“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
God commands His people to be pure in thought and action. On our own there is little more we can do than fail in this simple command. But God has designed us for purity and given us the resources to live in a way that is honoring and pleasing to Him.
We want to encourage you and equip you as you engage with your children about the topic of purity as it relates to sexuality. Our goals are that you:
- Give a vision for God-honoring thoughts and actions to your child.
- Guide your child in dating, sexual identity, and purity.
- Teach God’s design for marriage and intimacy.
- Help your child protect, persevere, commit, and have a plan for staying pure.
Ready or not…
As parents it is difficult to reconcile our cherub-like view of our children with the fact that our children are indeed sexual beings. As they mature and develop into men and women, their natural desires awaken and prompt a curiosity about sexual activities.
The potential for becoming involved in sexual behavior exists. They will be confronted by those desires whether in relationships, what they see in media, or what you as a parent teach them.
One way to help your child is to discuss and commit to a decision about where their boundaries are. This isn’t something you can force your child to do, but it is an opportunity you can provide for your child.
Your child’s understanding of sexuality will be derived from somewhere, either from you or from culture.
We have to go beyond some trite explanation for why sex is intended only within the boundaries of marriage. Our children need more than an explanation of the mechanics. We have to roll up our sleeves, dig into the Word of God, seek out resources, and answer our kids’ questions–they’re valid questions and deserve answers.
The topic of purity is not all about rules, or making it to the wedding night as a virgin. At the center of the purity message is a love and genuine passion for God. From this is born a lifestyle of purity.
Giving a positive message
As with our previous topics, our role as parent is to first model the behavior we wish our children to learn in our own marriage and relationships. There are several ways in which you can model healthy boundaries and relationship, and set an example for your child:
- Establish a date night with your spouse
- Display physical affection with your spouse (holding hands, hugging, kissing)
- Protect time for conversations the children aren’t privy to
- Affirm God’s delight in your child
- Participate in intentional relationship building activities
The loudest voice
Remember, you have the loudest voice in your child’s head, and your opinion weighs heavy on them. Set yourself up as an expert in this area so that when your child begins seeking answers, they come to you rather than pursuing alternative sources.
It’s easy to get caught up on the physical aspects of purity, but it’s crucial to address the holistic nature of purity, including the emotional and spiritual aspects.
God’s design for sex is a method of His love and protection for us and for future generations.
Set boundaries and include your child in the commitment to respect and honor those boundaries. We don’t want our children to believe that sex is dirty, but to understand that there is a time and place for everything, including sex.
What if boundaries have been crossed?
There is so much shame bonded to the crossing of sexual boundaries. If your child has done so, please communicate love and forgiveness, explaining that boundaries can be reset and a life of purity is not out of their reach.
Remember, we do not become impure as we grow up and encounter a depraved world. We were born into an inheritance of death and sin. The ultimate purity is not virginity, but the washing of Jesus’ blood that makes us whole and white as snow.
To help you get started, we have resources available for you. The kit includes a guide that offers practical tips and what we consider the best resources on the topic of purity. We’ve provided an audio presentation titled “The Talk” and a Purity Checklist to help your child define appropriate boundaries. In addition, you’ll find a My Purity Commitment card for your teen to complete.