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Teens, Sex and Abstinence

My husband and I knew each other for years, just as friends. We hung out with other friends and went places together, the usual stuff. Then one day we talked on the phone and that was it! Something clicked and we started going out. It wasn’t even official, it just happened as we both knew this was it! We got engaged six months later and married six months after that on the first day of spring 20 years ago. So if I told you that my husband and I decided to wait until our wedding night… you probably wouldn’t believe me! It’s not the norm these days but then again it definitely wasn’t the norm 20 years ago!

So it was interesting this week at #DadChat as it was about abstinence. There are still a lot of people out there that believe in abstinence. I assume for the majority it’s for religious reasons but this isn’t always the case; there can be many reasons for choosing to abstain.

God and Abstinence

Bruce Sallan hosted #DadChat on location at Calvary Church in Westlake Village, California and his co-host was Pastor Drew Sams aka @surferdrew. Pastor Drew is also a regular guest on Bruce’s radio show for the “Teen Rap” segment. Before I get onto the discussion… ‘congrats’ to Drew and his wife as they are expecting their first baby in April!

Ok, the topic was ‘God and Abstinence‘ which got a lot of attention this week. Bruce got the conversation going by asking ‘What does the Bible say about pre-marital sex?’ and other questions were asked about whether it is relevant to today and as parents what do we do when we discover our child is having sex.

Pastor Drew started us off on the thought taken from Genesis 2:24 and then spoke about marriage, intimacy and relationships. He also mentioned the fact that puberty starts early in many young ones, well before teen years. He made a good point about teens not pushing the limits and says he often tells teens “not to ask ‘how far is too far’ because they’ll run up to the end (and fall off)”. He says he likes to encourage teens to build a healthy, encouraging and honoring relationship and not to focus on not what NOT to do but rather on the good.

To practice abstinence is obviously a way of life and you either need strong religious reasons to abstain or strong personal convictions to do so, as if you live in a culture where it isn’t the norm then it isn’t easy to stick to. I agreed with Pastor Drew when he made the point that teens need a good support network either at home or at church.

Something that did surprise me, when it was mentioned, was that the age of consent in Japan is 13 but interestingly it was pointed out that the abortion rate and teen pregnancy is very low. Just goes to show it’s more about upbringing, communication and ‘life’s focus’ when it comes to social issues. Then it got onto the subject of high rates of teen pregnancy and if I remember rightly, one of the contributors said they had 17 pregnant teens this year in the school/area (and I thought the UK was bad!)

More questions were raised too like… Is abstinence relevant as people are waiting longer to get married now as careers and fun or life generally are more of a focus than ‘settling down’? Do we talk to our kids about sex? Do we keep open communication on the subject or do we leave it to the school (either sex education or learning from their friends)?

Then some touched on the subject of ‘church and state’ with regard to ObamaCare and the Catholic church (I hate politics so won’t comment on this!). Also mentioned was the fact that pressure to have sex isn’t necessarily just from the boys but that a lot of boys feel pressured by the girl to have sex. Then there are those parents who don’t believe abstinence is that important or don’t feel strongly enough about it.

My personal view is that communication is the most important thing when it comes to teens and sex and this we re-iterated in #DadChat. Communication being key in the relationship with your teen/s. This reminds me of ‘visitors’ we had recently and they proudly told me that they just stuck a pack of condoms in their son’s suitcase when he went off to university. I kept my mouth shut (as usual) but I thought “**** …no discussion, just stick condoms in his bag? That isn’t liberal, that is just lack of being able to talk about stuff with your son”… ok now I feel guilty for condemning as I know some parents find it easier than others in talking about this stuff. So, if you think I’m talking about YOU, then I apologise and won’t admit that I’m referring to YOU!

Anyway… I’ll stop there! It was a fantastic #DadChat and covered about everything on the subject, a lot more than I have mentioned here. AND don’t forget to join Bruce Sallan every Thursday night at 6pm PST for #DadChat; interesting, thought provoking, fun and everyone is welcome!

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