Purity Retreat

Kickstarter

Planning the weekend: Invite your teenager to go with you on a weekend full of fun.

  • If at all possible, let them decide what that fun will be, within the constraints of your family’s budget.Have fun! Plan activities that your teenager loves and do it with them.
  • Often this trip is planned for one parent and one teenager. Many families make this a father/son or mother/daughter event. However, this may not be possible (or best) for your family.
  • Before the weekend begins, be sure to let your teenager know your plan. Try not to surprise them. Teenagers don’t like surprises, especially when it comes to talking about sexual purity. Let them know specifically at what point on this trip you will be discussing sexual purity. That way they can be prepared for it.
  • Decide if you will use the devotionals from the Parent Guide from this milestone before, during, or after your purity weekend.

Ideas for sharing your dreams for them in the area of sexual purity.

  • When talking about purity or any sexually-related topic, it’s important that parents initiate the conversation but stay away from lectures.
  • Consider sharing with your teenager your experience in learning about the subject of sex. You can tell them whether it was positive or negative and how it affected you as an adult. Share with your teenager that you want to set them up to be healthy in the area of sex.

Share with them why you believe that God’s plan for sex is best for them. Here are some Scriptures you might want to share with them:

  • Genesis 1:26, 31: God sees sex as a good thing.
  • Genesis 2:18-25: God created sex.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3: God has a standard for sex.
  • Matthew 19:4-6: God created man and woman to become one flesh.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20: Sex outside of marriage is not a good thing.

Many people in our culture ridicule the idea of waiting until marriage to have sex. 

Discuss with your teenager the common viewpoints against God’s plan for sex. Here are some statements you might use in this part of the discussion:

  • I have never met someone who waited until marriage to have sex and regretted it. I have never met someone who followed God’s plan and then after their honeymoon said, “I wish I would have had more sex before marriage!”
  • The people who disagree with God’s plan for sex see it more as a physical act. God created it to connect body and soul. Sex for a married couple is like spiritual super glue. It is not meant to be exchanged casually.
  • When you engage in sexual activity prior to marriage, you are creating a “marital” type bond with a boyfriend or girlfriend. That type of bonding should only follow a marital commitment.
  • God’s plan for sex is the only safe sex. There is no way to 100% avoid pregnancy outside of marriage or to elude sexually transmitted diseases with pills or condoms. The only way to avoid these things completely is to save sex for its proper place--a committed marriage.
  • Sex is used by many to sell movies, music, and products. Sex is undervalued by many and is used to satisfy a physical urge at the cost of emotional pain. My dream for you is that you value yourself, value your relationship with God, value your relationship with me, value your future spouse, value your own body, value your own soul, and value sex as something to be treasured, not used casually.
  • It is your job to honor the purity and integrity of your boyfriend/girlfriend, not take advantage of it. One day you might attend the wedding of someone you dated and broke up with. I want you to be able to shake the hand of their future spouse, with no regrets, knowing that you protected their purity.
  • Sex is something that you will have questions about going forward and I want you to know that you can ask me about it. I know it is awkward and difficult, but I want to make sure that you know you can ask me and I will do my best to give you the best advice I can. If you ever feel like you cannot talk to me about something, I really hope that you will talk with people we know we can trust to give you wise advice. People like (insert names of other trusted adults that you know you can trust and they can trust) are safe places to go with your questions.
  • Remember that as you talk with your friends around you about sex and boundaries in relationship that they have very limited experience and understanding about the issue and could lead you to do things that will really hurt you without intending to. So, be careful who you trust when making decisions about these things.

Commit to each other to value purity.Let your teenager know that you value purity as well. Give them permission to hold you accountable for treasuring purity in what you watch, what you think, and how you live.

Give your teenager a symbol to remember your conversation and commitment to one another.

  • Many parents give a ring to their teenager to represent their commitment to purity. That ring can then be exchanged with the wedding ring at their future wedding ceremony.
  • You might think of another symbol that would better fit your teenager to help them remember this very important commitment you are making to each other.

