
  20. Baptistgal

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    One thing that made a big impact on our teens in our church was when a chapel speaker got up and used a testimony style to tell them what getting into these kinds of things can really do.

    He brought up a man in our church who has had a hard life, due to his own bad choices with drugs and immorality. He asked the man, in front of the kids, some questions about his life...like an interview. (This was a planned thing, the man knew and had actually volunteered to do this.)
    But it showed the kids a man...who they all like and see now as a successful, happy person...just how many struggles are brought into one's life with all these sins.

    Like I said, it was very effective. The kids still talk about it.
     

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