In a pandemic, delivering the bread of life
EDMOND, Okla. — I use the last bit of energy…
Today’s teenagers were born immersed in technology. Thanks to social media, Google, YouTube and virtual reality games, they are constantly bombarded with gender issues, casual sex and pornography.
While parents are expected to teach their children right from wrong, many aren’t totally sure where they stand on these topics.
“Don’t let lack of awareness keep you from engaging in vital conversations. Learn how to talk to your teen with knowledge and confidence, guiding them toward a sexually healthy future,” urge authors Beth Robinson and Latayne C. Scott in “Talking With Teens About Sexuality: Critical Conversations about Social Media, Gender Identity, Same-Sex Attraction, Pornography, Purity, Dating, Etc.”
But in today’s “Love is Love” world, it’s often hard to push confidently against cultural pressures.
Our teens read in Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” At the same time, they hear interpretations of Scripture promoting the idea that a monogamous, same-sex relationship is OK. All the while, they follow social media influencers on Tik Tok, Instagram and Snapchat who espouse gender fluidity and promote casual sex.
Teens often see parents as old and out of touch. Will they believe us when we teach them what the Bible says about these issues?
It is possible, write Robinson, a licensed professional counselor and professor of psychology and counseling at Lubbock Christian University in Texas, and Scott, who has a doctorate in biblical studies. Both are from Churches of Christ.
“As our teens develop their identities, we need to provide support and accurate information for them rather than myths about sexuality and minimization or rejection of their struggles,” Robinson says. “We want them to seek us out for support rather than turning to peers or strangers who may provide inaccurate information.”
I have a new teenager in my house. We had an age-appropriate sex talk when she was 8. She came to me again when she was 12, and we revisited the topic.
“Look at me!” I thought. I’m on top of it. Well, here I am a year later, having read this book and realizing just how little surface we have scratched and how much more we need to discuss.
If we are uncomfortable discussing these subjects with our teens, the authors note, they will find other sources of information …
“According to kids today who are just coming out of their teens, we have no idea how sexually saturated their world is,” the authors write, “and how nearly worthless many of us have been in helping them navigate it.”
If we are uncomfortable discussing these subjects with our teens, the authors note, they will find other sources of information — often from individuals who will encourage them to pursue ungodly lifestyles. It’s also been said that teens will believe the first source that tells them about sex.
Do you want your child to believe the world’s view or God’s? We need to be exploring these issues in an open and honest way with our teens.
“At the end of time, when we meet God shoulder to shoulder with our matured children, we will answer for what we did to bring them closer to him or drive them away from him,” Robinson says.
It’s time to lead them closer to God.
In this book, the authors provide biblically based and scientifically reliable information about gender issues, types of intimacy, online dangers and setting boundaries. Chapter titles include: “God’s Plan for Sex,” “Social Media and Technology,” “This Is Your Teen’s Brain on Porn” and “Understanding Gender Issues.” There are scenarios, questions and verses at the end of each chapter to work through with your teen.
I highly recommend this book for parents to work through with teens. It would also make a great topic for a parenting class or small-group study at church.
“Talking With Teens About Sexuality” was easy to read, full of real-life stories and “what-if” scenarios. I couldn’t put it down.
LAURA AKINS is Features Editor for The Christian Chronicle. Contact [email protected].
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