TEENS ages 14-18. With puberty come desires, learn to channel them in a healthy way.
*Note- This lesson includes a lot of activities, mini lessons and application. Feel free to spend an evening together on the entire lesson or spread it out into several mini conversations throughout the month.
Helping teens feel comfortable with their sexual development and guided towards ways to help manage these new feelings in a healthy manner.
THINK. FEEL. DO.
My teen will understand their desires as a natural, God given gift, will feel a hope for their future marriage and prepare their hearts and body to be a gift to their spouse.
Read the scriptures together and share about what it means to you
“It is springtime and everyone loves spring. Young people, especially teenagers, long for some season like springtime. The love within them desires this season. Springtime brings a natural, instinctive longing for something untouchable.” -Sun Myung Moon
“In preparation for marriage children should learn to respect and have reverence for their sexual organs and sexual energy as the most supreme and sacred since it's through this part of the body and energy that life, love, lineage, and conscience are multiplied. No other organ of the body - heart, lung, eyes, stomach -- and no other energy has this important function. The girl and the boy should be taught early not to fear or feel dirty about their sexuality, but rather to have a profound respect for it since it is through the capacity of multiplication and continuity of life, love, lineage, and conscience that we truly inherit the attributes of God who is the origin of life, love, lineage, and conscience. Therefore these tools and this energy should be handled after proper training, education, and maturity. The individuals who spread their sexual love cheaply are also spending or wasting the potentiality of true conjugal and parental love.” -Antonio Betancourt
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." -Galatians 5:13
“All things reach perfection after passing through the growing period (the realm of indirect dominion) by virtue of the autonomy and governance given by God's Principle. Human beings, however, are created in such a way that their growth requires the fulfillment of their own portion of responsibility, in addition to the guidance provided by the Principle. They must exercise this responsibility in order to pass successfully through the growing period and reach perfection.” -Sun Myung Moon, Exposition of the Divine Principle
Attention Grabber with a real life object
NATURE: Go outside and listen to the birds singing their song. In the spring they sing so much. Do you know why? They are calling out for potential mates. That’s right; they are singing out their desire.
Today we are talking about your growing feelings and desires for a partner. Every creature on God’s good earth wants to mate, and you are no different. The cells of your body are crying out for love. As your parent, I want you to channel that energy and prepare for the right mate at the right time. Capture your desire so that you can invest it in your True Love one day.
Helpful Parent Tips: If your child is struggling with Porn or Masturbation; don’t get angry with them, Don’t scold them. Do express your understanding, do express your love for them, do let them know that you are here for them. Provide a listening ear and resources to support them on their journey.
When talking to your teen about sensitive topics it may be beneficial for you to pair off with the same gendered parent. There may be more detail that can be gone into in this setting, and they may be more comfortable to share.
BREAK THE ICE:
Parent: Talk about your first crush and how that made you feel. What did you do? How did you respond? Did you respond awkwardly? How long did it last?
Script to read together- written from the parent point of view.
Wow, you have grown so much. Just a few years ago you were still just a kid, now you’re almost an adult. Your body has been changing so much you are almost unrecognizable. Puberty hit hard. We struggled with acne, trying out bras, hairy armpits, and that smell. Good thing we found deodorant.
You’ve already started on the journey to be an adult. Your brain is developing rapidly, preparing you for the life ahead. To cause these changes your body is releasing increasing levels of testosterone, for males, or estrogen, for females. These chemicals cause growth in height and muscle mass, hair to grow on your legs, armpits and over your sex organs and also a growing sexual desire. Your body is preparing you to mate.
And it's not only external changes you are dealing with; you also are going through a lot of internal changes. Your mind is working differently. Sometimes you feel excited and then all of a sudden, sadness hits you. One day you want to be a rockstar and the next you want to be a teacher. Your moods, attitudes, values, and character are all changing so quickly.
During this time your mind is also being affected. You suddenly are more impulsive and engage in riskier behavior. You are driven to try out new things and test your limits. The reason for this is an inclination to determine who you are, to create your own identity. It’s not inherently bad to try out new things and go it on your own, but during this time of transition you also need to strengthen your ability to communicate and partner with those who care about you, so that you can become your best self.
As a parent, we may overreact, we may be overprotective. But through it all remember how much we love you, want the best for you and that we are totally on your side.
Because you are suddenly developing sexual urges, a desire for a partner and at the same time developing your ability to assess and regulate risk, this can be a challenging time for you. You’ve probably already discovered that your sexual organs are sensitive to touch and can even get excited just by looking at someone. You may have the desire to explore these sensations and pleasure yourself. While this may seem harmless right now this can develop an addiction to this kind of self-pleasure. God designed these desires for the purpose of drawing us into a relationship with one chosen person who will have infinite value, meaning and love for you, your future spouse. By giving in to the desire to masturbate you can dampen your desire for your future spouse. If you include pornography into masturbation you wire your brain to simply be visually stimulated. Your sexual desire is not only for you; it’s for your future spouse. You may get used to self-gratifying and develop a self-centered love.
