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In the parent-child relationship, one the most infamous discussions that is had is “the talk.” Whether you have broached this topic with your child yet—or it’s still to come, there is a need for an ongoing conversation after the “talk”—a “talk after ‘the talk.’” The sex-obsessed and sexually confused culture that your children are growing up in is primed to impose challenges upon them, if we are not actively discipling our children. The prevalence and variety of sexual sin—same sex attraction, gender dysphoria, pornography, sexting, etc.—in our culture is not lost on Christians. As parents, how can you continually disciple your child to pursue God’s design for sex.

  1. Keep Talking

a. While you may have explained the birds and the bees, and there were no questions asked, that doesn’t mean that the topic should be dropped forever. As your child ages and matures, so does the complexity of sexuality—and the need to keep talking. It’s most likely not necessary to discuss with a ten-year-old the benefits of group dating for avoiding temptation. However; it may be necessary to discuss, in an age-appropriate manner, the dangers of inappropriate content on the internet. It is important as parents that sexual sin is brought to the forefront of conversation and discussed often. This allows for more open communication between the parent and child and the opportunity for children and students to not feel unprepared, ill-equipped, or alone in this battle.

2. Don’t Assume

a. Your kids likely know more about sex than you think they do. They also may be dealing with more temptation than you’d want to know. One of the most dangerous things we can do is assume that someone is immune to a sin. This often just buries sin. Our goal should be to create an environment where spiritual growth is the goal. As you disciple your children, it is necessary to always communicate truth in love—but also that you can provide an environment for them to confide in you so you can aid in their spiritual healing.

3. Help Them Grow

a. Your children are not perfect, like all of us, they are sinners, they will make mistakes. Ministering to them in the wake of a mistake will produce some discomfort, awkward conversations, pain, and hopefully—growth. How you choose to handle when your child makes mistakes—even those in the realm of sexual sin—will continually produce a testament to the power and love of God in their life.

    Whether your children are grown or you are not quite yet a parent, it is important that we think through how we can better communicate with our children about sex and sexuality. Thinking about this can be overwhelming. It is important to come up with a plan and system within your family that can produce the most effective communication possible between you and your children. I encourage you to pray and consider how God would lead you to disciple your children better in this matter. Know that God will guide you and equip you in this and that your children and student ministries seek to partner with you in discipling your children.

For some information relating to the current sexual climate, visit these links:

What Americans Believe About Sex-https://www.barna.com/research/what-americans-believe-about-sex/

Porn in the Digital Age- https://www.barna.com/research/porn-in-the-digital-age-new-research-reveals-10-trends/

What Parents Need to Know About Sexting- https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2673714

Fight the New Drug- An Organization Raising Awareness of the Harmful Effects of Pornography- https://fightthenewdrug.org/

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February 16-18 was our annual Disciple Now Weekend (always shortened to DNOW). This event serves as a local retreat for our 6th-12th grade students. They meet for multiple sessions of worship, small groups, and they stay in host homes. We do this event with several other area churches allowing us to have over 150 students gathered together during the main parts of the event. DNOW is non-stop from the moment it begins and is one of the highlights of my entire year.

Our theme this year was Relentless. This is centered around one idea: If you were put into a situation where you had to choose Christ, and by doing so you would lose everything-- maybe even your life--would you still do it? Through the weekend our speaker, Dave Atherton, challenged the students to “never settle” in their pursuit of following Christ and to “preach the word because the world needs a dose of truth.”

The last session focused on being broken before God. This session involved an activity where the students were given a note card and told to anonymously write their greatest challenge to them following God—their greatest distraction and deterrent. This exercise brought the students to dig deep into what they feel is holding them back. The youth pastors of this event collected the cards and pulled out a few for the speaker to read through later. What may have been an exercise for the students to measure where they were spiritually, became a difficult exercise for us as leaders. We read through every card—mostly thinking we’d pull out the “duds.” Reading through the thoughts and struggles of hundreds of our students is—exhausting. It is also a good reminder—even for those of us working with students every week.  Our students’ trials are not bad Wi-Fi connections and finding prom dates. Our students wrestle with real and difficult doubts, sins, and pasts.

This session was followed by an invitation, and the majority of the students attending went forward and they prayed. They prayed alone, with their friends, with their leaders. When you’ve written your greatest obstacle is on the forefront of your mind and you have an opportunity to speak to God about it—it’s a difficult one to ignore. It was difficult, it was deep, and it was freeing.  When the distractions are brought to God, then we can fully commit to being relentless followers of Christ.

I would ask that as it crosses your mind you would pray for our students. Pray that they have courage to overcome their distractions. Pray that they are not held back by the weight and guilt of their mistakes. Pray that they will be ready and free to relentlessly preach the gospel to all of those around them. Pray that the weekend’s verse “…for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and hear,” (Acts 4:20 ESV) becomes a constant reality for them.

We end Saturday night with a late-night worship session. The band comes out with high-energy songs, dance-offs, and goofy dances. It is one last opportunity for students from other groups to worship the Creator together—laughing, singing, and dancing.

There was also a purple gorilla—but that’s just how DNOW goes.

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