Tag Archives: Abstinence

Are you a Hypocritical Parent?

Finger PointWhen I was two years old, a drunk driver swerved and hit our car head-on. My parents and my injuries were so severe that my grandparents were told my dad and I would not likely live through the night.

None of us were wearing seat belts. We were lucky to survive.

Every memory I have of my dad driving us in the car anywhere is his “obsession” with making sure we all had on our seat belts.

Was my dad a hypocritical parent?

I mean he didn’t wear a seat belt when he was younger. What right did he have to force his children to do something that he wasn’t even able to do when he grew up?!!

This logic is absurd, isn’t it? My dad was now acutely aware of the risks of not wearing a seat belt. He loved his family so much that he would do everything to protect us.

Change the topic from seat belts to sexual activity or pornography or drinking or drug use. The logic of the hypocritical parent is still absurd.

Yet it is one of the top reasons I hear from parents as to why they don’t address these issues: “I can’t ask my children to do what I was unable to do myself.” I am glad my dad didn’t have that problem with demanding that I wear a seat belt.

You should not have that problem either. If you love your kids, do everything to protect them even if it means being a hypocritical parent.

In reality, asking your children not to make the poor choices you made does not make you a hypocrite. It makes you a good parent.

Positive Reasons to Save Sex

Intimate Couple --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

When you encourage teens to save sex, are you negative or positive?

Too often we are negative.

  • Don’t get pregnant as a teenager.
  • Don’t get an STD.
  • Don’t get emotional scars.
  • Condoms don’t fully protect you.

What about positive reasons to wait?

A recent study looked at whether the age of first sexual experience predicted romantic outcomes as an adult. The study put the age of first sexual experience into three categories:

  • age 14 and under
  • age 15-19
  • age 20 and up

Which group was significantly more likely to have satisfying adult romantic relationships? The age 20 and up group. Their findings held true even when they tested for other factors including body mass index, attractiveness, or differences in teenage dating.

The study defined a satisfying adult romantic relationship as having the following factors:

  • stable
  • satisfying
  • a partner who shows love and affection
  • enjoyment of day-to-day things with partner
  • happy with the way conflict is handled
  • avoidance of aggression
  • avoidance of victimization

If that wasn’t enough, saving sex until the 20’s also was linked to

  • higher achievement of educational goals
  • more income as an adult

Teens deserve the truth about teen pregnancy, STDs, condoms, and emotional scars. Just don’t neglect teaching the hope and reward from saving sex.

 

Christine Kearney. (2012, October 18). “Age Of First Sexual Experience Determines Relationship Outcomes Later In Life.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251640.php

Harden, K. P. (2012, September 25). True Love Waits? A Sibling-Comparison Study of Age at First Sexual Intercourse and Romantic Relationships in Young Adulthood. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797612442550

The University of Texas at Austin. (2012, October 18). Does True Love Wait? Age of First Sexual Experience Predicts Romantic Outcomes in Adulthood. Retrieved from http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/10/18/does-true-love-wait-age-of-first-sexual-experience-predicts-romantic-outcomes-in-adulthood/

Teaching Kids About Same-Sex Marriage

Same Sex MarriageThe Supreme Court’s ruling about same-sex marriage is a monumental change in our culture.

Noble Choices is not changing. We still help people see all of their choices and empower them to choose the highest quality of life. We must now help people make Noble Choices about marriage.

Here are five things parents should do to help their children with this choice.

1. Talk about it!
It is uncomfortable. We fear being judgmental or hypocritical. We are unclear what or how to say it. Do you fear that talking about it will “spoil their innocence,” or “make them desire it?” A 2014 study of 118 evaluations of sex education programs found that 99% did not increase the start of sexual activity. 56% actually showed some positive results. The most effective programs encouraged youth to have genuine talks with their parents.

2. Save sex for marriage.
Saving sex for marriage (same-sex or not) is still the best choice for health, emotions, and success of the marriage. Nothing changes for this value.

3. Acknowledge the choice.
Like it or not, your children have the choice of same-sex marriage. “This is not an option” closes communication and denies their reality. I have always listed abortion as an option in dealing with a teen pregnancy. This allowed me to address abortion and show other options as better. The same approach should be taken with same-sex marriage.

4. Teach the positive.
From an early age, teach your children what you believe about marriage and why you believe it. Teach more about what you are “for” than what you are “against.”

5. Acceptance is not approval.
God gives us freedom to choose His way or not. If we choose another way, He still loves us and wants the best for us even if He does not approve. We should be like God. You already do this with a host of other issues: drinking, divorce, smoking, using God’s name in vain, over-eating, church attendance, etc. We must now do it with same-sex marriage. Your children will encounter others who choose same-sex marriage. Talk about how to respond to them.

