Are you concerned for the purity of our young people? Our children are born into perilous times. Thankfully the threat to their physical health and lives is less than in past generations. However, today there is an urgent threat to their sexual purity from immoral messages which come to them as part of formal education and through the media.
This threat can begin at a very early age. Here are some examples:
- Birmingham City Council now promotes CHIPS (Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools) with the aim of implementing it in all state-maintained primary schools by March 2015. Activities include small children having to participate in cross-gender dressing and creating a wedding scene featuring two men.
- OFSTED inspections are being used to pressurise schools into promoting immoral behaviour. For example, in December 2014, inspectors at Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland questioned 10-year-old children about what lesbians ‘did’ and whether any of their friends felt trapped in the ‘wrong body’. This was to test whether the school was complying with new requirements to promote ‘British values’ (‘Ofsted quiz kids at Christian school on “what lesbians do”’, Christian Institute website, 14 January 2015).
- A study found that one in six secondary school pupils accesses pornography on school computers, often bypassing teachers’ security controls, to look at adult content (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2849846/One-six-pupils-accesses-porn-school-computers-Secondary-school-aged-childrenbypassing-teachers-controls-look-adult-websites).
The charity Lovewise was set up 13 years ago, to help parents, church leaders and teachers protect the sexual purity of young people, by teaching them about the goodness of (heterosexual) marriage and the rightness and benefits of keeping sexual intimacy for marriage.
The organisation has developed a range of resources for use for different age groups. It also gives talks by trained presenters in churches and schools.
Over the last decade the threat to the sexual purity of our young people has increased. The legal redefinition of marriage has made it much harder for schools to teach the biblical definition of real marriage.
In the past, immoral teaching might have been limited to a lesson on ‘safer sex’, from which a parent was allowed to withdraw their child. The danger now is that this teaching will infiltrate compulsory subjects in the syllabus (for example, CHIPS is being promoted in literacy classes) and a homosexual-affirming atmosphere can pervade a whole school, from noticeboards to staff rooms.
With many young people now using mobile phones, accessibility to online pornography has greatly increased and the nature of the material has become more extreme. It is now considered normal for teenagers to be sexually active in a series of relationships with young people of a similar age, regardless of the law of consent.
In this environment, it is very difficult for young people to remain sexually pure. Many have never thought about saving sex for marriage, or carefully considered what they believe and how they should act.
How important it is that they realise the seriousness of the possible physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of sex outside marriage, and the many blessings of remaining sexually pure and free from guilt, unintended pregnancy, disease and memories of past experiences. How great is the need for God-honouring teaching on this subject!
It is vital that ministers and youth group leaders address these important matters as part of their responsibility for the sanctification of their congregation.
For parents, teaching their children about sexual purity and the threats to it is an essential part of obeying the command to ‘bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4). The knowledge of God’s Word is children’s surest defence against sin.
If they have not had clear biblical teaching on the subjects of marriage, relationships and sex, young people will be unable to answer the evil one’s lies, when challenged by peers and tempted by the pressures and opportunities that the world provides.
They need help to understand and trust that God’s laws and designs are the very best for them and the only way to glorify God in their lives.
Our observation is that such teaching, if given carefully, lovingly and with integrity, is gladly received by children, many of whom remain especially interested in the prospect of a happy marriage and having a family of their own.
They need to be helped to understand that the choices they make in relationships during and beyond puberty may affect the rest of their lives.
Recent Lovewise resources are published in conjunction with Evangelical Press. These include: True love — a clear and practical book for young people, looking at what the Bible says about relationships, marriage and sexual intimacy (age range: 14+; £5.99); and Growing up God’s way — a book about puberty, relationships and marriage for children to read on their own or with a parent. There are different versions for girls and for boys (age-range: 9-14; £7.99).
Lovewise produces a range of resources for church youth groups, for parents to use with their own children, and for primary and secondary schools.
To find out more, visit: www.lovewise.org.uk