What’s Missing from Your Sex Talk?

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Sexual purity is taught in youth groups all over. This strong emphasis on remaining sexually pure is not without good reason. However, are we really framing the conversation on purity in the correct light? This humorous illustration shows how there can be times when we miss the point when talking to teens about their purity.

The Purity Ring 3000 would definitely help with some of the external temptations teens face! But, is saving yourself for marriage all there is to the purity conversation?  

In this post, Michael DiMarco sheds light on what he views as common missteps in the purity conversation, sharing what he sees as the proper context for talking about the topic with teens. Michael is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multi-site church in Nashville, TN.  A soughtafter speaker, he has authored numerous books including God's Guy and Die Young.

Do you think shame, fear, getting STDs, and teenage pregnancy are effective as the primary arguments when talking with teens about purity? Why or why not?
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Consider the following verses:

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8, ESV)

"He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9, NIV)

"[Jesus Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people  for his own possession who are zealous for good works." (Titus 3:14, ESV)

Michael rightly noted that "purity goes to a matter of the heart, not the body." How can a focus on purity of the body alone leave teens with an incomplete picture of the kind of purity God desires of them?
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Why is it good news for each of your students, both those who have remained abstinent and those who have not, that Jesus is the source of all purity?
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How might sharing the real, negative aspects of sex outside of marriage serve in context with a Christ-centered vision of purity?
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Prohibitions of sinful behavior miss the mark when the heart issue behind the sin is never addressed. When you talk to your students about purity, make sure you are addressing the heart of the issue. The good news of the purity they've received through the blood of Jesus is the gospel. This gospel gives far more motivation for sexual purity than anything else ever could.

For more from Michael, check out his website, www.hungryplanet.net.