Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OK, so today I have a guest post over at Hey look a Chicken. I'm guessing most people knew that and are coming from there, the problem is that I have a couple of shocking and potentially offensive posts in a row. This is not exactly typical but I have to admit I seem to walk into this a lot. Every time I talk sex with my Youth we seem to have a bunch of visitors even though I don't announce it ahead. Things just happen that way. If you would like to see what I would consider to be one of my better posts that isn't even remotely sex related instead of reading what I have today or yesterday that come with big red warnings then please visit Living in a world of dragons and finger paint.


Today I'm only giving one warning. The following will contain frank language about sex. If you don't want to read it then go visit the link I gave above.

So yesterday I posted about a text I got from one of my students. The student asked if "fingering is sex?" Of course this is part of a much broader topic that comes under the heading of "what can I do and still be a virgin." I have talked with my teens, including this one, in the past about how this is the wrong question to ask. If we are asking this question then we are asking how close we can get to sin and we should be asking how close we can get to God. Of course, the problem is that in the world the teens live in they are confronted with the wrong question all the time and they need real answers to those real questions.

Is fingering or a hand job sex?

Is oral sex sex?

Is anal sex sex?

Is dry humping sex?

Is it wrong to French kiss, make out, fondle breasts, kiss breasts ….

Where do we draw the line?

Here is the problem as I see it. People want answers to these questions and we blush when we even think about the question much less giving our teens the answer. I tried searching 4 different Christian youth resource websites for answers to these questions. I found plenty of articles about sex but nothing specifically addressing these issues. Everything was very generic and pointed to Biblical standards for purity without worrying too much about the details. If my student had tried searching online instead of asking she would have been pointed to everything but a Christian answer in my experience from searching. I did find some secular sites that wrestled with definitions of virginity and what is considered sex. Some of them did a pretty good job of dealing with those questions while others were mostly concerned with what sexual acts could result in what diseases or pregnancy and the proper precautions.

I feel it is important to address the issue as a Christian so let me once again offer this definition.

Sex can be given the strict definition of penetration of the vagina by the penis, but that is not the only definition that should be considered.

Sexual acts are any actions that lead to sexual gratification. This can be through climax or through physical pleasure of a sexual nature that does not necessarily lead to climax. This may be with a partner/s or individually, so masturbation is a sexual act as is mutual masturbation, viewing pornography, reading explicit material, oral/anal sex, grinding, making out … the list really goes on and on.

Sexual acts activate various stages of arousal and potentially climax. As your body processes these there are chemical and emotional responses that cause strong attachment. These kinds of bonds are best served in marriage and promote a strong healthy marriage. Outside of marriage there is also a strong attachment, but since there is a less serious bond, or nonexistent in the case of pornography and such, there is a potential for this bond to be severed. This leads to many problems including weakening the potential bond with your future spouse. We are not designed to have this bond broken and reformed over and over.

In other words, the more often a person engages in sexual acts outside of marriage the harder it becomes to bond with a lifelong spouse. Add this to the potential for STDs and pregnancy and it becomes clear why God has told us we should keep ourselves pure until marriage.

Still don't think that sexual acts infringe on purity? Ask yourself this, would you want someone to force a sexual act on you? If someone forced a hundred dollars on you would that be wrong? Some stranger walking down the street sticks a hundred dollar bill in your hand and walks off … is that a violation of your person? Of course not, but if that stranger touched you sexually or kissed you and you would feel violated. That is because we know this is something we should guard.

Years from now many of the people we dated in high school will be strangers to us. Think about that for a minute. What are you willing to let a stranger do to you? I don't know most of the girls I dated in high school to be honest. I think that is something worth considering when we ask ourselves just what we should do with a person.

I feel that I've offered several reasons here for what is not acceptable and why. Do you agree? Did I miss anything? Should we cover this discussion up as Christians?


BeckeyZ said...

It's a topic most youth leaders, at least the ones I know, would shy away from (in a big bad ugly way). I'm proud of you for taking it on. I wish more Christians would just put it the way you did, instead of tip-toeing around "the sins of inpurity!!"

Many years ago, when they did the "true love waits" deal at our church, I knew exactly what would happen, and it did. Two of our youth got married the next week. They separated and divorced shortly after. If someone had just talked straight with them, perhaps that wouldn't have ever happened.

Helen said...

In theory, the general Bibical standards should be enough without listing individual behaviors. In reality, teenagers look for the loophole so they can get away with doing whatever they want. Maybe we don't out grow that all the time as adults, either. Anyway, it is better to give them a graphic checklist of what they can't do (which includes just about everything except a kiss on the cheek, outer lips only), than to leave them thinking, "Hey, there is nothing here about mutual masterbation if you are in the linen closet and I am in the hallway...."
They need the specifics.

Wendy said...

Gee, can't we all just sweep it under the rug and act like the problem doesn't exist? I mean, if you don't talk about it, then it's not real, right? And now I'm rolling my eyes. Yeah, I can really see Jesus taking THAT approach.

Nick the Geek said...

I am getting more bold in dealing with this topic. I feel more and more my teens need to hear very clear and honest discussion on sex. I'm a little bothered that I couldn't find a ready resource to point them to online when I was looking. Disappointing to say the least.

In theory that is enough but especially in this day and age what the Bible says really isn't enough. Why does the Bible say it? How can I know that is right? What about my own feelings? ... These questions are the heart of our youth and really drive their world view.

Yeah feeling that way myself.

jasonS said...

BeckeyZ is right- more youth leaders need the balls to talk about but so do parents. If these ideas are reinforced everywhere, then I think we'll be doing a lot better.

OhioBJAE said...

Somewhere long ago I wanted to teach sex ed. It is something I have always come back to. Just yesterday I was brushing off the voice in my head to call our youth pastor and ask if he ever talked to the kids about sex and how my story could help.

I think (at least in my life) it is the gray area that gets you in trouble. That is why I believe we need sex ed w/ discussions of abstinence. Even as far as how to protect yourself if you make the decision to have sex. When we tell them sex is bad they are left w/ a gray space...I know that holding hands is ok and sex is bad. But how high can the hand go up my knee, what if I'm wearing a skirt.....if I said yes to this yesterday what will I say yes to tomorrow....if my friend just prayed to be a virgin again, then I can too....but he LOVES me and we'll be together forever.....

Still trying to ignore the voice in my head and coming to your sight today was just a coincidence....

katdish said...

We are not designed to have these bonds broken and reformed over and over. If that's not a true statement, I don't know what is. Excellent post, punky little brother. Thanks again for guest blogging for me.

Also? Jason said balls.

Nick the Geek said...

jasonS, Heh you said balls. Seriously though yeah we need more people willing to talk about this so I don't have to. Especially parents.

OhioBJAE, Yeah just a coincidence. Keep telling yourself that. I find these coincidences have a habit of becoming habitual ... that sounds confusing.

katdish, jason said balls ... snicker ... anyways, I'm sorry and you're welcome.

Post a Comment