I don’t want to leave this recent discussion about adolescents having sex without touching another concept: grace. Sometimes we act like having sex before marriage is unforgivable – like once a kid’s had sex, they’re just utterly hopeless and doomed to a life of decadence and brokenness. This mentality can quickly become a powerful vortex, sucking away the will to work toward anything better. “They all think I’m a slut now anyway, so I might as well…”
But the truth is that many people have had sex before marriage and gone on to live productive, healthy lives (not scar free, however). They often paid a heavy price and would undo what they did if they could, but they’ve survived because of grace. Both the grace offered to them by God, and that of friends and family who came together to support them as they sought to do better.
It’s definitely better for teens to not have sex, but sometimes I’m afraid we do little to help the situation with our scarlet letters and pointing fingers. If you’re a teen who’s had sex and realized it was a mistake, even though you can’t undo it; you don’t have to wallow in it and keep making the same mistake. You can move on and live differently. If you know a teen who’s having sex, find out why. What is it that they’re seeking to find in sex? Then show them a better way. Help them find the real fulfillment they’re looking for. (Yes, I’m making an assumption there – that they are in it for more than cheap thrills.) Help them find hope for the authentic fullness in life that they won’t find in sex.
Like I said in the last post, this is all coming from my limited point of view. I did have sex as a teen for about a year and a half, but only after I married at 18. The pressures we faced may be very different from the ones students face today. I may be way off base and value your input. How can we help students pick up the pieces?