Destination: Chastity (How To Teach Your Teens Chastity at Home)4:14 PM
In the recently concluded Kerygma Conference 2014 in Manila, one of the Life Classes I signed up for is Jason Evert's chastity talk for parents entitled, Destination: Chastity. I did not let the opportunity pass because my boy is now fourteen and it's the perfect time for me to learn how to influence him to be pure and chaste.
Now, before you continue reading, know that the purpose of this write-up is not to condemn people who have given up their virginity or those who are not abstaining from sex before marriage. I, myself, am a failure in this respect. We were already 5 months pregnant with Ralph when my husband and I got married. But as I grew more in my Catholic faith, I understood that our God is a God of second chances and this is my second chance to make things right.
Jason Evert (@jasonevert) is a Catholic author and chastity speaker. He and his wife, Crystalina, are the ones behind ChastityProject.com and he travels across America and different countries to speak to parents and young audiences. During his talk, Jason explained that teenage boys and girls have different understanding of love and lust. For the girls, it's for the sake of being loved. Meanwhile, hormones are to blame for the urge that teenage boys have towards sex. Just the same, if our children are well-loved and guided at home, modesty, purity, and chastity are values that can be passed on to them easily.
Here are some ways that we, as parents, can do at home to teach our teens chastity:
- Live an ulterior life of prayer. We should be the ones to always intercede for our children. And although it sometimes takes time, God answers the deepest desires of our hearts.
- Teach your children sacrifice and be confident that they can do it. Abstinence from sex until marriage will require a lot of sacrifice. Saying that it's alright to have sex as long as it's safe tells our children that we expect them to fail in this abstinence thing.
- Be a parent more than a buddy. Form boundaries even when your kids hate you for doing so. The "thank you" will come later on when they're older and more mature.
- Teach your teen to take dating seriously. The ultimate purpose of dating is to find a life-time partner. Teens should understand that they can take their time and date only when they are ready.
- Maintain a parenting network. Make friends with good parents with kids the same age as yours. With a support group backing you up, you can pick up good strategies in raising your teen and also get to check whether you're out of bounds or not.
- Be updated on the latest internet and media safety tools. Install useful apps/software to check your teen's computer browsing or chat history. Know how to configure your WiFi router so obscene sites are blacklisted. Most importantly, get rid of all access points to pornography at home (even the sexy magazines, please).
- Talk to your kids. Let them feel that you can still be a friend even with the rules you set for them. Ask the right questions; never be too demanding.
- Don't just give them "the talk" but give them lots of talk. The usual mom-to-daughter or dad-to-son talk about the birds and the bees happen at this stage. Jason recommends that even the moms can do "the talk" to their sons or the dads to their daughters. It could be very awkward but he maintains that awkwardness is part of authenticity. Mom and Dad can take turns or both can do "the talk" at the same time. Anyway, it's never a one time affair.
- Get over your own insecurities. Your authority in teaching chastity to your teen doesn't come from your own history but from God. Before this point was raised, I was actually thinking about asking Mr. Evert how I can teach my son chastity when I wasn't even able to do it. But Jason said, if you already repented for your sin, you are still credible to teach chastity to your children. Also, both parents should teach chastity and not only the mom. The dad must also speak because children always follow the footsteps of their father.
- Chastity should be taught as a virtue. Teach your teen to regard sex as God's plan for their marriage. When a newly wedded couple makes love for the first time on their wedding night, they're renewing their vows again but, this time, with their bodies. Also, parents should also practice chastity. No pornography at home because it would also be like committing adultery, although not physically but, with the heart. Make your teen understand that abstinence is also an expression of love.
The points I shared here are only from the notes I took that day. I'm sure I missed out on some points so I recommend that you visit www.chastityproject.com for additional resources. Have your kids browse the site, too! Be blessed!
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