Our children today are growing up in a culture where sexual promiscuity and “doing whatever feels good” are toted as the norm, and even considered acceptable by some Christians.
But God calls us to live lives of purity and moral righteousness. Christianity is counter-culture to the way many people are choosing to live today. Young people are facing a lot of pressure to conform to the ways of the world. Our daughter told me a few years ago that many of the people her age (even those that attended church!) didn’t hold to the same standard of sexual purity that we had taught her; they had succumbed to the ways of the world in this area.
As parents we need to help our children have a firm foundation of faith in God and a commitment to purity and moral righteousness so they can stand against the pressures to conform!
- Purity is important to God. In Scripture, He talks about purity in a variety of ways. He talks about having a “pure heart” and keeping our way “pure”.
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.”
This is referring to our heart attitude, having our hearts washed from sin and secret impurities. Our hearts are purified by faith in Jesus who died to provide a way of forgiveness from our sins. We can teach our children about keeping a pure heart in this way, by teaching them to seek God’s forgiveness when they sin or when they go against what He’s commanded in His Word.
In order to know what’s commanded in His Word, we need to teach our children from God’s Word, to spend time reading and helping them apply it in their lives!
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
The great news is God promises that those who are pure in heart will be blessed and will see God!
- We need to teach our children this truth! In a culture that almost mocks purity and having a pure heart, our children need to know that it’s important to God and that it’s worth taking a stand for! When the peer pressure hits, they’ll stand up for what is right! Here are some great verses to teach your children that speak about having a pure heart:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.”
- Pray for your children to have a pure heart!
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of praying for your children! God hears our prayers and He does intervene when we pray. In our children’s lives, there were several times when there was sin or a wrong way being taken, and I truly believe God changed their course because we were praying earnestly and seeking His help.
God also has a lot to say about sexual purity and we need to teach our children to follow His ways in this area as well!
- Speak openly with your preteens and teens about sexuality. Help them to feel comfortable talking with you about this, so that they’ll come to you when they’re struggling or feeling pressure in this area. I know it’s hard and awkward, but it’s so important! Teach them God’s truths in this area and prepare them for the peer pressure they’ll likely experience.
- Talk about the importance of remaining sexually pure with your preteen and teens. This is an area where there is huge peer pressure today, and because of the internet and our social media, our homeschool teens are not sheltered from it. We NEED to talk openly about this with them and encourage them to follow God’s ways in the area of sexuality. God commands us to flee from sexual immorality because it’s sin!
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Sexual immorality or fornication is basically any type of sexual behavior that is outside of marriage and therefore outside of God’s plan for sex.
“Plainly stated, when physical, sexual contact takes place between two who are not lawfully husband and wife, that is fornication, and the Bible calls it sin.” Quote from “SpeakingSoundDoctrine.com”
- Help your teens to guard against temptation by setting rules for their time with those of the opposite sex. We didn’t let our kids spend time alone with those of the opposite sex until they were over 16, and even then we encouraged group dating rather than time alone. Consider courtship versus dating as an option for your teen. Read “Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship” by Joshua Harris. Although we didn’t insist on courtship for our children as they found their mates, we did encourage some of the same principles such as only spending time with someone that you are truly interested in as a possible marriage partner rather than just dating around.
- Use some of the resources out there to help you teach your child about sexual purity:
- God’s Design for Sex series: this is a series of four books that you can start using as early as 4 -5 years of age (first book) that teach about their body and God’s plan for sexuality. The second book goes into more about the differences between men and women and how babies are born, etc. so is more for ages 6-8. The third and fourth books are for older children and get into more detail.
- Passport 2 Purity: a life-changing get away for you to use with your pre-teen or teen to help them learn God’s ways in the area of sexuality
- Total Health: this is an excellent health curriculum that teaches about God’s plan for sexual purity as well as many other aspects of living a healthy life. They have a middle school book and a high school book. We used both and found them to be very helpful.
- Some great books for teens:
- Quest for Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot
- Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge
- Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arteburn
- Raising a Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall
- Protect your children when they’re on the internet! This is SO important! Our children have access to some very dangerous things on the internet. One innocent click on the wrong website and they are exposed to things that can affect them long-term or draw them into addictions that are difficult to break.
Talk to your children about the dangers on the internet and encourage them to be careful when they are searching the web! Don’t think that because they’re homeschooled they won’t be exposed to pornography and graphic photos.
Install protection on all the electronic devices in your home so that your children are protected from accidentally going on to a website that exposes them to sexual immorality and indecent photos.
I pray that you can raise children who have a pure heart and who also take a stand for sexual purity in a culture that has strayed far from God’s ways. May God bless your efforts and your children and give you great wisdom as you seek Him.