Last week, we finished up our time at Rhea County High School.  I have to admit, I’m a little partial to RCHS. After all, it is my alma mater (Let’s Go Eagles!). And it is here in the county that the Women’s Care Center main office calls home.  In addition, we graciously receive two weeks to spend with the students, which allows for some great instruction time and some casual conversations.

I’ve had some great discussions these past two weeks. These students are curious. They are excited about the subject matter, yes. But, more importantly, they are excited to hear the truth. They are excited for 40 minutes of their day that can be used to talk about life. And that’s what we do.

Of course, our program holds abstinence as its foundation. We believe completely, that the healthiest choice for our students is to save sexual activity for a faithful and committed marriage.  The core of our message is every choice matters. Every choice has a consequence, especially when it comes to choices regarding our relationships.

We live in a culture that tells us that sex isn’t a big deal.  We live in a culture that uses sex to sell everything from cars to shoes to rice. Everywhere we turn, we are lambasted with sexual images.  We are sexualizing children at younger and younger ages.

In fact, a recent study by the Parents Television Council found that “when underage female characters appear on screen, there is: more sexualizing content depicted; fewer negative responses to being sexualized; more sexualizing incidents occurring outside of any form of committed relationships; more female initiation in the sexualized scenes, or mutual agreement between the teen and her partner that the sexualizing incident is acceptable; and less accuracy in the content rating.” 

 

From movies to music, our children are hit with lies.  They are told that everyone has sex, and abstinence is just for losers.  In fact, at one school, I was asked if I indeed waited until I was married to have sex.  I answered, and the student asked a follow-up question.  “What class were you in high school?”  Confused by his question, I told him I started as a freshman and eventually worked my way up to a senior. “No, no, no.  I mean, what class were you? Were you pretty, or popular, or kinda low class?”

 

I realized he was asking me if I didn’t have sex because no one wanted to have sex with me, which is the logical assumption considering today’s opinion of abstinence.  He followed by asking “Did you date a football player?” To this boy, if I had dated a football player, then I must certainly have been considered high class, and therefore would have had sex.  He didn’t know what to say when I told him I had actually dated a football player (a starter none the less), and still did not have sex in high school.

 

My students often ask when I will hand out the condoms.  Normally I laugh and say “somebody is lying to you!” But this week, when the question was asked, I made sure he understood why I wouldn’t be handing out condoms.

 

With typical use, one out of every six couples that use condoms find themselves pregnant within a year.  Normally, everybody in my classes can think of at least one person they know that ended up pregnant, even using a condom. Yes, the condom box boasts much higher reduction numbers, but then I explain to my students that those numbers are the result of perfect conditions. 

 

I will never understand what makes us think we can take an imperfect object such as a condom, add imperfect people, and expect to get perfect results.  It doesn’t work that way.

 

These kids don’t need me for condoms. If they want condoms, they know where to get them. They need me to tell them the truth.  And the truth is that every day, 10,000 teenagers get an STD.  That works out to be about ¼ sexually active teens each year contracting an STD.

 

In that same 24-hour period, between 2,000 and 3,000 teenage girls end up pregnant. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy estimates that 1 out of 3 girls that have sex at least once will end up pregnant.

 

We live in a culture that screams “safe sex” from the mountain tops.  “Just use a condom! You’ll be protected!”  What a false sense of security that provides our children. And we wonder why our pregnancy rates are so high and why STD infections are at new levels (even, might I add, with the increased use of condoms).

 

Regardless of your opinion of the moral aspect of sex outside the bonds of a faithful and committed marriage, you cannot deny that the only thing that will offer 100% protection, 100% of the time from unwanted pregnancy and STDs is abstinence. That’s what our students need to know.  Why not expect the best out of them? Why settle for less? 

 

 

Believe it or not, your kids can make good choices.  They just need to know that it is expected of them.