The Moral Compass
Conference Teaching Plan
In the summer of 2001, over 1100 Oklahoma students were surveyed on the
subject of sexual purity.
Over half of the students surveyed (52%) said the number one
place they got informat
ion about sex was friends or movies (36% friends / 16% movies).
Only one in three (30%) said parents, although when asked, “In your opinion, who
be responsible for educating a child about sex?” almost 90% responded with a reference
ing to children about sex has always been difficult for parents. It presents
many problematic questions, such as:
“What questions will they (my children) ask?”
“Will I have to go into my
“Will I have to talk about t
he anatomy of it all?”
If the youth minister has been a way out of “the talk,” then parents have been
opting out. Scarier still is the fact that the youth minister has really only been an option
for those parents whose youth attend church. Otherwise, t
he sexual education of children
has been handed over to the schools and that presents a whole other set of problems. The
church has the message, but not the role. Parents have the role, but aren’t delivering the
Let’s look at society’s plan for
sexual behavior and compare it to God’s view,
then discover who is responsible to communicate God’s plan.
God’s Plan for Sexual Purity
Society has its own teachings on sex. In general, there are two distinctives about
on teen sexuality.
Society takes no
that students will engage in
sexual activity. It approaches the subject from a physical health
standpoint, seeking to help students protect themselves from disease and
Society views sex
, not as an
builder within a committed
marriage relationship, but rather as an
of passion. That is,
society simply expects that sex will occur between two passionately
involved people. It follows, that since sex is a natural expectat
passion that its value is merely recreational and should not be bound by
the confines of marriage or the emotional constraints of intimacy.
the sexual union between a man and a woman. He invented the
pleasurable act of sexu
al intercourse. Therefore, sex is not a bad thing, but rather
a good one. He also created the context for this union:
God’s design for sex is to build
in the relationship between a husband
and his wife. Sex is a part of God’s blessin
g within the marriage relationship.
Another portion of this blessing is the fruit of this union:
We are quick to tell people that our children are a
God, but we will
do everything in our power to keep from telling our kids about t
God which resulted in their birth (Sex). Why is that? It’s because we see sex as
something dirty and wrong.
Sex becomes something taboo and dirty when it is removed from God’s
of marriage. It takes something precious and
purity) and treats it as common and disposable. It is like taking an original Monet
or Renoir, removing it from its’ frame, and using it as a rag to check the oil level
in your car.
By teaching society’s view of sex to your children [eith
er on purpose (you accept
society’s views) or by default (you don’t teach anything, so society teaches for
you)] you are teaching them that their personal purity is worth more used up than
preserved. It’s the same as telling them that those invaluable wor
ks of the masters
are worth more as oil rags than preserved pieces of art.
Emphasizing the benefits
Both views of sex would agree that there are dangers associated with sexual
activity, but a major difference exists within those views as to the approach i
with those dangers. Society seeks to educate people as to the dangers associated with
sexual activity by informing them of those dangers and how to
God seeks to have people commit to purity and its benefits, which will help
avoid any dangers. It is the difference between running from
consequences (focusing on the worst), and running to blessings (focusing on the best).
Students will not avoid
because they are well acquainted with
uences of promiscuity. They will remain pure because they are
and desire its benefits.
Some of the benefits of purity are:
Waiting gives honor to God’s plan and order in your life.
Waiting is a
radical allegiance to Jesus.
Waiting holds purity as a precious treasure, which is to be protected and
Waiting denies the possibility of a contracted STD or
Waiting retains for a single person, within marriage, what is appropri
Waiting refuses the worldly view that true love requires
Waiting gives us power over sexual drives, opening the possibility for
experiencing the highest in sexual expression.
Waiting avoids the
that comes with lost purity.
Waiting helps us stay on a straight and narrow path, which helps us avoid
contracting other polluting traits of a decaying world.
Waiting exercises and shows a self
control, which gives us a greater sense of
Who is responsible for communicating this plan to students?
Parents are responsible for morally educating and giving direction to their
children. Deuteronomy 6:6
These words, which I am commanding you today,
shall be on your
heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of
them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down
and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as
frontals on yo
ur forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on
The scripture couldn’t be clearer. Parents were instructed to take the ten
commandments of God and raise their children according to them. The commandments
were a pict
ure of God’s love and promise. If the people lived according to them and
passed them along to their children, they would enjoy His blessings within a life lived in
“a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Over 90% of students surve
yed said that information they receive about sex
should come from their parents. Less than one in three says their info concerning sex
comes from mom and/or dad.