Pray Together - Take some time to thank God for the opportunity to share with each other honestly. Here are some things you can pray over your teenager:

  • Pray that God would guard their mind and fill it with truth in the area of sex.
  • Pray that God would guard their body and give them a desire to honor their body.
  • Pray that God would guard their heart and protect them from unnecessary emotional pain in the area of sex.
  • Pray that God would continue to grow your relationship with them and give each of you the courage to continue talking about purity.
  • Thank God for the strength and opportunity to have this important moment together.

Now get back to having fun!

There is no way to avoid awkwardness in this conversation. One way to combat awkwardness is to quickly follow up your face-to-face conversation with some shoulder-to-shoulder fun! Remember that no one has a louder voice than you in the life of your teenager. Your words weigh the most to them. You are their greatest spiritual influence. Congratulations on using that influence to set them up for success and health in the area of sex!

For more thoughts on helping your teen seek God’s best for their relationships check out these additional articles in the “toolbox” section of the Everyday Parent App or theeverydayparent.org -

  • What is sexting, and how do I deal with it?
  • What do I do if my child is struggling with pornography?
  • How can I help my middle school student navigate the dating world?
  • How can I help my High School student navigate the dating world?

Parent Guide

PARENT GUIDE FOR THE PURITY WEEKEND - Seeking God’s best in relationships

Sex and purity conversations can be the hardest conversations to have with your teen, but they are also talks that can take your relationship to a new level. Even though your 13-year-old may wince every time the s-e-x word comes up, they really do want to feel safe with you on this topic. Even as an adult, you can still model purity for your teen in your media choices, language, and relationships with the opposite gender at work or in social settings.

God’s perspective to discuss: Below we have provided 4 different sections that can be used as devotionals for you and your teenager to work through together, focusing on purity and God’s view of sex. These devotionals can be used leading up to the Purity Weekend, during your trip or as a follow-up after your trip. The choice is yours. These devotionals will help teach your teenager the importance of using the Bible to find the answers to the tough questions that they will face in life.

FRAMING UP OUR PURPOSE

Devotional 1: “One flesh” is a really big deal and a great place to start the conversation.

“‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called “woman,” because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.” --Genesis 2:22-24

When God first brought a man and woman together, Adam’s response was that she was, in reality, a part of him. It pretty much took his breath away to realize that they were meant to be made one.

A great place to start in explaining the sacredness of sex is that God intends for us to be joined and united as one with another human being. It is a powerful union to care for another person sexually, emotionally, and spiritually, and it is not meant to be carelessly repeated with different people throughout our lives. To become one flesh means not to be torn apart. Each time we are torn from a person we were “one” with it makes it more difficult to be “one” with the next person and to be committed to them for a lifetime. Just like tape loses its stickiness each time it is pull apart, our ability to bond with future a person weakens each time we are “one” with someone in ways that should be saved for marriage and then pull apart from them.

Grace and restoration play an important part here, too, because our kids sometimes stumble and make poor sexual choices. Marriages often struggle and end. But helping our teens strive for the goal of experiencing “one flesh” with just one person will guard their hearts in a world of broken ones.

Devotional 2: Talk to them about intimacy.

“Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” --Luke 7:38

“When he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” --1 Samuel 18:1

“His left hand would be under my head. His right hand would embrace me... Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for love is strong as death.” --Song of Solomon 8:3, 6

One definition of intimacy could be summarized as a feeling of belonging together. It’s the sense that we can let down our guard, be real, and not worry about rejection. There are many examples of intimate relationships in our lives. Hopefully, we can learn to be intimate with God. Most people have a few friendships in their lifetime that are incredibly close and honest. And often there is at least one family relationship that is extremely close to you. So there is more than one kind of intimate relationship where we feel like we belong with someone.

Devotional 3: Talk about sex through the lens of God’s best for them.

