This weekend I am leading a small group of Senior High School students in a two day discussion on the Christian view of sex. The United Methodist conference has a full time person that is available to lead the workshop – she does a great job. I believe that this is one of the most important discussions that we have with our youth all year. The workshop starts Friday night at 5pm and ends at 4pm on Saturday. We have two sessions on Friday night and two sessions on Saturday with the youth. The youth are in groups of about 12 with mixed sexes – this is important. During the sessions we will talk about the messages of sex in our culture (magazines, advertisements, media, etc), agree/disagree assessment statements that range from “Boys should decide where to go and what to do on a date” to “Oral sex is a great way to express your love for someone else, while remaining abstinent”, misconceptions of the opposite sex, masculine/feminine stereotypes, how to set boundaries, and Christian decision making. At the end of the first three sections, the youth have an opportunity to ask anonymous questions in the Question Box. I worked with the Junior High students last year and this is where you, as an adult, really learn about the soup these kids are swimming in every day.
After the youth leave on Saturday, we have a session with their parents. We show the parents all of the information we covered (worksheets, games, discussions) and we show them all of the questions from the question box. This usually shocks the parents big time.
Relationships and dating are very important in the maturation process of these kids, but the pressures for sex are everywhere. I really believe that the church should do everything possible to help today’s youth understand their bodies, set boundaries for themselves, and develop better decision making processes.
Do you think the church should engage in this conversation with the youth (or general congregation for that matter)?
Why is it difficult for parents to bring this topic up with their children, especially when it is so prevalent in all forms of media (they know their kids are hearing about it)?