by Toni Smothers
Puberty can begin, with hormones raging full force, as young as preteen. Did you know that there are 6th grade, 12 year old children, who are sexually active? And, 60% of teens have had sex, 25% have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and 20% of the girls have unintentionally become pregnant before the age of 18? Why?
Sex saturates the music media, while prime-time television boasts blatant sexual content. Peer pressure also exhorts a very strong influence to experiment with sex. Teens think that digital and oral sex are not 'real sex' and so they can’t get a STD doing it. Then there’s alcohol and drugs that are almost always readily available at parties, which ends up in non-characteristic choices, as well as date-rape. Alcohol and drugs can give kids more courage and in some instances can make them so incapacitated that they become unaware of their actions.
The cliche is often, “If you love me, you’ll have sex with me.” Ah, but where’s the romance? Time spent together getting to know each other is crucial to developing honest affection. Love is long and deep and wide - It can’t be imitated with lust's gratification. Relationships take time to nurture and develop.Quickie sex only leads to guilt and broken hearts. Respecting and knowing your partner, comparing and committing your goals and dreams to each other, is the way true love grows into maturity. And the Bible tells us that sex has no place outside of marriage.
So, in our current environment, how do teens keep their faith and lives uncontaminated? It’s not as if you can hide under a rock until the right person appears upon your path, like a leaf casually falls from a tree branch. Every day, some outside influence tries to make us think that casual sex is okay and children having babies and STDs are run of the mill, Besides, there's always good old denial: “It couldn't happen to me.” But, reality dictates that there are no such exemptions - We truly do reap what we sow.
Psalm 119:1-3 reads: “Happy are people of integrity, who follow the law of the Lord. Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.” Easier said than done, right? But, God wants only the best for His children and He wants you to remain pure. Remember, God’s Word is the only sure guide for living a pure life. The 9th verse of Psalm 119 both asks and answers a relevant question. “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying God’s word and following His rules.” … Is it easy? No way - Is it right? Absolutely!
Our culture is drowning in a sea of depravity. Everywhere we look, we repeatedly face temptation to lead sinful lives. What can a young person do in these terribly confusing times? Well first, know that you are not alone – You can seek out counsel from the Holy Spirit and other believers. These resources can lead you to the strength within you that is more dynamic than any tempting influences outside of yourself. Spend time seeking and nourishing that God given strength. Ask for wisdom. Read the Bible and do what it says.
Most people, young or old, resist rules because we think they will restrict us from doing what we want. At first glance, then, it may seem strange to hear the psalmist talk about rejoicing while following God’s laws. But God’s laws were given to free us from doing what might cripple us and keep us from being our best. God’s guidelines help us follow the path He has set for us and avoid those paths that lead to terrible consequences like STDs, a crisis pregnancy, a devastating abortion and/or all of the above! Check out 2 Samuel 13:14-22 for a nice example of desolation as a consequence to impure relations.
Keep that precious gift of your virginity for the most wonderful person yet to come, your future spouse. But, if you've made sinful mistakes, if you've already been sexually active, turn back to your loving, heavenly Father and pour out your heart to Him. Ask Him for His never ending mercy. Make a decision today that you will reclaim yourself for your spouse - Abstain from casual sex from now on.
May God bless your choices and your heart. Stay pure - It’s great to wait!