Closer than you think

Posted on June 13, 2013 · Posted in Culture, Parenting, Teenagers

Thirteen-year old Jessica is a good student and popular with teachers and students. Her parents have been divorced for several years. Both of her parents have not remarried and handle the visitation settlement reasonably well with Jessica and her two younger brothers. One day a teacher notices that Jessica seems down. She asks Jessica If she can help and Jessica shrugs her shoulders and walks off.

Later in the day, this same teacher again sees that Jessica is still down. She puts her arm around her and walks with her to one of Jessica’s favorite teachers, a guidance counselor who also happens to teach the health class on sexuality. Together, they ask Jessica why she is so down.

Jessica opens up.

She tells the teachers that she thinks she is ready to have sex with her boyfriend. She tells the teachers that she and her boyfriend both went through class on sexuality – last year for him and this year for her. She said that she is discouraged because both her mother and her father think it is a bad idea. She said her mom has recently started going to some church and is really against her having sex before marriage.

Both teachers tell Jessica that they think she should listen to her parents and that it is a good idea to wait at least for awhile. Jessica says she has thought alot about having sex and she is sure she is ready. Most of her friends are sexually active and between the class on sexuality at school and doing research at the government’s website girlshealth.gov.,she feels ready to take responsibility for her actions. She tells the teachers that she and her boyfriend will use protection and that she has just bought the Plan B pill as extra insurance to make sure she does not get pregnant. She is convinced that this is her decision to make and not her mom’s. Her boyfriend’s parents will support whatever she and their son decide.

The teachers attempt to dissuade Jessica again, but then they tell her it is ultimately her decision to make. They commend her for taking the necessary precautions for taking responsibility. One even says that she wishes she had been this responsible when she was Jessica’s age. Jessica tells them thank you and says she feels better. They each give Jessica a hug and say goodbye.

Your daughter is one of Jessica’s closest friends. What kind of formative instruction have you provided for her to know how to handle Jessica’s decision? Does your daughter have the wisdom skills necessary to honor God and guard her heart from this type of situation?

For more on formative instruction, see Instructing a Child’s Heart.

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Instructing a Child's Heart

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.