YOUTH ages 11-14. Pursuing purity as a young teen- finding a personal reason and choosing the right friends & environments to support you on your pursuit.
Take a moment to prepare yourself before sitting down together with your child.
*Note to Parent- Every child develops at different times. Feel free to use the Kids lesson on Saving Your Kiss for children younger at heart or the Teens lesson on Saving Sex for Marriage for more mature children. This lesson will focus in on flirting, peer pressure, dating and how to choose the lifestyle of waiting.
Supporting your pre-teen in the journey of purity. Recognizing where they are at and finding the best ways to support them in their journey of waiting for true love. Your child will learn practical steps to help them maintain their purity including finding their own reason, choosing the right friends and environments, creating personal boundaries and believing in their dreams.
THINK. FEEL. DO.
My pre-teen will be able to UNDERSTAND God’s dream for them and their own current reality, will FEEL encouraged to choose the path of Purity and feel supported, loved and confident to MAKE the choices that will help them get there.
INTRODUCE The Topic
Read the scriptures and share about what it means to you
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." -Psalm 51:10
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor." -1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
“Love fully activates every cell, and without wasting a moment the cells harmonize and seek a higher level. Once your cells are energized by love they want to take off. The power of love is much like the thrust of an Apollo rocket, lifting you off the ground and propelling you into the orbit of God's love.” -Sun Myung Moon on True Love
“God's ideal in creating the first human ancestors, Adam and Eve, was that they perfect themselves through true love so that they could then create a good family of true love, true life, and true lineage. Such a good family would have been formed on the basis of a unified heart and mind among family members in front of God.”- Sun Myung Moon
“You may not be perfect in everything but at least you can be correct in your basic attitude. This attitude of love is what you will leave to your children. You can tell your children that this message is the most precious thing you could give them. Show them that they too are to embody this tradition and bequeath it in turn to their children. When you practice this truth, the entire universe will open up for you. God and the whole spirit world will rejoice with you.” - Sun Myung Moon (Philosophy of Education 4.6)
“Exemplify conjugal love. Children will say among themselves, ‘Dad and Mom are so happy together. I want to get married soon and live like them.’ They will see it with their own eyes and catch on.” - Sun Myung Moon (Philosophy of Education 4.6)
Attention Grabber with a real life object choose 1:
Parent Photos: Share some photos from your teenage years with your child!
Draw Circles: Draw 2 Circles. The first circle labeled “God’s Way”, the second circle labeled “The World’s Way.” Draw a picture that reminds you of each. And fill in words, phrases, sentences, pictures throughout the lesson together. Consider how you can live God’s Way in today’s World. Hang it up somewhere as a reminder.
LEARN & SHARE Together
This is the main chunk of the lesson including the learning moment, journaling and discussing. It is recommended to do it all together at one time but can also be done separately.
BREAK THE ICE:
Leading off with a visual, popular reference
Parent- Take us back to your Jr. High days. What kind of style did you have? What did you like to wear? Who were your friends? What did you like to do in school and outside of school? What temptations were around you? Was there something you were embarrassed or afraid of in Jr. High? When did you hit puberty? What are some things you struggled with?How did you cope with peer pressure? Share any or all of the answers. The purpose is to bring yourself back to your early teen days so you can relate to what your child is going through and for your young teen to realize- you’ve been there too! Have fun- be vulnerable and share from your heart.
Blog to read together
FLIRTING. It’s what many of your friends are doing (or starting to). Some guys like to tease girls they like, make them laugh, tickle them, touch them, impress them with their skills. Some girls like to look pretty, may feel the need to wear specific clothing to get noticed, enjoy special attention and sweet talk from a guy and may feel an urge to flaunt themselves. At this age, hormones are starting to emerge. And it’s completely natural to have desires and a want to explore. Certain words, looks and touches from the opposite sex make you feel excited. You may even be surprised at the kinds of thoughts running through your head, finding yourself daydreaming in the middle of Math class. And time with your friends is mainly spent talking about cute guys or hot girls. It seems to take over EVERYTHING. Some of your friends may even be confused about their own sexuality. It may seem like everyone around you is dating and going to parties.
So where do you fit in? What do you want? What should you do if you are crushing hard and just want to be with someone but at the same time you know you want to save yourself for your future spouse? You may be shy about these new experiences, excited and nervous or even an active part of the lifestyle. Your peers are a huge part of who you are. You relate to them and they are your besties. They are going through the same experiences as you and become a very important part of your world. You may even spend your time at home sharing, laughing and connecting with them via texts or social media posts. Your friends are a huge part of your adolescence. And I want you to have the best of friends to go through life with.
