By John A. Smith
Young people today face an increasingly hostile and confusing world. Temptations which were once subtle and cunningly disguised are being paraded with society’s approval. Young people are being bombarded by a mixture of messages that encourage them to act on their natural sexual impulses without regard for morals. T.V. (soaps in particular), movies and much of our popular music promote a life-style of instant gratification free from moral restraints. Left to themselves young people face a herculean task in overcoming this pressure.
For the young Christian these pressures take on new and more significant meaning when viewed in the light of one’s eternal soul. It’s not just a matter of pregnancy or disease. It is a matter of sin. The young Christian can overcome these pressures with faith in a loving and merciful God. Strength and purity can be derived from a knowledge of God’s Word. With a mind set on things above and patient parents who remember the days of their youth, the young person can be spiritually victorious.
Consider a few sobering facts that illustrate the depth of the problem of teenage sexual promiscuity:
- There has been a 200% increase in number of teen pregnancies since 1960.
- If the current rate continues 40% of today’s 14-year olds will become pregnant at least once before they turn 19.
- By the time you finish reading this article at least 2 unwed teenage girls in the state of Kentucky will have given birth.
- Teenage girls account for 30% of all reported abortions and the number seeking abortions has more than doubled since 1960.
It is rare these days to find a congregation that has not had to deal with the problems caused by out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancies. This problem is not confined to the world, “Good girls,” some of whom are already Christians, get pregnant by “good boys” who likewise are members of the Lord’s body. It is time that we wake up and take our heads out of the sand. Our young people need to hear strong uncompromising sermons on sexual sin. But beyond that they need to be taught why to say “no,” how to say “no” and be made to feel good about remaining sexually pure.
I fail to understand the mentality of most Christians in past generations regarding sexuality. It was the only area of life in which it was thought that we could change behavior or shape values by silence. Silence has not worked. Silence will not educate, perfect, mold or restrain. We need to openly, honestly and frankly discuss the problem of young people and sexual pressure.
It shall be the purpose of this series of articles to discuss in honest and frank terms the problem of teenage sexual pressure. I do not want to offend anyone, but want to use terms that can be easily understood. This material is the result of 21/2 years of careful research, interviews with many teenagers facing the various consequences of teenage sexual activity, and one year’s experience teaching sex education in the local schools.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 4, pp. 97, 109
February 21, 1991