“The man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed.” --Genesis 2:25

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light...” --1 Peter 2:9

Although it’s true that sex outside of marriage is a bad choice--and there can be painful consequences to unhealthy sexual behavior--, sex is still God’s gift to us, and it’s not helpful to just tell our teens that it’s “bad.” We want them to anticipate not being ashamed of past relationship struggles and look forward to this gift that they someday will give their spouse.

We want them to see that God has His very best in mind for us when He commands us to save sex for marriage. Just like a fish needs to live within the boundaries of water for it to live and thrive, God has set a boundary around sex that is should be saved for marriage because that is where it can help us thrive instead of wreck us.

It’s also important for our teens to discover that they should not only be concerned about God’s best for themselves but also God’s best for the people they are attracted to and God’s best for the people they are influencing. Their perspective will really be impacted when they consider that their sexual behaviors have an impact on the people around them, too.

Devotional 4:Give practical guidance to help them set healthy relationship boundaries.

“Finally then, brothers, we beg and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, that you abound more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God: your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who don’t know God; that no one should take advantage of and wrong a brother or sister in this matter...” --1 Thessalonians 4:1-6

Paul reminds the church in Thessalonica that he has given them a description of how to walk and please God. Christian culture does a good job of telling teens, “Don’t do that,” when it comes to sex. We don’t do such a good job of equipping them for that challenge. Here are a few ideas to equip you and your teen to walk this journey of purity:

Encourage your teen to enjoy co-ed friendship groups as often as possible, because they can learn so much more about sharing everyday life with the opposite sex in those relationships than they will in dating relationships.

Establish the PDA boundaries in your home (location and privacy) to help them avoid tempting situations.

Ask your teen questions like “Are you trusting in God’s best for you in your dating relationships?” and “Are you remembering to keep God’s best for your girlfriend/boyfriend ahead of your own desires?”

Lastly, troubleshoot with your teenager about what to do if they find themselves in a situation where they might compromise on sexual choices.

IDEAS FOR STRIVING FOR GOD’S BEST IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS

  • Ask fearless questions like “How are you doing in this relationship?”.
  • Introduce your teen to couples who have a powerful purity story to tell.
  • Point out scriptures that reinforce trusting God’s best for our lives.
  • Discourage middle school girls and boys from “going together” and have them wait for actual dating till at least their junior year.
  • Teach your son to call and ask a girl’s father if he can ask her out on a date.
  • If your teen is in a relationship, have dinner with the young couple once a month.
  • Sexting is a HUGE problem among teens, so social media accountability is a non-negotiable. You should always be allowed to know passwords and check their Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and text messages.
  • Choose to read a book like “Sex 180: The Next Revolution” by Chip Ingram and Tim Walker to continue to discussion from God’s perspective.

For more thoughts on helping your teen seek God’s best for their relationships check out these additional articles in the “toolbox” section of the Everyday Parent App or theeverydayparent.org -

  • What is sexting, and how do I deal with it?
  • What do I do if my child is struggling with pornography?
  • How can I help my middle school student navigate the dating world?
  • How can I help my High School student navigate the dating world?

Kickstarter

Question and Answer Guide

A primary purpose for the Purity Weekend is to encourage and allow your teenager to ask you the questions they have about sex. For most parents, this is a scary thought, but ask yourself this question: “If they don’t get this information from me, who will they get it from?” Although you can’t get out of your responsibil- ity to give your teenager a biblical education on this subject, you can relax, because we have created a tool to help answer some of the ques- tions you might get!

Q&A to Help with Parent/Teenager Discussion of Sex

What is sex?

First, and most importantly, sex is a way of worshipping God. The Bible describes us as being created in body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes- salonians 5:23). The sexual experience within a marriage is one of the only gifts God has given us that touches all three of these areas (body, soul, and spirit) simultaneously. And any activity that involves all three of these areas can be classified as sexual. Although each activity may not be directly classified as sex, the sexual experience begins with physical touch (holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc.) and progresses to more intimate acts.

