Consider these suggestions for ways to enhance your teen's commitment to purity.
I asked my son Nathan, who is 24 years old and has been committed to sexual purity since he was a teenager, what he sees as the most important factor for staying sexually pure. His answer, in one word: accountability.
As a dad, I admire the intentional and consistent example of my friend Harold in this regard. For a number of years he has gone out for breakfast once a month with his two teen sons, individually, with the intention of asking Will and Luke how they are doing spiritually and how each is handling sexual temptation.
Sexual temptation comes with being a guy. Harold and I understand this. In years past, my family subscribed to an Internet filter service for our two home computers and Nathan’s laptop. More recently we downloaded a free software program from the Internet that records the names of questionable Internet sites visited and regularly sends e-mails listing those sites to one or two accountability partners.
Nathan has chosen his girlfriend and me to be his accountability partners. He also continues to meet with three guys who attended his youth group. They keep each other accountable both in staying pure and in other areas of their lives.
Teen girls are more likely to remain sexually pure when boundaries are defined and they’re given a clear understanding of why God requires abstinence.
Parents can encourage their daughter to solidify her desire for godliness by having her write letters to her future husband and to God, expressing her promise of abstinence until marriage. After signing and dating the letters, she can put them in a safe place, assuring herself that no one else will read them. (It might be helpful for her to reread the letters occasionally as a reminder of her commitment.)
Each year, celebrate the anniversary of her pledge by honoring her with a special gift — a family heirloom, jewelry or a getaway for just mother and daughter. Meaningful (not necessarily expensive) gifts will demonstrate how important her accomplishment is. Use this celebration time to discuss the previous year’s struggles and victories. Develop open, honest communication with your daughter to build her trust in your relationship and counsel.
- Join a church or community-based abstinence group
- Partner with another mother/daughter team
- Find accountability friends
- Have teens create a list of qualities they would like to see in a future husband or wife.
- Help them concentrate more on internal than external qualities.
- Encourage them to dream big and wait on God to meet their needs and desires.
- Pray for their future spouse with them.
- Have teens reflect on Romans 8:28. Remind them that God has known them from before they were born. He's in charge of their lives. They need to trust His timing for all their relationships.