We see it all around us—Christian teenagers rejecting God’s Word to indulge in premarital sex.
How do we raise children who choose purity?
Purity is an issue of the heart, not the behavior. If you think you can keep your teenager away from temptation, you have underestimated the sneakiness of teens who want to sin.
I have heard of girls sneaking out of their bedroom windows to meet guys, and I’ve heard of teenage boys sexting and then quickly deleting the messages so their parents wouldn’t find out.
We must impart a heart for purity in our daughters and sons. It begins when they are very young, but it is never too late to start.
Envision your children and teens for purity with three tools: experiencing the joy of obeying God in all things, instilling a sense of self-value, and exercising the delayed-gratification muscle.
Experience the Joy of Obeying God
Does your family enjoy obeying Jesus in all things? Does everyone know why you do what you do?
Let your children know over and over that your family lives for the Lord, no matter what everyone else is doing.
“Sally, we are giving our tithe because the Bible says the tithe belongs to the Lord. God always meets our needs because we put Him first.” “Nick, the Lord wants us to forgive Aunt Gertrude because Jesus has forgiven us.” “Let’s put our shoeboxes together for the children in Kenya because it pleases God when we give to the poor.”
Sometimes we forget to tell our kids that we do things out of obedience to the Lord and that we experience blessing as we obey.
I don’t want my children to think, “Oh, this is how Mom and Dad like to live.” I want them to know that this is all God’s plan. We are living out His blueprint.
I love obeying God! Do you? I love the ways of the Lord! Do you? Don’t forget to tell your children how much you love serving God. His commands are not burdensome; they are a delight and life God’s way is the best ever.
When teens know that serving God is the best way ever, sexual purity will be part of that best-ever life they want to live.
Teach children and teens that sexual purity is God’s blueprint, His plan. Sexual purity is a wonderful way to live. But there are also consequences for disobeying God in this area. Let teens know what they are.
Instill a Sense of Self-Value
“You are the most amazing young man. I am so blessed to be your mother and friend. I respect you so much. You are valuable. I want you to experience everything that is good and perfect.”
“You are beautiful with such as sweet, gentle, quiet spirit. I am so proud of you. I love being your daddy. You are a treasure. You are worth waiting for. Your husband will need to prove to me that he is worthy to have you as your wife.”
When teens feel valuable and cherished, they are not willing to slum it. They are not willing to wallow in the mud of sin with someone who doesn’t see them as a valuable treasure worth waiting for.
It is important to tell teens what a great husband/father or wife/mother they will be. Cherish your teens.
Let them have a sense of worth so that they will not be enticed into sin. You see, people who indulge in sexual sin are out for themselves. These selfish ones do not see others as valuable, but only as ways to meet their own desires.
Teens with a healthy sense of their own value are not willing to be treated like that and those who love Jesus want to treat others respectfully, too.
Exercise the Delayed-Gratification Muscle
Delayed gratification is not popular in our instant, I-want-it-now culture.
But delayed gratification is the secret to success in relationships, financial success, career success, and growing strong in the Lord.
You see, we work hard now and enjoy the fruit of that work down the road. We forego fast food, movies, and expensive pleasures so that we can save money and watch our bank account grow. We wait until marriage to enjoy the gift of sex.
Help your teens be successful in delaying sexual gratification by developing the delayed-gratification muscle.
You can help them by having them save up to buy things, wait until dinner is over to have dessert, or wait to open presents and packages. You can plan a distant reward after completing several family projects. Get creative and strengthen that muscle.
We live in troubled times, but God is faithful. Don’t fret, but rather envision your teens for sexual purity in practical ways.
Sexual purity begins in the heart. As you seek God’s help to envision your teens for purity, you will grow closer to the Lord. This will impact your teens, too.
God loves you and your teens. His plans for sexual purity and everything else are perfect, fun, and exciting. May God bless you as you minister to your teens.
For more help on how to envision your sons and daughters for purity, check out God’s Girls Talk about Boys, Dating, Courtship & Marriage and Real Men Talk about Freedom, Girls & Marriage.
Meredith Curtis, pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom of five amazing children, has been married to her college sweetheart for 30 years. She loves Jesus, leads worship, homeschools, writes, mentors ladies, and sometimes even cooks dinner! She is the author of Joyful and Successful Homeschooling. Click here for more info on Meredith!