What does God say about sex?

God is the creator of sex and wants it to be enjoyed, but within the boundaries that He created.

A good metaphor for this is a saltwater aquar- ium. The focus is on the beauty of the coral, the fish, and lighting. People don’t look at an aquar- ium like this and say, “Man, all this glass, metal, and wood is just getting in the way.”The bound- aries are not the focus; the beauty is. At the same time, if the boundaries weren’t there, then death, brokenness, and chaos would ensue.

God gives us boundaries to keep the beauty in, not to keep the fun stuff out.

The Bible says, “Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.” Proverbs 5:17-23

Does God give us boundaries and rules for sex?

Absolutely. Is it His desire for us to put our primary focus on the rules? No. Sex is beauti- ful. Sex is to be pure. Sex is for a husband and a wife to enjoy.

What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

An STD is a disease that is passed through sexual contact from an infected person to a non- infected person. Any sexual act that involves a bodily fluid is a potential way to transmit an STD. This can range from kissing, for some dis- eases, all the way to intercourse. Types of STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, genital warts, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. Some effects of these diseases in- clude pain, bleeding, infectious discharges, rashes, burning sensations, blisters, sores, and, in some cases, cancer and death. Currently in America, every hour, 350 teens contract a sexu- ally transmitted disease. This is one reason God provides boundaries for sex. He does not want to see His children suffer in ways that are, in most cases, completely preventable.

What is intercourse?

In many ways, God created a man’s and a woman’s bodies to fit together like puzzle pieces. Intercourse is part of the sexual experience in which the penis of the male is inserted into the vaginal canal of the female.

What is an orgasm?

An orgasm is another experience that God created for a husband and wife to share. At a certain point in the sexual experience, the body releases chemicals called endorphins into the body. These chemicals cause a person to feel a sense of euphoria, joy, and intense excitement.

What is oral sex, and does God consider it to be sex?

Oral sex is when one person stimulates the other person’s genitals with their mouth. God does consider this to be sex, because, again, it is a process that affects a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

What is pornography?

Pornography is any form of visual, audio, or video image that portrays nudity or a sexual expe- rience. Pornography, at its core, causes women to be viewed as objects of lust rather than the beautiful creations God intended them to be. It trains people to look upon women disrespect- fully, and it also causes people to “lust in their hearts,” as Jesus taught against in the Sermon on the Mount. Many people involved in the pornography industry (women, in particular) have gone through abuse, drug addiction, forced abortions, and the like. As creations of Christ, it is our duty to love those that are hurting by not supporting the pornography industry. Last year alone, nearly $15 billion was spent on internet pornography. Current research estimates that 1 in 4 American men are addicted to internet pornography. Sad- ly, the average within the Church is not much better: 1 in 6. Marriages are destroyed because of this. Because pornography is so readily avail- able, monitoring software (such as Covenant Eyes or x3church) can provide an extra level of accountability for teens and their families.

What is sexting, and is it okay?

Sexting involves sending nude pictures or videos of yourself to other people via text mes- saging or instant messaging. Although they can seem harmless, these images are often used to manipulate the ones who send them into doing things they do not want to do. Also, by sending these images, you are inviting lust into the lives of the ones to whom the images were sent. This is definitely not God’s will for anyone. These obviously won’t be the answers to all the questions you might get, so we wanted to arm you with the “silver bullet” answer that will get you out of just about any question that you can’t answer. Are you ready for it? Here we go... “I don’t know.” It’s that simple. Just admit to your teenager that you don’t know the best way to answer their question, but you will go find an answer and get back to them on it. Then you can go find a knowledgeable person, ask them for help, and make sure to follow up on your promise to return the answer to your teenager. You are a wonderful parent for facing a poten- tially awkward conversation with courage, in order to do your part to help your teenager have a healthy understanding of sex.

Downloadable Content:

Entering 6th Grade Milestone  PDF6th Grade Discussion Starters