April 29, 2008

Sex education and youth

Preparing to leave seminary and enter the "real" world as if there is such a thing, I've constantly been contemplating how to put my beliefs into practice, hell, I'm still trying to figure out how to put together what I believe. Because I think differently, I am afraid that stepping into a church job will one either usurp control over my thoughts and I'll lose it all or its going to be a pretty painful experience of trying to gain words and actions to line up with what's going on in my head.

One of the things I've been struggling with is teaching sex, because the church has so badly screwed this one up at times especially with youth. What we're teaching now is so shame based that it is not healthy, nor realistic. As if we can shame youth into not having sex, yeah right. If youth get emotionally involved in relationships than what's to stop them from having sex? Opportunity, nothing else.

Here's a link to an excellent post worth the entire read about sex education for youth, read it. I'm not sure I totally agree, but I really like her thoughts on the subject such as

-Your body is amazing. You can trust it to tell you what you are physically ready to do.

-Your heart is your guide –you can trust the wisdom of your own intuition in making choices.

-Sex is something you move into one step at a time. Each step is good. Each step is appropriate. You– and only you–get to choose when you are ready for that step.

-As a romantic relationship grows deeper emotionally, it’s natural for it to grow deeper physically.

-Planning for sex and being prepared to protect yourself and your partner is smart, responsible, and essential.

-You have the right to say NO. And conversely, you have the right to say YES.

Rather than telling my kids “Sex is a terrible, awful, shameful thing you save for the one you love.” I want the messages I give them to be able to be boiled down to this:

“You are capable of building a relational history you can look back on without regret.”

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