How do I communicate God’s Plan?
Establish the priority
The Moral Compass stands as a strate
gy to help parents with more than just
educating their children about sex. These conferences will also focus on such
topics as: building honesty in your students. However, we intentionally
initiated this project with the subject of sexual purity because
we realize this
area of concern for parents is critical and universal. All parents seek in some
way to help their children with sexual issues because the dangers are so
devastating. It is imperative then, that as a parent, you establish the priority of
ddressing this issue with your children. You need to:
Accept God’s directive to be the
of your children.
Pray for God’s wisdom, timing, and
in teaching your
(His wisdom is needed to give you insight f
recognition of teachable moments, understanding of youth culture, etc. The age at
which your child starts learning about these issues should be determined by His
timing. For some it may be the fourth grade, for others maybe t
he sixth grade. Seek
His timing for your child. Each child is an individual and should be approached
uniquely with a consistent message. One size does not fit all. Individual care is
according to the principles you teach.
teaching the value of purity. This still pertains to you in your walk with Christ. As a
married individual you will not be sexually abstinent, but you should be practicing
moral purity in what you watch, how you speak, the way you dress, etc.)
cept that moral education is more about the
(George Leonard, a then, 67
old black belt in aikido, said the
following in 1986, “For ten tears I have run an aikido school near San Francisco.
I’ve had the striking experien
ce of watching students show up the first day with
excited eyes, only to drop out quickly, at an alarming rate. Only 1 or 2 percent will
make it to black belt. Most of the casualties are young men who are mainly
concerned with looking good. They are usu
ally preoccupied with overnight
progress, with getting ahead without the necessary long
term practice…we’ve got to
accept the fact that mastery…is a journey, not a destination.” The moral education
of your child is more about the journey he or she will ta
ke to become what God
desires more than it is about following a checklist of do’s and don’ts. You are their
compass, not their transport.)
Dealing with your issues
In order to begin an intentional on
going dialogue with your child on this
subject, you m
ust deal with those personal issues, which would keep you from
Comfort in addressing the issue
How do you get comfortable talking about sex? Do you sit down with
your child at breakfast and cleverly slip it into the conversation, “Well,
w is the Raisin Bran? Oh, by the way, did you know that boys and
girls are anatomically different?” God created, designed and approves
of sex in the right context. The issue of sexual purity is more about
than biology and anatomy.
over explaining the explicit physical details,
opportunity to explain to your child that a great sex life is found within
the loving, encouraging purity of a committed marriage relationship.
Your past and your child’s p
of your past or the
of your past can be a critical
help to your communication of moral truths to your child. It just needs
to be approached in the right way. Some keys:
your past. No good comes from
talking almost glowingly about your many dalliances)
and no good
(bragging about your uprightness as a
Your children have not been
to commit your
mistakes. Do not approach them as if they were you. Many
we prejudge our children based on the mistakes we once
made. They are not us. Don’t make assumptions about
past. Try to confine your guidance to where
they are in life, not to the assumptions of where you think they
o not have to go into every detail of your past.
should cause everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.
If your past was flawed, teach about
(Example: “Son, I didn’t follow God’s plan like I should and
here are some of the consequences of my
behavior: I was
filled with guilt; I lived in fear of disease; I lost the ability to
know who to trust; etc.)
If your past was exemplary, teach about
(Example: “Sweetheart, I felt so lucky to be giving my purity
as a gift to your father on our w
edding day. I had no regrets,
their was no guilt, and sex was celebration of God’s
wonderful plan in bringing us together.”)
Consider that your child may have a “past” as well. The goal
of your instruction should be to emphasize God’s plan for
hich includes forgiveness
[A recent government mandated study of 26, 000 teens found that
over half of the teens’ mothers (of those student who were sexually
active) did not know that their children were having sex. Could there
be something in your child
’s life of which you are unaware? Be
sensitive to the fact that there may be things in your child’s life that
need to received with the tender arms of forgiveness.]
