I have two young daughters and often I wonder how I will protect them from broken hearts. Even with my son, I worry about the way the society he is growing up in defines love.
It is important to talk to your children about the reasons to stay pure until marriage, but this is not just a one-time conversation. They need to define their self-worth through God’s eyes. And as parents, it is our responsibility to show them what that means.
God commands us to respect our bodies, souls, and minds. When you have a fling or even when you give yourself to someone your in a relationship with, you give them a part of you that you can never get back. It’s a decision that effects the rest of your life. If you stay pure, there is no wondering, no remembering, and no shame.
Past relationships can plague a heart and a relationship, causing jealousy and hardships that are not meant to be a part of a marriage. God wants us to enter marriage pure in heart and body. But, these days meaningless sex seems like the norm; it’s just part of our culture.
Teenagers and even adults are looking for fulfillment from another person and not seeking God first. It is also easier to engage in sexual flirtations. From text messages to the Internet, these ways of contact can lead to more confusion and uncertainty. Brief moments can cause a lifetime of pain. The heart is easily hurt by false love and sin.
Here are some ways to talk to your children about their worth that will encourage them to remain pure:
- From an early age, build your children up. Do not cause them to look for acceptance in other places. Let your children know that their beauty is not just in appearance, but on the inside as well. Never put your child’s self-esteem on the back burner.
- Do not shy away from your children’s questions about sex. Answer age appropriately, but also be upfront about the consequences of certain actions.
- Read them Scripture that shows them God’s perspective on their worth and on purity.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God. I Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NKJV)
- Tell your children to hold out for the TRUE love story, the one that God had planned for them even before they were born. Let them know that God’s plan is more important than anyone who may try to talk them into things they are not ready to do.
- Let them know that words can be futile. Anyone can talk a good game when they want something, but the true promise of love is in God’s Word.
- Talk to your children about promise rings when they are older or even have them write their own vows of purity and create a special place for them to put it, somewhere where they can be reminded of those vows.
Temptation will be there, but if they have the support and acceptance of their family and if they are shown the love they need by them, and know the love of God, it will be easier for them to resist.
If your child has already had sexual encounters, it is important to help them reconnect with their self-worth and let them know that God does forgive them.
Show your children they are loved by Him and you. Show them that they are worth so much more than a brief moment of lust. Allow them to come to you and be open with your about their questions, fears, and concerns.
Stay involved when it comes to who they are spending time with. Don’t turn a blind eye to suspicious behavior. Most of all, teach them that purity is not a thing of a past. It has immeasurable value; as do they.