When Junior was in kindergarten he had his first girlfriend. His parents thought it was so cute.
When Junior was in 6th grade he went to his first school dance with a girl. Mom and Dad were giddy. They spent too much money on a new suit (rented tux), took too many pictures, and proudly posted them on social media.
When Junior was in 7th grade he nervously kissed his first girl at a football game. Dad thought, “that’s my boy!”
When Junior was in 8th grade he kissed a second and third girl. His heart was broken for the first time. Mom assured him that there would be a lot of girls he would like, but one day he would find the perfect girl he dreamed of.
When Junior was in the 9th grade he started making out with girlfriend #5. One night when they were watching a movie in his basement he thought, this is the perfect girl and they went too far. They had sex. They did not tell.
I read a bog this morning with this story, but Junior was Katie and she had boyfriends. With all respect and gratitude to the original story and blog, I thought I needed to talk to the guys. I am qualified to speak, here are my credentials: I am one, I have two brothers, and I have a teenage son. I have a good understanding of the guys and what they think and desire.
The reason teens are sexually active a younger ages is not simply the fault of media (TV, music, print, and media). It is our fault — yes, our fault as parents. We set them up for failure when we put them into situations they are not emotionally and spiritually ready for in their stage of development. What can we do?
1. STOP! Stop encouraging them to have girlfriends because it is cute. If they are too young to drive they cannot “Go out” with someone. Parents, please, please, please use common sense here. I have been at movies where a mom or dad will drop off a junior high couple or will go into the theater with them and sit away from them. Let them have friends of the opposite gender, but let those friendships be at school, church, camp, etc. Do not encourage them to date when they are too young to handle the emotions and temptations that come.
2. PROTECT their eyes, heart, and mind. My wife and I were talking about this at breakfast a couple of days ago. We were discussing the upcoming “prom” season. Our son is not going. Not simply because of our concerns about certain styles of dancing, but also because of the lack of propriety in the clothing the girls will wear. There is not much left to the imagination. I know the mind of guys well enough that they do not need encouragement. We have offered to provide an alternative if he wants to dress up and promenade about town with friends and their female friends – he is 16. We also try to be very selective in the movies and television we watch.
3. Be a PARENT. Our roles as Mom and Dad are to train (discipline), education, and grow our children into responsible adults. We are NOT their best friend. I remember not liking my parents at times. And I am sure our son does not always like me.
4. As parents, set GUIDELINES and ENFORCE them. Rules are good. They can keep us from harm. Talk about your expectations. Provide guidelines that are consistent with God’s desire for His creation. Live within God’s guidelines and model that life for your children.
5. Keep HIM for his future wife. Sexual activity is for the marriage relationship. The writer of Hebrews says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” Heb 13:4. Since our son entered our life, our prayer has been for his purity, his future, and his future wife.