Questions that your child may ask
Your child may ask some stiff questions. Think throu
possibilities and be ready to give an honest answer. Some questions
that may come up are:
What did you do?
Why can’t I make my own mistakes?
What if we’re in love?
Is God just opposed to people having fun?
Different Approaches/Creating Opportunit
Sex talks that don’t work
graphic anatomy lesson.
“Look it up”
Some teachable moments happen by accident.
You are riding in the car together and see a billboard for a
leman’s Club and your son or daughter blurts out, “Why
would any girl want to dance in that kind of place?” It wasn’t
planned, but the door just swung open on a teachable moment.
You can design teachable moments. If you
take your teenager to
a Crisis Pregnancy Center to work for a
day, cleaning up, answering the phone, etc., you have created
an opportunity to teach.
Don’t break into a
…especially a prepared,
standard, “they’ve heard it a million times” speech.
“If you play with fire, you’ll get burned. If you
get burned, you’ll get scarred. If you get
scarred, then you’ll need counseling.
Counseling costs plenty, and frankly, we just
don’t have the money!”
“What kind of man would go and
(In response to remark about the billboard.)
“I thought I had a grasp on all the consequences
of an unwanted pregnancy, but I learned a few
new ones today. What did you learn?”
response to going to the Crisis Pregnancy Center.)
teachable moments, often the lesson is
. Use the moment for that purpose and don’t
stretch the meaning and end up losing its’ powerful
Q & A
The art of listening
Q & A can be powerful as a part of a
ur teenager. It varies in length, time, and subject matter.
It may be a minute or two or it may be an hour.
It will vary.
It may be before school, after school or late at
It may be light
hearted or it may be
It might be about a friend or it might be about
them. It might be about sports or it may be about God.
However, Q & A is not helpful as a
“Sit down and let the
type of activity.
questions and not “yes” or “no” questions
“Is everything alright with you and Regan?”
“Do you like her mom?”
Better: “If you were Regan’s mom, how would you
handle Regan’s problems at school?”
Ask specific, rather than general, questions. (Example: Instea
of asking, “How was school today?” and getting “Fine.” Try
asking something like, “What kind of teacher is Mr. Schuler?
I’ve heard good and bad. What do you think?”)
Note: If you use Q & A, be prepared to answer as many questions
as you ask. This is
an exchange, not an interrogation.
Pick a day and time and make it a
The problem that most often occurs with using family devotions as a means
of communicating values is that the devotions are often sporadic (giving the
ion that this time together is not really that important), or seen only
as a knee
jerk reaction to a specific problem (“Our son is developing a
smart mouth…it’s time for a family devotion!”), or the devotion is
impromptu and doesn’t serve any real needs (“
So, how did you guys enjoy
that study on the linage of Christ?”)
. (Games, music, variety)
The second big problem with family devotions is…they’re boring! If these
meetings are a priority, then plan ahead. Make it worth attending
. (Create different atmospheres, celebrate
special occasions, affirm one another)
The devotion approach could be used effectively on an individual
basis as well. (Example: Meet with your teen one
journal together through the New Testament.)
Resources are available from many Christian publishers that
will help you select topics and give you outlines for studies.
Vital attitudes and actions in approaching your child
is the final authority. (2 Timothy 3:16
Let your children kn
ow that God’s word is the final authority for your
family. His word will rule your behavior, and it will be the standard for
which their code of conduct will be developed.
Don’t be judgmental.
Because we know our own children so well, we seldom listen to
explanations and start basing our opinion/decisions on our experiential
knowledge of their past behavior. Resist this temptation. Everyone
deserves the right to be heard. Sometimes our judgments are wrong.
ng. This is as opposed to ”
God says He disciplines us like a father who loves his son (Heb. 12:4
God will not be shy about bringing up an issue that needs to be dealt with in
your life. He loves you too much to let it slide. However,
His approach is
not one of condemnation, but of caring love. Also, He never lets what He
knows will be your response to His discipline stop Him from “care”fronting
you. You need to be a
, not a
Talking to your child about sex
is not a “one
time” shot. A
parent’s life must be consistent with the values the parent
teaches. Practice what you preach.
Setting boundaries (Parents & Students)
Students want to know the boundaries for their behavior and activities and the
iples behind the setting of those parameters. It should be a guideline that
makes sense, is fair, and is consistent with scripture. When setting boundaries
for yourself and for your teenager use biblical standards in your
determination; considering the f
What kind of person will I date?
