A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows abstinence-only education in schools does reduce the number of sexually active teens1. This is news only because, for so many years, politicians and commentators have screamed at the top of their lungs, “Abstinence-only sexual education does not work!”
As a political issue, abstinence-only education draws quite a bit of heated debate. One reason these discussions are so animated is the undeniable, biblical reality that sexual relations outside of marriage is sin. Our popular culture denies this truth.
So, the issue of “teens having sex” is treated with an almost veterinary detachment. Instead of dealing with the sin of pre-marital sex and the emotional consequences involved, modern man treats teenagers like the family pet. “You can’t stop it from happening.” “Just make sure they are spayed or neutered.”
In this atmosphere, teens are treated like animals that can not control their impulses. We are told birth control is our only hope and abortion is considered just as effective a device as condoms or birth control pills.
But human beings are not animals. We have thoughts, emotions, feelings, and we are capable of making rational decisions. Men and women can control themselves. Teens, young and old adults are capable of abstinence before marriage.
God created us with natural desire for members of the opposite sex. He also created the arena in which the desire can be fully realized. In marriage there is no guilt, are no unwanted consequences, and two people can learn to enjoy each other in an atmosphere of trust.
What a beautiful picture God has painted for us! We need only trust him enough to follow his lead. God created marriage and intends for one man and one woman to satisfy each other physically, emotionally, intellectually, and sexually. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”-Genesis 2:24.
To become sexually active before marriage is to sin against my eventual mate (Hebrews 13:4). It is also sin because any sexual activity outside of marriage is declared sin by God (I Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:19-20, Ephesians 5:3, etc.).
But I want young Christians to know something else; “Abstinence before marriage is attainable!” Don’t be fooled by Satan’s siren song that “Everyone is doing it.” and “Young people are going to have sex. There is nothing you can do about it.” That is a lie! Everyone is not doing it.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control2 found that:
53% of girls under 20 are virgins.
54% of boys under 20 are virgins.
That’s right. More teenagers are abstaining from sexual relations than are engaging in sexual relations! Abstinence is not just a Christian ideal. It is a very realistic and attainable expectation in the general population. Among Christians, there is no reason virginity at marriage should not be the rule. But it is not something that will happen by accident.
To remain sexually pure until marriage takes decisiveness, support, and help from above. Paul gives us a great verse to assist us in our resistance to temptation. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”-Romans 8:5-6.
As a Christian, on what do you set your mind? Do you expose yourselves to tempting situations? Do you put things before your eyes and ears that are fleshly or spiritual? What we “set our minds on” goes a long way toward determining what kind of life we live.
If I want to be “spiritually minded” I need to think on spiritual things, hang out with spiritually minded people, and only go places I would not be ashamed to take Christ with me. This goes for young people as well as old.