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Purity: Helping Young People Honor God, Themselves and Others

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THE PURITY CODE: In honor of God, my family, and my future spouse, I commit my life to sexual purity. 

This involves:

  • Honoring God with my body
  • Renewing my mind for good
  • Turning my eyes from worthless things
  • Guarding my heart above all else

What if a million students committed their lives to the Purity Code? What if a majority of kids in your youth group did? Personally, I think it could radically change the way students do relationships.

This may seem incredibly idealistic. But committing to purity might even save an amazing amount of couples from carrying excess baggage into marriage.

All studies show that the more positive, value-centered sex education kids receive, the less promiscuous they’ll become. Youth workers and parents are doing a better job, but the results still aren’t that impressive.

We can definitely be more effective in communicating healthy, God-honoring sexuality. And that starts with purity.

When it comes to purity, here are two things we can do:

1. Give students a theology of healthy sexuality.

Far too many adolescents view sex as unspiritual. They’re told not to do it because it is dirty, ugly and sinful. Yet they fail to understand that God created our sexuality! In the context of a loving marriage relationship, sex is beautiful and God-ordained.

I’m convinced that people make healthier purity decisions when based on a spiritual component. We can’t just instruct kids to refrain physically. Instead, we need to teach students what the Bible says about sexuality. (Genesis 1:26, 31; Exodus 20:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Matthew 19:4-6; and 1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

2. Help students set standards.

Too many students make sexual decisions based on:

  • the pressure to conform,
  • emotional involvement that exceeds their maturity level, and
  • a lack of value-centered sex education.

With this in mind, we can help young people make healthy decisions and create healthy boundaries. Relevant issues include modesty, how far is too far, media, pornography, and much more. We can’t promote purity merely by telling kids that sex is all bad. Rather, students learn best when they talk, not us. We have to listen, dialogue, and then offer standards to fit with the biblical worldview.

Dr. James Dobson wrote Preparing for Adolescence in 1984. We used the book with our own kids. I reread it this summer, and frankly, he did a great job for 1984. Back then, we didn’t have issues such as internet pornography, HIV, social media, or “friends with benefits.” Today’s youth workers and parents must speak to the day’s relevant issues while steering kids’ minds and hearts toward purity.

I love this Scripture: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Jim Burns’ claim to fame is that he was Doug Fields’ youth pastor. He is the author of The Purity Code, Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality, Accept Nothing Less: God’s Best For Your Body, Mind and Heart and a bunch of other books. He is also the President of Homeword and has a daily radio broadcast.

Article used with permission. Simply Youth Ministry was founded by Doug Fields over 15 years ago to help simplify your youth ministry and save you time. If you’ve found this article helpful, stop by and check out the thousands of freebie downloads we have available at www.simplyyouthministry.com/freebies.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.