When I was in high school my mom taught abstinence. I first had sex when I was 17. I knew lots of facts. I knew about STD’s and I knew what God said about sex but what I didn’t know was a real life story. I didn’t know the after math of sex. I didn’t know the destruction, the pain, and the sheer heartache that came from pre-marital sex. See this is what abstinence class never taught me. (not that the government would let them but that’s a whole other issue)
When I was seventeen my greatest worry was where the next party would be, how I would get my next high, or where my next handle of vodka was coming from. I wasn’t worried about STD’s. I was worried about my boyfriend leaving me if I didn’t have sex and I was worried about missing out on what everyone else was talking about but when I thought about Sex my mothers talks of abstinence got lost in the clutter. Now don’t get me wrong I am a full proponent of teaching abstinence I just want parents to take another step that school can’t provide.
Forget about the stats for a minute and focus on their heart, their vulnerable, questioning, want to right now heart. Think about where you were at seventeen. Think about the butterflies of your first love or the way it felt when you had your first kiss (ok we can all agreed that sucked but you see where i’m going with this). Kids want feelings not facts. This is why my mission is to show them the bad feelings, the painful ones that come once he has loved you and left you. These are the feelings that aren’t shown on TV. This is what Katy Perry doesn’t sing about. Because your teenage dream might involve your skin tight jeans but tonight is gonna remain on your heart forever.
So my mom was an abstinence teacher and where did that leave me? 17, broken hearted and no longer a virgin. 17, and wishing I had known the true depth of the word heart ache. 17 and wishing abstince could have conveyed the tear that was left when he did. A little piece of me was missing and I knew that I would never get it back. Here’s the problem. once the first piece is gone its easier to let the other ones go. Its easy to justify sleeping with the next guy because you heart is already torn. Thats a lie. Each tear is irreplaceable. Healable… yes! but replaceable.. No!
There is good news though, this pain is temporary and God can heal your broken heart but you have to stop giving your heart away. This is my challenge to you let God heal what is broken and move on. Don’t give any more of your heart away.
Brandon - I’m almost 17. I see this happening all around me. It is just little compromises that eventually leads to this.
My dad once told me to set the standards really (extremely) high and don’t break from them. He gave the example of a water balloon. Every time you give a little bit away to someone, it is like poking it with a needle. Eventually, there will be only a little bit of water left.
For this reason, I have set my standards high and have vowed not to even kiss anyone until marriage.
Suzanne - So good. So true. The heart is always the focus. My story is similar. The facts don’t matter. The heart has to change for the behavior to change. We have to be transformed by the renewing of our hearts and minds. Thanks for sharing.
AndreaA. - As a child of divorced parents, I was on the receiving end of not one, but two “talks”. Actually, my mom and I talked more about sex because I lived with her, but my dad made a contribution to the conversation as well.
Dad’s version…Just the facts ma’am. Ovaries, sperm, eggs, yada, yada, yada. A clinical but interesting talk.
Mom’s version…Feelings! Mom told me about her first time having sex and how she wished now she would have waited. She told me about feeling bad about losing her virginity. She said giving this piece of herself to someone before marriage made her feel less about herself, and obsess over her partner (my dad). She said after the divorce it was easier to give up that part of herself to men she dated because she didn’t have the self-esteem she once did. Her advice to me was wait.
So did I? I got engaged at age 20 and at 23 we married. And yes, we waited. It was the best decision of my life because I not only gave my husband a special gift, but it was a gift for me as well. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was downright difficult! Some people didn’t understand. Once we were engaged my friends were surprised we didn’t do it because “you’re getting married anyway, why does it matter?” It mattered. It mattered to me and it mattered to God.
My husband, who definitely was NOT a virgin when we began dating was patient, kind and worth waiting for. We did kiss before our wedding day (anyone who can wait to do that has my complete admiration!), but the rest was saved for our wedding night.
So why am I sharing this. I guess it’s because I like to share my “freaky” story of virginity in this modern world, but also because I wanted to tell you that YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! “The Talk” has to include the facts AND the feelings. We have to educate our kids and let them know that yeah, we were once hot-to-trot teenagers too!
We have to be willing to open up and admit that abstinence is more than a well-intentioned pledge or the opportunity to score some purity-ring bling from mom and dad. It’s about making the hard choice. Standing out from the crowd. It’s about feeling all the excitement and hormones and adolescent eagerness and still making the right choice. It’s not just about not getting pregnant or not getting a disease. It’s about honoring your body as a temple for God and for yourself. It’s about self-respect and knowing that you were made for more.
So, all that to say, YOU GO GIRL and I look forward to reading your book before having “the talk” with my kids.
jackiebeauchene - Great blog! I agree. I remember in high school that the health teacher’s son was well known as a bad boy. Every kid needs a dose of reality and feelings in with any teaching. On the other hand, it is important that parents do not share too much with their children, such was my case. This can overload a child. One must lean on God for understanding on how far to go in their conversations.
courtney - I love you Tindell.
tindellbalwin - I agree with each of you! We need to know the heart of the matter not just the facts!