As a youth developer, I see our youth being targeted left and right to become victims and/or perpetrators of reckless pleasure. Snap a selfie, while you’re at it! And many are willing to take the risk. They know that they only live once. The newsflash is that everyone does. Telling teenagers not to have sex because they will die could only accelerate their desire to at least have fun while doing it.
So what is a Spirit-led youth developer working with higher risk teenage girls supposed to do? Sing songs about Heaven and rejoice when I see the coming Messiah? Ignore the fact that kids are learning adult behaviors and their brains are not even fully developed to navigate the ramifications of their decision making? Should we all just pray they stop having sex lest they die? No. We need to talk to our kids and listen to what their thoughts are around having sex. Prevention calls for action in exigent times. Kids, like adults, are also looking for the real thing. So we need to be real and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
I would give an example from my week to describe how this post came about. I thoroughly enjoy doing that. But I am not at liberty to give details. So, know that I got my insight from God while working. Here are few helpful notes I took while listening to the Spirit through my teenage teachers.
- Tell her you would go around the world twice just to make sure she’s okay because that is how significant she is to you.
- Open the conversation with something along the lines of, “I sense that your interests are changing.” In this case, I know that my girl’s interests are changing. I genuinely wanted to know what her thoughts are around losing her virginity.
- Describe plainly the mystery of sex and how it is God’s idea – not Man’s. I told this precious soul that humanity is looking for that fitting connection, like the male part inside the female part, because we were designed to fit within one another. Our perversion, however, has made sex our priority and has distorted the way we value one another and this act of God. (Yes, I take the risk of talking to kids about God at work.)
- Explain to her that she is a spiritual being having a human experience with spiritual desires. (Again, that connection piece!) This resonates deeper than religion. Add that she must be vigilant of what she is opening herself up to spiritually and physically. She needs to know that someone who is not interested in her mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health long-term should not have power to disregard her after giving him (or her) access. I’m SO TIRED of young women being lied to and being left with a baby and/or a broken heart.
- Check her comprehensions of what you say after listening to her speak. Ask her clarification and substantive questions to ascertain her thought-life around having sex.
- Ask her what her dreams are. Be amazed. Encourage her. Celebrate her. Speak to her heart and ask for guidance as you do. When I asked my girl what her dreams are, she told me what I previously heard; but she added that she wanted to live a life with less regrets. The way she described not wanting to alter the trajectory of life unto living that dream was so articulate and captivating. It was also powerful too because I know her address. I told her with the same caution she wants to guard herself from having regrets is the same caution she must guard her mind, body and spirit. Some of us need a baby to slow us down from our careless, selfish, fast-paced lives. Others of us only require relational wounds. Nevertheless, those relational wounds keep us from reaching our highest heights.
- Assure her you are there to listen and answer questions. If you don’t show her better than you can tell her, she’ll find someone who will.
Sex talk can always be uncomfortable. But what is easy now is hard later.
Turn a life toward the light to see it at its brightest.