Choosing the right friends. You may have friends you grew up with that you suddenly realize have different interests from you or make different lifestyle choices than what you want to make. It may be hard to distance yourself and make new friends. It may feel like starting over- but choosing the right friends you go through life with is extremely important. While the choices you make are always up to you in the end, your friends will have a large influence over you at this age. Choosing peers that lift up your own values, standards and desires makes all the difference. If you have friends who sneak around and party all the time- you will be tempted to do the same. If you have friends who are honest and real, respect their parents and have a fun time with their friends hanging out in a safe environment- you will have the best time and not need to be filled with worries or guilt.
You want to be real. You want to be 1 person everywhere you go. You don’t want to feel pressured to be one person at school, one person at home and one person at church. You want to feel free to be who YOU are everywhere you go, with integrity- no double standards. That is what will bring you the most joy. But how do you get there? How do you discover your true self, and learn how to hold on to it in every environment?"
You Need a Reason. First, you need your own very PERSONAL reason that can be your guide- you need a light at the end of the tunnel. When you’re trying to not date and save yourself for marriage, when you’re trying to be pure in heart and spirit by not drinking alcohol, doing the next cool thing or going to parties- when you’re going against the tide of what most kids seem to be doing, of what seems to be the norm- you may feel like you’re walking through a never-ending dark tunnel at times. And you deserve a light at the end. You see God knows you will get there and I know you will get there- but do you believe in that light?
It’s important to take some time to reflect, pray and study on WHY to choose purity. You need your OWN reason to motivate you and help you make choices that support that vision and goal. Someone else telling you to choose Purity is not enough. It needs to come from deep within your soul. And once you find that reason- God can give you the strength to be who you truly want to be.
Possible Reasons. Here are a few reasons you can reflect on:
I want to become the right person- not just look for the right person. My singlehood is a good time to focus on finding myself and building my faith becoming fruitful and preparing myself for my future mate.
I want to save intimacy for my future spouse- I want to have my first intimate moments with my future spouse. By choosing God’s Way & waiting for him or her, it will be extra special and beautiful.
I’m not ready- I’m not in a place to emotionally, spiritually and physically provide for another person and give them my full heart unselfishly, always thinking of another.
I am Valued- I know my true value and I’m worth waiting for. I’m God’s beautiful unique Creation and I’m deserving of true love. I don’t want to be used or taken for granted but rather truly loved.
Environments. Next, you’ll need to be the one to choose your own environments. Choosing the right friends and choosing the situations you put yourself in- is up to you. If you went over to a certain friends house and felt uncomfortable there- don’t go back. Make the choice to find like-minded individuals who also want to focus on developing themselves- discovering their passions, enjoying the beauty of life, trying their best in school and considering ways to make the world a better place. Involve yourself with clubs, sports and other activities that build you up and promote positive qualities. Get involved in your school, your youth group and in your family. Find your tribe, your community. While your family is always there for you and will always be your first home, find your friends that can support you to reach your dreams and be your tribe. It also helps to have mentors and positive role models to look up to like teachers, coaches, youth leaders and grandparents.
Boundaries. Finally, you have to create your own boundaries. Every person is different. Maybe you’re all about hugs. And you hug all your friends and it’s totally cool with you. Or maybe every hug of someone with the opposite sex gives you the jitters and turns you on. You need to know your own body, your own feelings and make boundaries that will help you on your journey. Perhaps you choose a side hug or high five. Know your physical and emotional boundaries, express them to others and stick to them. You know what kind of tv shows, apps and songs you can handle. The more you stick to your boundaries- you’ll be surprised at the support you receive. If your friends see your confidence and get to know you for who you truly are- they will respect you.
When you choose the right friends, put yourself in positive environments, own your desire to be pure, and set your personal boundaries. Then, the path to purity becomes lighter. The tunnel that seemed so dark- suddenly has windows with beams of light shining through. You are supported by God’s love and strength because you’re letting Him in and letting your own light shine. You deserve to feel free to be who God made you to be and to choose the path that will bring you the most joy.
God and your parents want you to find true, eternal love. We want you to experience romance, hot dates, and amazing sex- all in God’s timing within a blessed marriage. After all. God, our Heavenly Parent- created sex- He created the process in which love, life, and lineage intertwine and come alive. So if He created it, it makes the most sense to pursue His design for it. By choosing to save yourself for a blessed marriage- you are defying temporary gratification and pursuing everlasting love. God's design will appear in your life as you overcome all the temptations and distractions and prepare yourself for marriage with God's Blessing. So it’s important to remember that what may seem like a small decision- can have a large effect. Choose the right decisions because lots of small decisions will shape you into who you are and whom you are striving to become. Don’t be hard on yourself- believe in yourself. Believe in God’s dream for you- that you will have your happily ever after one day.