Love making should be something experienced with all your senses. You don’t want to limit the amazingness that true sex can bring in your future marriage. By watching porn you can also develop unnatural views of how sex should be. Developing unrealistic expectations of what sex should be and it robs you and your future spouse the opportunity to explore sex together. Instead, by waiting to share these most intimate moments together with our future spouse- we can experience God’s beautiful design- an explosion of true love- that’s been contained and bottled up will all come together to create an amazing pure bond of love both in flesh, in heart and soul.
As parents we want you to develop healthy relationship patterns and respect for yourself and others. You may want to have intimate relationships right now. You may have your eye on someone and every time they walk by your heart skips a beat. You may have already engaged in these relationships. Before jumping in though, remember how quickly your desires are changing from one day to the next. This is not the time to create intimate relationships. By doing so you are putting yourself and others in potentially painful situations. Your feeling of deep love for someone can flip so quickly at this stage, not for any rational reason, but simply because of your rapidly changing body. You don’t want to hurt someone, or yourself for that matter.
Instead, give yourself room to foster many relationships. In a group settings is a great opportunity for you to get to know all sorts of character types. Through clubs and youth group, you will be able to safely create relationships with people of the opposite sex. Get to know what characteristics you like and are drawn to. Get to know what you like about other people and yourself. This is a healthy way for you to explore relationships without the ties of the commitment of an exclusive dating relationship.
This is a season of life, the season of singleness. God gives you this time to think about yourself, to develop your identity and to explore your likes and dislikes. There will come a time for marriage and that time will be beautiful. Now though, is your time. Take advantage of this season and leave intimate relationships for the time that you are ready.
I know you are going through changes, and you will make decisions that don’t always work out. As your parents, we are here for you. I want to be here to talk to, to understand you and when needed to nudge you in the right direction. I know this is your life, but I care about you. And believe it or not, I also went through the same desires, feelings and experiences you are going through now. The door is always open if you want to talk about the changes you are facing. Let’s partner up so you can make these formational years a time worth remembering.
Take a moment to have your teen write down their reaction to the lesson experience so far. Use writing prompts if you like.
Creative Writing Prompts:
COVENANT: Write a personal covenant to yourself, to your future spouse and to God, your Heavenly Parent, on why you want to have mastery over your sexual desires and save them for your future blessed marriage.
Discuss your teen’s journal writing they’re open to sharing about or use the following questions as a guide, incorporating your own personal experiences:
What are some ways your body has been changing?
What are some ways your heart and mind have been changing?
Parents- How did you deal with channeling your own desires?
What desires are you experiencing?
Why do you think it is good to wait to act on your desires?
Are you currently struggling with pornography? Masturbation?
What are some ways you can channel your desires?
What ways can I help you feel safer to talk about these topics and come to me?
Your body is developing so quickly it can be hard to control your new sexual drive and energy. This development of desire is natural and God given and through being intentional in your relationship with God, yourself and others you are finally preparing yourself for an awesome marriage.
God help me understand the process that I am going through. Sometimes I have feeling and moods I cannot explain and it can be unnerving even scary at times. Help me have patience to pass through this time and trust you that you are preparing me for something great. Help me have courage and strength to save my love for my one true partner. Give me insight into creating healthy relationships with others. Help me resist temptation towards self-gratification. I pray that I can be growing into my best self now, I trust you God and am excited to give myself to my spouse when the time is right.
Use these activities together with your child over the next month to create ongoing conversations on God's special design for male and female. Click on the blue links!
"The Marshmallow Test" by Igniter Media
Controlling our immediate urges for a greater benefit later.
PUZZLE- Make a puzzle together. The time spent together creating can be as fulfilling as the end product.
ROCKET- Build a rocket together and watch it take off.
QUILT- Sew a quilt with various fabrics that have some significance to you, like old shirts and blankets. Notice how many pieces come together to make a beautiful masterpiece.
LOVE LETTER- make a journal of love letters to your future spouse.
ART FOR LOVE- Make a painting, jewelry or carving for your future spouse.
FISHING- Go fishing together. Enjoy the excitement of catching fish and also the quiet of the wait.
BAKING- Bake a cake- It takes the right ingredients and time to make a perfect cake.
HIGH NOON- A great place to find advice on addressing pornography, developing sexual integrity and even courses on how to conquer addictions.