Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

talkingMost families I know do not talk to their young adults about sex after high school.  Yet young adulthood is where sexually vulnerability persists. Hormones are raging.  The culture is steeped with messages of do what feels good.

All you have to do is turn on television or watch a movie. Sex outside of marriage is the mainstream and is no longer questioned. The saturation of sex in media along with a wildly successful and enticing pornography industry are potent cocktails continuously saturating the brain.

Add to this the chemical high and bonding of having sex outside of marriage, delaying age of marriage, divorce rates and the acceptance of cohabitation… well there is much to fight in terms of disciplining the flesh.

The church rarely addresses the real issues these young adults face in daily. Yet, they need support to stand against the cultural norms. It isn’t easy!

So here are ten suggestions if you are a parent, teacher or walking along side a young Christian adult:

  • Have on-going discussions about the pressures to conform, availability of pornography and how they are coping with living in a culture saturated with sex. Do they have strategies? What do they do in the moment of temptation?
  • If  you watch media together or discuss a movie or show, ask them to comment on how the attitudes in media conflict with a biblical world-view. Discuss how a biblical view is becoming a minority view. It will take courage to stand for their faith. Do they think about the contrast and how it might be influencing their thinking? Are they being desensitized?
  • Reinforce the benefits of 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 of how we are to live counter culturally is this area.
  • Encourage the young adult to be in the Word . This is how we renew our mind. It is how we stay centered.
  • Pray together whenever possible. Let them know you understand how difficult the struggle is and the importance of putting on the armor of God daily. Prayer is a powerful weapon against sexual temptation.
  • Use news items and stories from friends to remind them about the physical, emotional, and spiritual fall out of sex outside of marriage. The culture is all about the physical and paints a picture of no consequences. However, people live with the physical, emotional and spiritual impacts of acting out sexually. Someone’s story is helpful, e.g., how did they feel after a hook up, do they have images of sex with that person in their head influencing their current relationship, are they paralyzed with guilt, etc.?
  • Talk about the positives of sex in marriage. Promote the view that marriage is worth fighting for and needs to be valued. Discuss the freedom of sexual enjoyment in the context of marriage. Encourage them that purity is possible. If they have failed, there is forgiveness and a new day.
  • Discuss the cohabitation data. Cohabitation leads to an increased chance of divorce and  a number of negative fall outs. It isn’t the positive picture portrayed in media.
  • Encourage them to to find like-minded friends who want to be accountable and want to live what they believe. We all need others to help keep the faith. This is why a small group at church is helpful.
  • If they are caught up in sexual activity, offer help-resources and counseling. But offer help with out shaming or condemning. Rather encourage, support, empathize and offer support. With help, they can overcome.

In order to speak into the life of any young adult, a relationship is needed in order to have the type of honest and transparent relationship needed to do life together on such a personal, but important topic.

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