Fish, H., Manlove, J., Moore, K. A., & Mass, E. (2014, December). What works for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: lessons from experimental evaluations of programs and interventions. Retrieved from Child Trends: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2014-64WhatWorksTeenSexualReproHealth.pdf

The Premarital Affair

Despite our culture that seems to ever increase its promotion of sexual pleasure, the vast majority of Americans (85%) still disapprove of extramarital affairs.

I believe the reason is because we feel for the betrayed spouse. Many of my coaching clients are betrayed spouses who are devastated but still want to save their marriage. If you have heard me speak, you know that my first wife had an online affair. I know that pain and devastation personally.

Dr. Shirley Glass did extensive research on infidelity. She describes the following vulnerabilities to having an affair.

You are more likely to be unfaithful if:

  1. Your friends and professional colleagues are unfaithful
  2. You work in entertainment or sports
  3. Your work or social environments condone affairs
  4. You believe that infidelity is common
  5. Your parents had an affair
  6. You are successful at work with a greater income
  7. You live in or near large metropolitan centers
  8. You travel for work
  9. You had an affair before
  10. You hold a high-status or powerful position
  11. You over indulge in alcohol and/or drugs
  12. You were the victim of sexual abuse
  13. You had premarital sex with multiple partners

Please note that Dr. Glass was quick to point out that none of these was an absolute predictor of an affair. She notes exceptions to each one. They are simply areas of vulnerability.

Besides protecting your own marriage (#5), this list gives great guidelines for parenting teenagers. Notice the link to premarital sex (#13). This is one more reason to give our teens to save sex for marriage.

We also need to teach our teens to choose good friends (#1, #3), avoid alcohol and drugs (#11), and choose a supportive work environment (#2, #3). We also need to make sure we continually battle the teens perception that “everyone is doing it [sex].” (#4)

This list can also guide our teens in the selection of who they should date or eventually marry. No one who is getting married wants or expects their marriage to deal with an affair. The real work of affair prevention may start long before we even know who we will marry.

Glass, S. P. (2003). Not “Just Friends”. New York: The Free Press.

Age to Teach Kids About Sex

CB016218I do not remember the exact age when my parents told me smoking was bad for you. It was very young though. When we saw people smoking, my dad said they were making stupid choices.

I do remember the exact age when I was offered cigarettes. I was ten years old. I was playing with some friends down the street. They started smoking, offered me some, and gave me the typical peer pressure when I refused. I went home and told my parents immediately.

My parents had prepared me for that moment. I knew what to do. To this day I have never smoked.

What is the best age to have the porn-talk? or the sex-talk? It is the same as smoking. You need to do it BEFORE your child is faced with making a decision about it.

You’ll hear everywhere that the average age a child first is exposed to porn is eleven. I researched the source of this quote and found it in a study dated 1969! You think the average age might be lower now? Yeah, me too.

Can you have the porn-talk too early and create curiosity or spoil innocence? There is not a single research study that shows talking about it too early increases it. Most studies show a decrease.

I never seem to hear parents having the same worry about other dangers: crossing the street, talking to strangers, or smoking. We shouldn’t about pornography or sex either.

I do not remember the exact age when my parents told me pornography was bad for you. Because they never did.

I do remember the exact age when I was offered pornography. I was ten years old. My parents did not prepare me for that moment. To this day I fight a daily battle not to use pornography.

Parent’s Biggest Fears

Child - NoWhat are our biggest worries regarding our kids?

A recent study of over 2,000 American adults revealed the following list:
1. Childhood obesity
2. Smoking
3. Drug abuse
4. Bullying
5. Stress
6. Alcohol abuse
7. Internet safety
8. Child abuse and neglect
9. Teen pregnancy
10. Not enough physical activity
Very good list. Several of them are main focuses of our work at Noble Choices.

What do these worries all have in common?

The need for our children to say, “No.”
Do you teach your children to say, “no”?

Many parents actually do the opposite. They will respond to their child’s “no” with
• hurt
• withdrawal
• guilt
• anger
• threats
• punishment

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer the following examples of parents not allowing their children to say “no.”
• “Mommy needs to hold you now.”
• “How can you say ‘no’ to your parents who love you?”
• “Don’t talk back to me.”
• “Someday you’ll feel sorry for hurting your parents’ feelings like that.”

Do you allow your child to disagree with you? When your child wants distance or to play something else, do you allow it? If your child argues about bedtime, do you listen, consider, and even change your mind occasionally? Even if you enforce the bedtime, do you do it without withdrawing love? If your child doesn’t want to give affection, do you force it?

How can we expect our teens to say no to smoking, drugs, alcohol, pornography, or teen sex if we haven’t allowed them to say no to anything else while growing up? However, if you teach them it is safe to say “no” and allow them to practice it, they will have ten years of practice before hitting their teen years.

