A recent Gallup poll reported:
- 80 percent of young unmarried Christians have had sex outside of marriage.
- Two-thirds of unmarried Christians have been sexual active in the last year.
- 42 percent of the 18-29 year olds in the 80 percent group are currently in sexual relationships.
Yet, despite these statistics, 76 percent of Christians still believe sex outside of marriage is wrong. Apparently, there is a wide disconnect between what we believe and what we actually do. Why is this and how can we help young adults live what they believe?
1) Have on-going discussions with your young adult about the pressures to conform, availability of pornography, and how they are coping with living in a culture saturated with sex.
2) As you watch media together, comment on how the attitudes in media conflict with a biblical worldview.
3) Go to church. Attending church one day a week (which is what most people do) hardly competes with the daily onslaught of sexual messages, but it does provide a weekly centering and reminder.
4) Continue to read your Bible and encourage your young adult to be in the Word. This is one way to renew the mind.
5) Pray together whenever possible and let them know you understand how difficult the struggle is and the importance of putting on the armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:10-18).
6) Use news items and stories from friends to remind them about sexually transmitted diseases, the emotional fall out of sex outside of marriage, and the spiritual issues involved. Our culture is all about the physical, but people live with the emotional and spiritual impact of sexually acting out. Talking about someone’s experience in terms of the whole person is helpful.
7) Value marriage. Work through your own marital issues and show young adults that marriage is worth fighting for and needs to be valued.
8) Talk about the cohabitation data. Cohabitation leads to an increased chance of divorce.
9) Encourage your young adult to find friends who want to be accountable and will try to live what they believe.
10) When it comes to sex, resisting temptation is best done by not putting oneself in a position of temptation. Identify the triggers that can leave your young adult vulnerable.