What is the
age for dating?
What are the guidelines for
What are acceptable and unacceptable places to go?
What is my
What are the guideline
s for my
What are the guidelines for what I can
What are the guidelines for my
Sometimes a written contract can be used to clearly
articulate the guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable behavior, and
to outline the
for breaking the contract.
of people to date
Length of dates
Determine quantity of time spent alone
Rules (Time spent on phone; calling i
f there is
trouble or a change in plans, etc.)
for breaking contract
Parent Response (Include statements that will address
such issues as how parents react to situations, waiting
until the next morning to ask questions, etc.)
Optional: 40 Hour
A person has to spend 40
hours getting to know the parents of the person they are
wanting to date before they will be allowed to go out
Church attendance should be mandatory. This pri
ority insures that the
student will be put in a situation of encountering God’s word and
instruction at least once a week.
This church attendance should apply to both the
Making it possible
The key element in a child
’s determination to pursue purity, is the
parent’s personal involvement in that child’s relationships.
The parent shouldn’t act as an intruder, making decisions about every detail of the
relationship or always being present, but rather being actively invo
lved with and
aware of the people with whom their child spends time. A parent’s neglect or misuse
of this involvement will communicate either an uncaring attitude or an over
protective posture. Seek a happy medium by being informed but not controlling
Don’t be a
. That’s not involvement.
That’s being a nuisance; and it
. Open your home. Create times for
you to observe your child in relationship and for the
person they are
dating to observe your family.
Options for relationships
Dating tends to be more casual than courtship.
Dating relationships may vary from casual friendships
to serious prospects for marriage. Dating serves as a
way to get to know people. The
knock on dating is that
an emotional and physical intimacy develops too
quickly in these casual, non
Courtship usually springs from a friendship
which has the desire to grow into something more. It is
a committed rel
ationship, from the beginning, intended
to result in marriage.
Good principles to apply to either choice
the approval of parents
before entering into a romantic relationship.
Waiting to start a
relationship until you are
he age where you could consider getting
married. Many students graduate high school
having never learned how to form good friendships,
much less, good dating relationships. Waiting to
get serious is a good rule of thumb.
Entering into the relationship wi
the idea of marriage, not just going out
for fun with no serious intentions.
This is in direct opposition to what most parents tell their
children. They say, “Why don’t you date around, instead of
getting serious?” And this see
ms to fit what was previously
suggested about not getting serious too soon, however, what
tends to happen in many casual dating relationships is an
unintentional emotional bond forms between the people
dating. Once that emotional bond is formed, then whet
person one is dating is the right person for them or not
becomes inconsequential, because they are now involved and
it is very difficult to break off those types of relationships.
Setting high standards for
The number one question
students ask regarding sexual purity
is, “How far is too far?” If the standard is purity, then the
answer is, “Not very far.” Once physical involvement begins,
the law of diminishing returns kicks into gear. The law of
diminishing returns says that what
satisfies for the moment
will lose its’ ability to satisfy with time and will seek a new
heightened sense of fulfillment through new activity. Holding
hands is fun, but with time it loses its’ thrill, so kissing starts.
Kissing is great, but eventually
it moves to petting and so on.
Setting high standards builds self
worth and keeps one off the
road to guilt and moral failure.
Modeling the behavior
If you are married, the relationship you have with your
spouse should model the type of
you would want your son or daughter to have
with his or her future spouse.
If you are a single parent, the relationships you model
in your dating life should reflect the purity you desire to
see in your student’s life.
The standards are not differen
t for you in regard to
purity. What you
, take part in, all
reflect the standard you
pass on. If you desire to
, you will have to model it.
Encouraging good decisions
Too often we
at bad decisions, but fail to
courage our children when they make good ones.
Everyone needs encouragement, and your children are
at the stage in life where it is critical to their self
esteem. Find both
express your appreciation and respect for a well
Sexual Purity Scripture References
1 Corinthians 5:9
1 Corinthians 6
1 Corinthians 10:23
2 Corinthians 5:15
1 Thessalonians 4:1
2 Timothy 2:22
1 Peter 1:17
2 Peter 2:19