The idea that all young people are bundles of uncontrollable hormones without brains or character never was true. This bad idea has prospered in the last 50 years as schools taught the false idea of evolution—that man is just a beast with a slightly bigger and more lustful brain. But youth just don't naturally have to start having sex, and many are now proving that by their actions.
Studies from all over the world point to one big fact: Teens having sex outside of marriage never, ever benefit from it. Never is a huge generalization. But regardless of the culture, sex outside of marriage never works. And marriage for teens is not a good idea because it is, in most cases, too early for their best long-term growth and success as adults. Since most youth desire respect and want to do what's in their best interest, many are now opting to abstain from sex until marriage.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia, keep records of diseases and health problems, including all related issues like sex habits that lead to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Reports from the CDC say that up to 50 percent of U.S. teens (this means millions of young people!) are not having sex. This is a big change and it's not an accident that abstinence is the clear choice of half of American teens.
Various programs, some religious and others in public school and government, are now having a dramatic effect on teens' choices as they provide young people with the facts showing the benefits of waiting until marriage to have sex. Young people making this wise choice regarding sex constitute a national trend called the abstinence movement.
Abstinence is a good decision
As a dad with four kids, from 20-years old down to 9-years old, I am well aware of the decisions that you have to make regarding sex. When I was a teen, there was so much destructive sex going on among teens in my upper middle class school and among my friends that I have a pretty realistic perspective on the many decisions you young people have to make today. The fact so many millions of youth are not having sex is a real inspiration. You are making a really smart decision.
Making smart decisions is the fastest way to success, short-term and long-term. Of course, it's always best to start out smart if you can. Starting smart when it comes to the subject of sexual decisions is the ideal.
And if you've made a mistake, you can always become smart. It is only a decision away. Going from stupid to smart is what life is all about, regardless of our age. It is called "repentance" in the Bible.
God started the abstinence movement
Four reasons explain why abstinence is the choice made by so many young people today.
First, we have to acknowledge the role of good parents in many of the cases of those who abstain from sex. When youth grow up secure in the protection of parents' love and wisdom, they don't have to choose sex to have fun, find love or acceptance. They don't have to live the life of rebels who break rules to define who they are.
That's why God urges—make that commands—us to honor and obey our parents. "Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land" is in the Big Ten—Commandments, that is (Exodus 20:12 Exodus 20:12Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
American King James Version×). God says this so we will listen to the wisdom of our fathers and mothers. He also says, "You shall not commit adultery" (number seven of the Big Ten) and to "flee sexual immorality" (Exodus 20:14 Exodus 20:14You shall not commit adultery.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 6:18 1 Corinthians 6:18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
American King James Version×). God's instructions are very clear about where and when to have sex.
Did you realize that God started the abstinence movement? He proclaimed the rules for the abstinence movement from Mount Sinai almost 3,500 years ago. There has never been a better government policy on the matter. President Bush acknowledges this; abstinence is the official White House policy regarding sex education!
God also commands parents to teach their children His way of no sex until marriage and after marriage, only with one's mate. Why does God do this? Simply because God's way works. Caring and wise adults know that a young person's life is really a lot more fun and successful when there is no sex. After all, every adult was once young. And caring adults want optimal success for every youth. Sex messes up a young person's development. Nobody knows that better than a concerned parent or caregiver who will guide, counsel, provide boundaries and inspire you.
Second, millions of American youth are hearing and believing the scary facts about serious lifelong sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) caused by sex outside marriage. Many young people make good, logical decisions when they know the facts.
This year, teens will contract nearly one in four of the 15 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases in America. About one of four sexually active teens is living with a sexually transmitted disease. Nearly one of 10 teenage girls has chlamydia and half of all new chlamydia cases are diagnosed in girls 15 to 19 years old. Girls having multiple partners during their teen and college-aged years greatly increase their likelihood of getting cervical cancer. Tragically, some STDs bring early death.
No thank you! I don't want the baggage
The third reason millions of teens are abstaining is that they don't want the emotional upheaval, baggage and stress that accompanies premarital sex. Wise young people see that sex can lead to depression when the breakup comes—and it inevitably does.
A former Oregon high school principal, Andrew Burnett, explains the emotional scars that are left for both boys and girls: "Some boys who have sex treat girls like stepping-stones to status among other guys, regarding the girl's emotions as secondary to his bragging rights with buddies. This can become a lifelong curse. Many boys will be damaged by the inability to grow up and take their responsibilities seriously or get hooked up with women later who are as selfish as they are. Divorce after divorce follows. Then there are children whose lives are messed up by dads who never grow up.
"Sometimes a boy will get emotionally involved and find he has nothing to give the girl except sex and infatuated promises because he really doesn't have anything permanent to give her. Inevitably, he also finds out that 'his' girl has a mind of her own, with desires, plans, opinions and choices he wouldn't make.
"Girls typically turn to sex for different reasons than boys. For them, it is not for the pleasures of sex, which is typically a boy's immediate interest. Girls often give sex to secure the relationship so that they will feel that the boy really does care and love them. When conflicts and the inevitable dumpings occur, girls typically are very hurt, even depressed. Then they go on the 'rebound' to fill their emptiness and depression with another relationship. Of course, the new boy will typically put on pressures for sex and the cycle repeats.
"Unable to sustain lasting relationships, many young people get deeply hurt. Tragically, many never figure out that their biggest mistake was getting sexually involved in the first place because 'it seemed so right.' They never learn to discern the difference between true love and lust. So they look for another infatuation over which to 'fall in love.' Can you believe it? Many go through their entire adult life with the same bad ideas. Then comes the divorce, etc."
Sex is shared intimacy and has huge emotional power requiring maturity, independence, consistency, devotion, commitment and stability or it will blow up a relationship. Many young people learn the hard way that sex really isn't fun after the consequences set in. Premarital sex is not based on real, committed love for the other person, but underneath all the excitement, romance and talk of love, it is really based on selfishness instead. Young people who do it to break rules eventually learn that their bad decisions will break them. Rebelling is stupid. There are no exceptions to the rules.
Smart youth are spiritual
The fourth and perhaps most important reason youth are abstaining from sex is because it is spiritually the right thing to do. Life has a spiritual side that must be acknowledged.
As you know, you are still developing. Young people are still growing up. It is normal and good to be a work in progress. A sense of right and wrong, to know truth from error and wisdom from foolishness, is what many young people want. Some want a relationship with God to guide them. They hunger and thirst for righteousness, as Jesus Christ described in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:6 Matthew 5:6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
American King James Version×).
Young people have an enormous spiritual capacity. Developing this side of you is really the key to the strength you can gain to abstain from sex until married. It will also lay the foundation God will use to give you the greatest physical relationship you will ever have in life—that of a loving mate.
The difference in maturity—a sense of knowing what you've accomplished, who you are and what you want out of life—is so much greater at 25 than at 14 or 17. It's as if you aren't even the same person. In many ways you aren't. We are always different as a result of experiences, previous decisions and the development of our bodies, minds and spirits.
Maturity helps us handle life's most challenging and rewarding physical relationship—that of a man and woman in marriage. For that reason, we should abstain from sex until then.
It is worth waiting on God to provide you with your mate to enjoy for the rest of your life. And believe me, abstaining from sex until married is worth it in the thousands of ways you will find later in life. Be smart. Be successful. Be spiritual. YU