Parents Matter Most

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Parenthood surveyed 1,000 teenagers and asked them what the number one factor was in shaping their decisions on sex. Was it social media? their friends? siblings? sex education? No! The majority of the teens said their parents were the greatest factor. Praise God!

Unfortunately, when the parents of these 1,000 teens were asked how their teens answered this question, fewer than 1 in 4 answered correctly. I think this reveals that many parents are being deceived and discouraged by the enemy and all things media. They are having a hay day getting parents to believe their influence doesn’t have lasting impact and that their voice can’t compete with culture’s.

The truth? Y-O-U matter most! Not the government, not the school, not even the church. You have been called by God and know/love your child better than anyone. Don’t believe the lie that your voice doesn’t make a difference – because in reality, it makes the biggest difference of all!

It will require patience (as you may not see fruit develop immediately), persistence (to not give in or give up but keep pursuing your kid even when they hold you at arm’s length) and prayerfulness (because you cannot transform your kid’s heart – only God Almighty can do that).

The best part is that God is just asking you to be faithful in talking with your children about sexuality. The results? Well, He wants you to leave that to Him! Will you accept His invitation?

Reflect and Respond:

  • On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 = lowest, 10 = highest) how would you rate yourself on the three P words I mentioned above: patience, persistence and prayerfulness? Choose your lowest rated word, and commit to working on that this week.
  • Check out the resource page on my website for quick access to articles, books and downloadables you can use in conversations with your kids.
  • Consider asking other parents to get together monthly with the purpose of encouraging and praying for one another. Where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there! (Matthew 18:20)

Abby, Would You Talk To My Kid For Me?!

My name is Abby and I’ve been speaking to young people on Biblical sexuality for over 15 years. When I came on staff with The Navigators in 2011, my target audience was kids 12-18 years old. I spoke at schools, churches, retreats, camps – you name it, I would speak there! About a year later, I started receiving requests to speak to parents….I thought to myself, “I’m not a parent. What do I have to share with them?” Then God told me: I have a powerful testimony, a talent to communicate tough stuff in a tactful yet honest way, the time to research/read everything I could get my hands on regarding Biblical sexuality and I loved creating tools parents could use at home to talk with their kids about sexuality. So I courageously stepped up and began speaking to parents. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my primary audience needed to shift from young people to their parents. Why?! As much as youth were engaged when I spoke and soaked in much of what I taught, they needed these critical messages drip-fed over the course of their entire upbringing; they needed their parents to be their primary influence! Unfortunately, even after hearing me present, parents would come up to me and ask (with hope in their eyes) if I would come home and talk to their kid for them. This was something I obviously couldn’t do but something they were called by God to do.

The question was and still remains, are parents ready to step in and train their children on Biblical sexuality? Unfortunately, when it comes to shaping their children’s view on sexuality, most (not all!) parents don’t feel equipped to fulfill their God-given role as shepherd and teacher. This reality birthed a vision in my heart – to create a “hub” parents could turn to for everything related to teaching their kids about Biblical sexuality. In 2015, my film series Sex by Design: Unpacking the Purpose and Practice of Purity was published and endorsed by four national leaders, including Josh McDowell. It is a 7-part teaching series (I’m going home with you in a sense!) that is accompanied by a parent guidebook and teen guidebook to foster consistent and ongoing conversations. You see, my mission is not to replace you but rather assist you as you assist your kids in building a Biblical worldview on sexuality. If I do my job right, my film series, blog posts and speaking events will serve as a springboard for personal reflection, rich conversation with your kids or a combination of the two. So, let’s dive in and see what God has planned!

Reflect and Respond:

  • Read and reflect on Deuteronomy 6. What is God’s instruction to parents about bringing up their children?
  • Read and reflect on Psalm 78:1-7. What do you take away from this passage?
  • Is there something in particular that holds you back from fulfilling your God- given role as parent and shepherd of your children? Ask the Lord to reveal a lie you might believe, a stronghold that may have been planted in your heart or a past experience in your life that could be the key to unleashing you to fulfill your purpose as a parent.