Abstinence only education gets a bad rap sometimes… OK, many times. People believe that it is a message of, “Don’t have sex” period. End of story, see you later. Yes, abstinence means you don’t have sex, but it’s the “why” that is more important. Our purpose is to provide the students with tools and resources so that they can make a decision of abstinence because it is what is best for them and their goals.
Proponents of using birth control and other forms of protection are only addressing two issues when they talk about “safe sex.” (Actually now, the new term that they are using is “safER sex.”) The two areas they believe they are keeping safe from are pregnancy and STI’s. Safe means “free from harm,” or a 0% chance. In this case, safe sex would mean there is a 0% chance of getting pregnant or contracting an STI. And we know that there is no protection that can guarantee 100% safety from these two areas. Hence the term “safer sex.” But safer than what?
So-called “comprehensive” sex educators are called such because they talk about protection. But what they don’t discuss is that there is no protection from the social, emotional or spiritual consequences of sex or even intimacy. So a more “comprehensive” approach to the whole picture of sex and intimacy is actually abstinence because it is only abstinence that can and will protect you from not only the physical, (pregnancy and STI’s) but also the social, emotional or spiritual aspects of sex.
As part of our presentation, we ask who the students talk to or feel that they can talk to about sex. We get a variety of answers ranging from parents to youth leaders to counselors to siblings and friends. We always encourage them to speak to their parents first and also that they can reach out to their teacher, a counselor at school or contact us with their questions. What stands out a lot is the students show more ease with talking with their friends than with an adult about sex. This is what I shared with the students in response to talking with their friends:
I started by asking the students, "If you wanted to learn how to fly an airplane, would you ask me to teach you knowing that I have never learned to fly a plane?" Their response was an obvious, "No!" Then I tell them that one time when I was in 2nd grade my father and I actually went up in a small plane with a friend of my father's and he let me control the plane while flying. So based on that experience, I ask them again if they would let me teach them to fly. Again, they say no.
Next, I add another level. I explain to them that I have taken a graduate level course in aerodynamics and I have studied all the aspects of how a plane flies. I discuss the four aspects of flight: lift, thrust, drag and gravity. After that I ask again if I could teach them to fly. I had one student agree then to let me teach him. I reminded him that I don't actually know what all the buttons or gears do in the cockpit and he quickly changed his mind.
After this, I relate it back to who they ask about sex. I remind them to make sure they know the "qualifications" of the individual before putting their trust in their answer. I re-emphasize the important role that their parents play in their lives as well as remind them of the options they have on their campus.
Parents, if you don't feel qualified enough to teach your kids to fly, then it is time to get qualified. While you are doing that, reach out to the resources you have as well. Reach out to the school counselor, the teacher, the pastor and you can reach out to us as well. We can help equip you to speak with your child and provide a safe environment for them to feel free to share with you their questions.
Last Monday night, we spoke to a large group of youth at a local church. We were set with our PowerPoint, early to the church, hadn’t argued about anything (the normal way the enemy tries to get us) and were excited to share the message of purity with the students. We walked in, set our stuff down and talk with the leader for a bit. We met the tech guy who got us set up, and then hooked up the computer. It decides to do an update. No worries, we have time. We got everything else ready and after the update, went over to the computer, plugged in my thumb drive to pull up the presentation and…
I mean, there was nothing on the thumb drive. The computer registered the drive, but there were no files listed at all. We had put in some extra slides and only had it saved on my thumb drive. So, we went with the next best thing. We pulled out Jenna’s thumb drive and decided we would use the old presentation and work through it. We plugged her's in and…
Ok, so we have no slides now. That’s fine, we can do this without them. The leader introduced us, and as I explained what was going on with the PowerPoint, I could hear Jenna praying a quiet prayer for the computer/thumb drive/presentation. I opened with prayer, moving forward with no slides and included the technology in my prayer as well. By the time I concluded my prayer, opening statements, and started the presentation, Jenna decided to try her thumb drive one more time… and…
All of the files were there. So we plugged in my drive and guess what??!?!! IT WORKED TOO!!!
The enemy is going to do what he can to try and stop you from spreading God’s word and it may seem like he is succeeding. We know that there will be attacks, especially before a presentation and so when they come, we know to turn to the only form of battle that we can; prayer. Satan can’t overcome prayer or a praying person, it’s only when someone takes their focus off of God and puts it on satan’s distraction that he has a chance of winning.
Attacks will come.
Keep your focus on God’s plan and you will be able to see the attacks sooner and sooner. And as soon as you recognize the attack, pray.
Rob and Jenna Crenshaw are founders of Crossroads Club