Don’t be a NO NO parent. Be a KNOW NO parent.

Cloud, D. H., & Townsend, D. (1992). Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life.Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. (2014, August 11). School violence, gun-related injuries in top 10 child health concerns in U.S. Retrieved from National Poll on Children’s Health: http://mottnpch.org/sites/default/files/documents/081114_top10.pdf

Best. Kiss. Ever.

Bride and groom kissing.One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. It ends with this quote,

“Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”

That was the movies. Let me tell you about one that was real.

Kelly and Doug got married and had two sons. They were pretty new Christians but very dedicated. Kelly quit her job so she could homeschool her sons.

The boys were taught to trust their faith in God and allow it to guide them. When the oldest son turned 14, he promised himself that he would not kiss a girl until his wedding day. In college, he was seen at a bar, eating a burger called the “Resist Temptation,” and drinking water with lemon.

He got engaged at age 21 BEFORE he formally had his first date. Five months later he had his first kiss on his wedding day.

You may call him extreme or even unbelievable but you better think twice before you call him a wimp or a loser. Collin Klein is six-foot-five and weighs 226. He was the starting quarterback for the Kansas State Wildcats in 2012 who were ranked as high as number two. Klein was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy which is given to college football’s outstanding player who best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.

Why would someone not even kiss until marriage? Fear? Arrogance?

Sports Illustrated explained that Klein believes “there is a kind of comfort in obedience, in the certainty that to do right you need only do what you’re told-by your father, your coach or God, or perhaps all three. This is how Collin Klein lives, in constant prayer, searching for the will of God.”

Klein’s wife says “they were ‘two broken, humble people,’ completely undeserving of love, grateful recipients of a miracle.”

When her husband simply gives her a kiss, she knows he loves her so much he that he saved all of his kisses for her. For Collin Klein, his wife is the

Best. Kiss. Ever.

(Dodd, D. (2012, October 18). Klein a legit Heisman contender, carrying K-State on broad, bruised shoulders. Retrieved from CBS Sports: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/20594928/klein-a-legit-heisman-contender-carrying-kstate-on-broad-bruised-shoulders)
(Heisman Trophy. (n.d.). Heisman trust mission statement. Retrieved from http://www.heisman.com/trust/mission_statement.php)
(Lake, T. (2012, November 19). Collin Klein first kissed his wife at the altar. Collin Klein is also one bad dude. Sports Illustrated, pp. 38-44. Retrieved from http://www.sportsillustratedeverywhere.com/issues/protected/com.timeinc.si.web.inapp.11192012/collin-klein-first-kissed-his-wife-at-the-altar-collin-klein-is-also-one-bad-dude-19434.html)
(Watson, G. (2012, November 1). Collin Klein’s faith led him to his wife and his first kiss, so why not a Heisman and a national championship. Retrieved from Dr. Saturday or how I learned to stop worrying and love the BCS: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/collin-klein-faith-led-him-wife-first-kiss-215824243–ncaaf.html)

Parental Romance is Crucial

Couple dinnerIndulge me for a moment in a thought exercise.

Suppose you are a teenager growing up today. Like most parents, your parents have not talked to you very much about sex. They just said you need to save sex for marriage.

You now have your first serious boyfriend or girlfriend, and you are feeling the urge to have sex. It is time to make up your mind.

Television, movies, music, magazines, and even your friends push the idea have sex now. Your parents seem to be the only ones saying to save sex.

Does your culture make the idea of sex now look good? YES! Be like everyone else, be happy, enjoy life, consequences are rare. It is thrilling and exciting.

Now how do your parents make the idea look of keeping sex in marriage? Well, they had sex once, maybe more if you have siblings. Do you see any thrill, excitement, happiness, or enjoyment in their romantic relationship? No.

So which would you choose?

Do you model romance for your kids? Do you make sure they see their parents in an exciting romantic relationship? You should. I’m not talking about having sex in their presence. I’m talking romance.

Bill Maier shared a great idea on Focus on the Family. Tell your kids you want to surprise your spouse with a romantic dinner in the dining room. Let them choose the center pieces, set the table, make decorations. Perhaps they can even help prepare the meal. Maybe they just clean their rooms or clean the dining room or living room.

Set up a table for the kids in another room while you and your spouse have a candle-lit dinner alone. Your children get to see up close and personal the thrill, excitement, happiness, and enjoyment of a romantic marriage. And … you might just enjoy it yourself.

Maier, B. (2013, March 21). Dining Room Romance. Family Minute With Dr. Bill Maier. Focus on the Family Podcast. Retrieved from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/FamilyMinuteBillMaier/~3/zuso4PvosYw/fmdb_20130321.mp3