The Teen Sexuality Crisis

18 02 2008

Copyright 2008 Kelsey Hough.  All rights reserved.

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“How could someone possibly be so stupid?” exclaimed the critical voice of one mother as she rolled her eyes in disgust. “What on earth was she thinking? I mean, for crying out loud, kids look up to her! Even my twelve-year-old daughter watches her show every day after school.”

“Yes, so does my daughter.” Her friend chimed in. “But my daughter’s smart.” she said proudly. “She’s a good student. She knows right from wrong. She’d never make that kind of mistake.”

Like many parents with young preteen girls, these two mothers were bent out of shape over the most recent celebrity gossip to hit the newsstands – one of the celebrity starlets, adored by preteens, was pregnant.

In their minds, the young starlet had fallen from her pedestal, and these self-righteous mothers blamed it almost entirely on her lack of intellect – she wasn’t smart like their daughters. But brain power really had nothing to do with the latest teen celebrity pregnancy, what I’m sure was missing in this starlet’s life – like many other teens who find themselves in similar situations – wasn’t brain cells, but guidance.

The Cultural Storm

You don’t have to live on the Vegas Strip to be aware of the fact that purity isn’t exactly “in.” Our culture idolizes celebrities whose daily lives resemble an ongoing frat party, even clothing in the preteen departments seems to be screaming, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!,” and words like virgin, pure and modest — that in previous generations were regarded as something of value — have become synonymous with prude, sheltered and even socially inept.

Not only has our culture’s moral compass gone right out the window, but in a culture that promotes “it’s good to be bad,” even our very ideas of right and wrong have been stood on end.

Our culture not only doesn’t have a biblical view of purity, it also seems to be entering into a new relational paradigm – The Fast-Food Relationship.

As a culture, we often approach relationships the same as we chose which fast-food restaurant to stop at – “Where can I get what I want in the shortest amount of time?” And sadly, because of this fast-food approach to romantic relationships, committed, meaningful relationships seem to have taken a backseat to casual hookups and one night stands, especially in the media. And at the rate our culture’s relational paradigm is shifting, it seems relationships themselves are in danger of becoming extinct.

Regaining a Christian Worldview

It shouldn’t surprise us then when teens living in the very heart of this cultural storm seem to have no sense of morality or respect for virtue, because culture – mainly through the media – has completely redefined reality for them, even right and wrong. They’re not short on brain cells, they’re simply putting this worldview that “it’s good to be bad” and “do whatever makes you happy” into action.

Because of this, when I look at my peers, what I believe Christian teens and young adults are in need of today is to be presented with a practical Christian worldview. We need to understand what purity is (not just what it isn’t), how God views the covenant of marriage, how every aspect of our lives is to bring glory to God, and how Christianity itself is very practical even in our fast paced, twenty-first century world.

The pursuit of purity – the set-apart Christian life – is very practical, but sadly too often when people give “purity talks,” the focus is on what we shouldn’t do in relationships and in life, not what we should do. In our fast-food, hookup culture, though, what’s needed isn’t a list of don’ts, but a practical Christian worldview that provides us with a destination – holiness – and a practical map to show us the way.

PracticalPurity@gmail.com Drop me a note if you’d like reprint permission.

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9 responses

18 02 2008
Anna

Right on, Kelsey! Although I think more important than just having a Christian worldview, what teenagers need is Christ Himself. Heart changes are what will make the difference.

But still, there are benefits to practical morality that can be taught directly – so I do agree with you. Have you read Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit? She writes from a Jewish perspective, but has some great things to say, very similar to what you’ve said here.

18 02 2008
Kelsey Hough

Anna,

I agree that what teens today and the World need more than anything is Christ. But what I believe Christian teens and young adults — who have already undergone a heart change by excepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior — are in need of today is to be taught how to practically apply their faith to every area of their lives from how they interact with their family members, their work ethic, their romantic relationships, and the list goes on and on.

I do believe morality itself is very practical and needs to always be presented is such a way that it’s culturally relevant and makes sense in order to be practical. But what Christian teens and young adults — not “church-goers” or non-Christians — need more than anything isn’t practical morality, but practical Christianity. They need to be taught how to have a practical, biblical and culturally relevant approach to every aspect of life, or in other words, they need a Christian worldview.

In answer to your question, I am familiar with Wendy Shalit and I have a lot or respect for her and what she’s doing. I actually just started reading Girls Gone Mild shortly after writing this post (I wrote it a couple of weeks ago).

~Kelsey

18 02 2008
DM

I am a dad of a 21 yr old daughter who “knows the information” from a Christian world view..who has seen a vibrant healthy marriage modeled to her, who was home schooled the bulk of her education- We still have good lines of communication w/ her , She’s read all of the books you’ve probably read yourself..and yet she STILL choses to walk into the arms of a brute because she is lonely…, I am at a point where I don’t know what to do. Until you see these choices being played out before your eyes as a parent you have no idea the depth of heartache you feel for your children….If I come to mind…pray for my 21 yr old daugher…that God would break through the lies she is believing.

18 02 2008
Mrs. Nicklebee

Very well said, Kelsey!

19 02 2008
Phylicia

Hey Kelsey,

Good post! And I showed my sister the Valentine’s Day one too — she liked it a lot! 🙂 I also wanted to tell you that although I have been unable to post anything, I have added a forum to my blog with six topics to begin with. Sure would love to hear from you. 🙂
In Him
phylicia

19 02 2008
c

Excellent points.
My 14 year old was sad for the celebrity in question but that actress is not her role model.

i am.

And i think that is a huge part of what’s missing in lives of our young people- parents as models of what is acceptable and what isn’t. i’m not perfect or good but i show my children that God’s will is what i strive for and that when i make mistakes, i can go to Him in the name of Jesus and seek forgiveness.

When this came out, i used it as an opportunity to talk with my daughters. i asked how they felt about it. i was very happy for them because they did not put the girl down or judge her. i dscussed with them why it is a sad situation- her youth is gone, the child will suffer because of the parents’ lack of emotional maturity. People forget that pushing the expense of a child is not the issue. What about the responsibility for that child’s emotional, spiritual, physical, mental and intellectual welfare?

Good post!

20 02 2008
Kaylene

This is a burden on my heart. Thanks for making it your mission to enlighten. Christians are not excluded from “failing the test” when it comes to giving in to temptation and we need to build ourselves up in preparation for those times.

20 02 2008
Anna

Kelsey, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for explaining. 🙂

29 02 2008
Ella

Kelsey, I think you have read my blog before. Anyway, I wanted to comment on this post. Very, very nice! I feel the same ways you do. Regarding this “child star,” I more or less feel sorry for her. She has gone after something that she thinks will make her happy. Only Christ will!

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