This has got to be one of, if not THE hardest subjects that my husband and I have had to discuss with our oldest son. We have been tip toeing our way through the questions for many years, trying to give him Biblical answers for his questions. Abby Ludvigson has put together a curriculum called - Sex by Design - to help us parents navigate our way through these awkward discussions.
He is thirteen now, but he has been asking questions since he was about five. Now, let me ease your mind a bit. His little brother was born when he was almost five. At that time, he was asking, "Where do babies come from?" Of course we told him an answer appropriate for his age. We did not bring up sex or anything close to it. We didn't tell him that the stork brings the baby. We have always believed in telling our children the truth about everything. Our children have never believed in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. They know about them and that some children believe in them. We tell them that it is okay that other children believe in them and to not "spoil the surprise" for them by saying something their parents wouldn't appreciate.
Sometimes they just aren't ready for the whole truth, so they might get a "watered-down" version appropriate for where they are developmentally. My husband is a preacher at heart and I am a teacher. We have always looked at where each child is at in their life and what they are ready for at that time. We have used the much disliked "we'll tell you when you're older" line many times. Our oldest hated that! He wanted the answer NOW. He has since thanked us for not "spilling the beans" back when we knew that he wasn't ready to handle the information.
Abby Ludvigson is a 33 year old Christian woman who is still a virgin. She is waiting for her one true love to marry and then to give herself to. I know how difficult this is. Even though I wasn't as old as Abby, but I remember what it was like to be an adult and still be a virgin. When I was engaged, my mom took me to get my first "exam" at the doctor's office and to get birth control. The nurse yelled down the hall, "I need your help doctor. This woman is still a virgin and I need help with the check up." Really?! It ended up being that I needed a hymenectomy and I was extremely swollen.
Anyways, back to Abby. She is living the way that she is telling the youth to. I love that! Usually you hear about people's mistakes and how not to be like them. The problem with that is that they don't give you any tools how to live the life God wants for you. This is where Abby comes in. She has put together an entire curriculum for us parents. It comes with 9 videos (1 introduction video from Josh McDowell, a parent's video from Abby, and then 7 videos in the series), and 2 books (one for you and one for your teen).
Here is a run-down of the 7 videos in the series:
1) Plan Ahead: Living Pure in a Sex-Saturated Culture - My son appreciated watching this video. He said that it's hard because there are so many pictures and things out in the world. Abby talks about conviction. She discusses having a conviction now to wait to have sex until you are married. She helps teens figure out why they should wait and it's not JUST because God says to. Warning: She gives a list of 12 steps of bonding. Includes in this is "mouth to breast" and "touching below the waist".
2) Counting the Cost: Every Decision Has a Price Tag - Abby goes over the costs of having sex before marriage. She covers the physical, emotional, as well as the spiritual costs. I appreciate that she doesn't just go over the usual STDs and pregnancy. She discusses bonding with the other person. Most importantly she discusses how sex outside of God's plan impacts our relationship with God. Warning: When talking about STDs, genital touching is mentioned.
3) Dating: Doing Relationships God's Way - Abby talks about how waiting to date helps with waiting to have sex. She discusses that teens need to develop themselves without getting tied up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. I appreciated it when she discussed having large groups of friends to hang out with. Then when you do start to date, make sure that you are around other people.
4) Sex: God's Purpose & Plan - Sometimes people think that when God gives us a command He wants to ruin our fun and freedom. Abby brings out that when God gives a command it is to protect us and to provide for us. She discusses that sex is for 3 reasons: oneness, children, and pleasure.
5) Modesty: God Cares What I Wear - This has been a huge subject for my husband and I. This is a big issue for our world and Abby deals with it beautifully. She discusses many Bible verses that help teens understand how important it is that they dress modestly and what they wear is a heart issue. She even brings up the yoga pants issue.
6) Pornography: Its Deception & Steps to Get Out or Stay Out - Teens now days don't have to seek out pornography, it will seek them out. It is so accessible to everyone now. She discusses how viewing pornography changes your brain. She talks about how watching pornography breaks the commandments of God.
7) Secondary Virginity: Running Back to God - Abby talks about what to do if you have already made the decision to have sex before marriage. Now what? She discusses about the paths of regret: shame and guilt. She tells everyone listening that they can come back to God and decide from this moment on to save themselves for their future spouse.
Sex by Design by Abby Ludvigson is a wonderful Christian resource for any parent with children. Even though our 13 year old is not ready for some of these lessons, we will continuously use them as he becomes ready.
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