So, here we are again with another segment of “what I meant to say”. I must say however that last night seemed to flow much better than last week; given the topics we talked about I am not sure why. Nevertheless, as I promised let me remind you of a few things we talked about.

Carrying on with theme of ‘almost sex’ practices that you ought to avoid if you do not intend to have a sexual encounter with your date (which I hope by now you are all thinking twice about), our next point is this:

4. The Great Depression (you think romance and sex are going to make you happy)

The truth is that a study of 8200 teens from across the US showed that those who are sexually active in with dates are actually more prone to be experiencing depression than those who were not dating and having sex (Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2000). Who would have guessed it? Sex and dating are not the keys to ultimate happiness!

When you get obsessed with romance it is likely because you are not taking enough time to cultivate other important relationships around you. These include relationships with your parents (I know they don’t make this easy for you all the timeJ), relationships with peers (i.e. the bromance), and relationships with other important family and/or role models in your life. When you are placing all of your emotional and mental need for love and acceptance into one relationship the results are going to be devastating: you are too invested and your life in unbalanced. You will end up giving more than you planned (i.e. having sex) or you will be completed crushed when the relationship ends and have no support system to help you through it. These are key times when teenagers begin to harm themselves or think of suicide.

So…..DON’T DO IT! Have many healthy relationships with many people so that your emotional and mental need for love is dispersed through a variety of healthy relationships. This will also help you keep proper boundaries in your dating relationships so that you don’t accidently give too much too fast.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Here is some sound advice all summed up in one word: monogamy. Chose one person that is special to you and that you can commit to. Make that commitment to them and give your whole heart, soul, mind and body to them forever.

5. Self Service (you use masturbation and porn to help you keep ‘pure’)

Here is a doozy of a topic. When I asked you if you have talked with your parents about porn or masturbation in the past 3-6 months I was not shocked to find out that NONE of you had (well, expect two of you…and you know who you are). When I asked how many times you had talked to your friends about porn or masturbation in the past 3-6 months you also indicated that no one had. Thus, I can conclude this: your education about porn and masturbation is coming from popular media (i.e. TV, movies, music) which has no obligation to tell you the whole truth about the matter. This is why it is important for me to bring up this topic.

Porn does not keep you pure just because it satisfies your sexual drive without actually engaging in physical intercourse with another person. What porn does is fill your mind with unreasonable expectations of what sex will be like in the future, it gives you the unreasonable expectation that future relationships are all about fun and play and never about hard work and compromise. Basically, porn makes you believe that intimacy is easy and effortless; the reality of this is that intimacy between two people includes much more than sex and requires much more work than is portrayed. Oh, did I mention that porn compromises your mental and emotional purity?

Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.

Contrary to what you may have been taught in school or what you hear from your friends, masturbation (while watching porn or not) does not provide you with consequence free sexual release. Relying on a regular diet of masturbation while you are a teenager will become a difficult habit to break once you are married. It will make it easy for you to become lazy and unwilling to work on intimacy and communication with your spouse because you can simply satisfy your needs anytime that you want to just as you have been doing. This leads to distant relationships that no one enjoys…and we wonder why divorce rates are up and why many more people are living in lifeless marriages.

Masturbation itself is not a sinful practice and my point is not to put guilt on teenagers. Having said that, if masturbation becomes a regular habitual practice in your life you are also opening yourself up to mental/emotional compromise (can you remain mentally pure every time you masturbate?).

6. No U-turns Allowed (you think you have gone so far…why not all the way)

If you have already gone all the way likely you have had difficulty sitting through these past two weeks at Emergency Ministries. Likely you feel one of the following emotions: guilt, anger, regret, confusion, frustration, depression, or adversity. Here is the deal: you can’t take it back and you can’t change it.

What is important to know is that it is never too late to change your pattern of behavior. No one has done everything right their whole life and the message of the church and of Jesus Christ is one of forgiveness and freedom from condemnation.

Romans 3:23 & 8:1
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

So, its time to fess up to God and then change your behavior. It is never too late to make a u-turn

Finally, surround yourself with good friends and people who you can talk openly and honestly with. We all need good positive friends that will pray for us when we need it, confront us when we go astray, and people that we can talk to when we have questions.

So, there you have it: date your mate, but don’t mate with your date. Enjoy friendships and the people around you. Go on group dates with people (when your parents allow you toJ). But make sure you keep proper boundaries up: don’t mate with your date.

This is likely the only place you are going to hear a message like this. Not many people in our pop culture live like this. Be brave and dare to do things differently!