The following post was written by Katie Wylie, student ministry marketing strategist
Addressing the topic of sexual purity with the girls in your ministry through a gospel lens
Research shows that from 2006–2010, 38% of sexually inexperienced girls ages 12 to 19 claimed they were not sexually active because it was “against religion or morals.” While that statistic seems encouraging, the story you often hear is that many Christian teens become sexually active in their twenties. Could this be because we are elevating the pursuit of abstinence versus the pursuit of Christ? Are the girls in your ministry trying with all their might to hold on to their virginity within their own power?
When girls enter your ministry at the age of 12 or 13, there is a less than 5% chance they’ve had sex. By age 18, when they leave your ministry, that chance has jumped to 55%. Those statistics do not include other sexual behaviors that girls may solicit or be pressured into.
The reality is that you will minister to girls who are dealing with sexual sin. There are girls in your ministry who need to hear that no matter what they’ve done or how they have fallen short, they are not beyond redemption.
The goal of teaching biblical purity is character transformation, not behavior modification.
When teaching on the topic of purity, you have to focus on heart-change. Behavior modification without character transformation does not reflect the gospel. Girls cannot rely on their own ability to remain sexually pure.
Help girls understand that pursuing Christ is more fulfilling than the fleeting pleasures of pursuing or being pursued by a teenaged boy.
Boys will come and go throughout a girl’s life, but the Lord promises never to leave us or forsake us. He promises to fulfill the desires of our hearts. Who could know and love a girl better than the One who designed and created her?
Help girls understand that being “basically a virgin” does not mean they have remained sexually pure.
There are girls who believe that just because they have not gone “all the way,” they are pure. Do not use this as a means to guilt or shame. Emphasize the need for confession and repentance and remind them of forgiveness through Christ.
Even if a girl has compromised her purity, (physically or emotionally) she is never outside the reach of God’s grace. Through Christ, not only can forgiveness be received and extended, but purity can also be restored. “The battle for purity has already been won on our behalf since it is the gospel that defines our purity.” – True Love Project
Help girls understand that sex and purity are directly related to God’s glory and His mission for us.
When a girl has been transformed by the power of the gospel, she understands that her life is a reflection of her commitment to the gospel.
For resources on teaching gospel-centered purity, check out True Love Project.