What if I’ve dated, kissed, drank alcohol, gone to a party, had sex? If you’ve had an experience you feel guilty about- I sincerely desire for you to be able to feel real and comfortable to share that. Know that God and your parents love you no matter what. They want the best for you. So that is why they may initially seem disappointed, hurt or even upset- especially if it comes out of left field. But your parents will be so proud of you for re-opening up that honest communication channel and letting them into your life. They want to be a part of you and what you’re going through. Your parents want to be there for you and support you and help you every step of the way. While God designed an Ideal for Creation, He’s never given up on his children- and your parent will never give up on you. There is always a path of repentance, forgiveness, grace and love. It will take time to reflect, process the experience and heal but this is an important step. We can always learn from our past mistakes and re-commit ourselves a new. It’s not about the past but about the now and the future we’re creating in each moment.
Take a moment to have your teen write down their reaction to the lesson experience so far. They may take 5 minutes or want to spend time throughout the month journaling. Remind your child that their journal is between them and God.
Creative Writing Prompts:
My Reason- Write a poem, song or simple bullet list of WHY you want to stay pure.
Letter- Write a letter to your future spouse expressing your current desires, emotions and dreams of your life together.
My Struggles- Write down your weaknesses, struggles or temptations. So that you know what they are and know where you want to make clear boundaries and decisions in your lifestyle choices.
My Prayer- Write a prayer to God, your Heavenly Parent.
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:
Questions for Parents: Reflect on these questions and share your heart with your child.
What would you say is your own personal “Reason” for wanting your child to maintain their purity? Share your deepest desire.
Share about a mistake you’ve made and how you learned from it, didn’t let it define you, made a new commitment and created new positive choices.
What was important to you as a young teen? How do you feel about the priorities you had?
Share about a choice you are proud of and would make again.
What do you appreciate about your spouse and your own love story? How was your first kiss, date or even your first night together in bed?
Questions for your Youth: Listen to your child and love them first- no matter what they may share that may surprise you. Always listen, love, appreciate, honor and then respond with support and prayer.
How are you feeling? What stood out to you in this experience today?
Share about your dream regarding meeting your future spouse, your first date and your future life together.
What is your weakness? What is the most tempting thing in your life right now? What is standing in your way or causing you concern?
Do you have your “reason”? Or are you still defining it? How can I help you get there?
How do you feel about your friend circle? Are they your tribe- your positive support system? If not, what can we do? Who do you think could be a new good friendship to explore? Or a new sports team or group to join? Who is someone you look up to?
What kinds of boundaries do you feel are good to set for yourself? Regarding environments, friends, places, apps, Tv shows, music etc.
How can you be a positive influence and role model for others in your life?
APPLY & Grow
Choose some activities to do together throughout the month to apply today’s lesson and continue learning and growing! Click on the blue links!
“Why We Waited to Have Sex” by Sean & Catherine Lowe
“Everything” by Stacie Orrico
“Give Me One Reason” by Zoegirl
“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” on purity by Joshua Harris
“Boy Meets Girl” a guide to courtship by Joshua Harris
My First Love Notes: Parents give a love note to your child each day to express how wonderful they are and God's hope for them. Place the love notes in a lunch box, book bag, or a post it note on his or her mirror.
Self Portrait: Using any craft medium, have your young teen artistically express themselves drawing and writing out “Why I am Worth Waiting For”.
Bake or Cook together: Pick a new or favorite recipe and spend time baking or cooking together. Notice how your recipe is perfected over time and how it was worth waiting for!
Camping or Bonfire: Spend time together enjoying this Season of Summer. Laughing, bonding and making memories together as a family. This can be a whole family outing or a Father & son or Mother & daughter outing
Fishing: Go fishing together. Practice prayer, meditation, reflection, patience & perseverance as you wait for a catch!
Favorite TV Show: Watch one of your child’s favorite TV shows together. (To connect with your child. To get into their world and see their reality and influences. If you’re surprised at its content- don’t react negatively right away). Afterward share together about what you enjoyed, what made you laugh, what frustrated you, what you learned and how your child feels about the characters’ choices and what he or she would do the same or different in similar situations.
Wisdom- Pray for wisdom and discernment with small and big decisions.
Strength & Confidence- Pray for God’s strength in temptation and for confidence in your child’s standards, beliefs and future dreams.
Healing- Pray for healing of any shame, guilt or hurt and for worries to be lifted.
Protection- Pray for protection. For your child to be led in the best direction and protected physically, emotionally and spiritually.