For the majority of my life Valentine’s Day was nothing more than a reminder that I didn’t have a significant other to buy flowers and take out to dinner. I didn’t mind that much but it is nice to know I’ll never have to spend another Valentine’s Day alone.
Other than the reminder of my singleness, when I was in high school Valentine’s Day also meant the beginning of our sex series at youth group. All four years while I was in high school, February meant that instead of talking about Jesus and his parables we would talk about sex and its consequences.
Now that I’m a youth pastor I know the importance of talking about sex with our students. We don’t always have our sex series in February but it is coming up.
Talking about sex with students is vitally important. The choices students make when it comes to sex can have a tremendous impact on the rest of their lives. And, it’s my hope, that our students will follow God’s plan and intentions when it comes to sex.
When I was in high school the conversation really boiled down to being told not to have sex until marriage because God says so. I really like rules so being told that sex is for marriage worked for me. I was committed to not having sex until I married. It also wasn’t that difficult to wait because there wasn’t a long line of ladies waiting to make a man out of my Magic-playing self.
Looking at our students today, though, simply telling them not to have sex before they’re married isn’t that effective. It wasn’t that effective with a lot of my friends and I know students today need more than that.
Sex as God intended it is an amazing part of life. It takes a larger vision of sex and marriage to understand that. Even now that I’m married, I still find it important to hold onto that larger vision of sex and marriage. And, for our students, it’s important to communicate that vision clearly.
Sometimes I wish our students were all content to play Magic and watch Star Trek instead of pursuing romantic relationships. I wasn’t content with those things but they were forced upon me and I turned out all right.
The reality is, though, we all need to continually think about God’s design and intention for sex and marriage. Because whatever state of life in which we find ourselves, having a larger, God-centered vision of sex will help us better live the lives to which we’re called.
What helps you maintain a larger, God-centered vision of sex and marriage?