Articles from the August 1997 Unification News
Teens and Sex
by Roger Wetherall-NYC
Young people face many challenges and problems that kids of 50 years ago never had to deal with. Designer drugs, divorced parents and violence in the schools are not easy to grow up amidst and still turn out to be a normal adult. The miracle is that despite all of this so many young people do manage to make it.
Premarital sex is the biggest challenge to youth. President Clinton has spoken of teen pregnancy as being the nation's most serious social problem. After years of research, most everyone agrees that it is not beneficial for teenagers to indulge in sexual activities. Sociologically, psychologically, medically, morally and spiritually, 99% of the evidence shows that Teen Free Sex is a big no-no. So why is it getting more and more out of control?
What exactly is the problem? Is it teen sex, or all extra-marital sex? At what age does it become 'OK' to have a relationship outside of marriage? Today's abstinence educators and advocates are often reluctant to deal with the topic of extra-marital sex beyond the teenage years. That would be hitting a little too close to home. Many of them are unable to honestly admit that they did not have sexual relationships before they were married. In a recent article in US News and World report (May '97) several prominent people were asked whether they had had sex before marriage and most of them could not give a straight NO! So the message that we are giving our kids is "Do what I say, not what I do. (or did.)" Kids know this. They are not stupid. They hear their parents, teachers and pastors telling them not to have sex but they know that their parents, teachers and pastors did have sex when they were teens. They look at the people they know and see that the ones they look up to are or were involved in pre-marital, extra-marital and non-marital relationships so they wonder why they should wait until they turn 21 before they get in on the action too.
In a society that is so busy pointing the finger and looking to place the blame on someone else, it is time to take a closer look at me. I. Myself. Yes that's right the one who is reading this article right now. Not the guy next door or my parents or friends, but Me. Numero Uno. Whether you are a teen, a 20 something, or a parent with 5 children, we all need to ask ourselves the tough questions:-
Have I lived the kind of life that I would want my children to follow? Am I living the kind of lifestyle, I want them to emulate now? Do I think it is important for my children to refrain from sexual relationships until they are married?
We're looking for a few good men and women!
Our society needs heroes. Not the kind of comic book characters who blow away everything that gets in their way, but the kind who can be an example of purity, fidelity and happiness within marriage. A child's first heroes should be their parents. And, we need sportsmen and women, actors and actresses, politicians, community leaders, teachers, ministers, students and MTV idols to stand up and say that they will wait until marriage. It used to be the case that people were ashamed to say that they were promiscuous, now people are ashamed to say that they are not! To turn this culture around is going to take some brave people who can stand up for what is right.
The Pure Love Alliance wants to make it popular to be pure. We are not talking about a life of eternal celibacy and monastic confinement but about an experience of the greatest possible joy and fulfillment. Sexual love is not something dirty that we should be afraid of or try to hide. It is the absolute highest expression of love that can occur between a husband and wife. Within the realm of security and total love of a committed marriage, sexual love is the most exciting fulfilling gift that any of us can ever hope to experience, or give to our spouse. People need to know that there is hope beyond the soap operas and tabloid sex scandals. Each one of us needs to be a hero.
I am not afraid to say that I waited until I was married to have sex. Along the way there were many tests and trials. My high school friends were doing it. Even my girlfriend wanted to do it. Sometimes I was weak in my resolve and I let my curiosity take me further than I wanted to. I still have regrets about that. Sometimes, in the heat of passion, I seriously considered forfeiting the battle because it seemed to be too difficult. Yet I am glad that I did not. Now when I make love to my wife, I know that I am giving her the real thing: pure, untainted whole-hearted love. She knows that too and is filled with gratitude and loves me even more because of it. This is not to say that I am the world's best lover. Hey, I've got no idea how I compare with other guys. But you know what, I don't want to know. I just want to be the best lover I can possibly be for my wife and to love her more and more each day. No guilt. No comparisons or performance standards. Just great fun and fulfillment.
Now I have a son (7 months old) and one day when he is old enough to understand I will be able to tell him of these things and hopefully inspire him to wait for the day when he too is married before giving the most precious gift of his sexual love to his spouse. I hope that by the time he reaches that age, society will also have come to support a more responsible attitude to sexuality than the one we live in now.
There is a battle being waged in this society. This battle will not be won over the conference tables but in the hearts of each one of us as we determine how we are going to live our lives. It is not possible to get rid of adultery, pre-marital sex, pornography and prostitution through legislation. Only when we can control our own desire for such things will they disappear. When we decide that we are not going to watch programs that portray sex without consequences or responsibility, when we stop buying the soft porn magazines and when we stop fooling around with the secretary at the office or the postman, that is when things will really begin to change. It is not kids who are the problem. It is all of us. Every one of us has to take a stand for what is right and be willing to speak out about our own mistakes and regrets in an honest way. Then others will also get the courage to do the same and just maybe, we can make a better world for the next millennium or more.
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